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Black and white dynamic range problem - selective color change?

 
 
Peabody
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      11-05-2009
Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.

I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if
there is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas
of the picture with the mouse, which the software would finish
selecting precisely based on color, and then let me change the
color, or at least the brightness, of the selected areas.

I'm using XnView for general corrective stuff, but it doesn't do
anything like that unless there's a plugin somewhere. So for XP, is
this where Gimp comes in? Is there anything with less of a learning
curve?



 
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John McWilliams
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      11-05-2009
Peabody wrote:
> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
> picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
> white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
> and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.
>
> I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if
> there is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas
> of the picture with the mouse, which the software would finish
> selecting precisely based on color, and then let me change the
> color, or at least the brightness, of the selected areas.


Free trial of Photoshop, 30 days, Adobe.com.

--
john mcwilliams
 
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Toxic
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      11-05-2009
On Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:21:14 -0600, Peabody wrote:

> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
> picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with white
> walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing, and you
> feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.
>
> I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if there
> is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas of the
> picture with the mouse, which the software would finish selecting
> precisely based on color, and then let me change the color, or at least
> the brightness, of the selected areas.
>
> I'm using XnView for general corrective stuff, but it doesn't do
> anything like that unless there's a plugin somewhere. So for XP, is
> this where Gimp comes in? Is there anything with less of a learning
> curve?


http://tinyurl.com/ygdpb5d
 
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tony cooper
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      11-06-2009
On Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:21:14 -0600, Peabody
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
>picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
>white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
>and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.
>
>I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if
>there is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas
>of the picture with the mouse, which the software would finish
>selecting precisely based on color, and then let me change the
>color, or at least the brightness, of the selected areas.
>
>I'm using XnView for general corrective stuff, but it doesn't do
>anything like that unless there's a plugin somewhere. So for XP, is
>this where Gimp comes in? Is there anything with less of a learning
>curve?
>


It's cheating to some extent, but you could download the free 14 day
trial of the Topaz "Remask" program. It's probably the simplest way
to do a knock-out with Photoshop. I don't know if it's compatible
with Gimp but it seems like it would be.

http://www.topazlabs.com/remask/

The problem that I see is that you would have to familiarize yourself
with program you've never used - Gimp or Photoshop - for one
photograph. Neither are easy programs to learn.

You wouldn't select by color, by the way. You'd make a selection of
the piano, knock out the background (walls) on a layer containing the
selection, have one layer with the piano and a second layer with
everything beneath that, and adjust each layer with Curves or Levels.
Pretty simple for an experienced Photoshop user.

If it's one photograph, you should consider paying someone who is good
with Photoshop to do the post-processing and give you back a .jpg.


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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David J Taylor
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      11-06-2009
> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
> picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
> white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
> and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.
>
> I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if
> there is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas
> of the picture with the mouse, which the software would finish
> selecting precisely based on color, and then let me change the
> color, or at least the brightness, of the selected areas.


For free I would look at:

Paint.NET
http://www.getpaint.net/

PhotoFiltre
http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm

Cheers,
David
 
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David J Taylor
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      11-06-2009
> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
> picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
> white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
> and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.


BTW: are you shooting RAW?

David
 
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Chris Malcolm
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      11-06-2009
Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm trying to take a
> picture of a black grand piano located in a fairly small room with
> white walls, and when the piano looks good, the walls are blazing,
> and you feel an urge to reach for sunglasses.


> I'll try to solve this with lighting if I can, but I wondered if
> there is FREE software that would let me approximately select areas
> of the picture with the mouse, which the software would finish
> selecting precisely based on color, and then let me change the
> color, or at least the brightness, of the selected areas.


> I'm using XnView for general corrective stuff, but it doesn't do
> anything like that unless there's a plugin somewhere. So for XP, is
> this where Gimp comes in? Is there anything with less of a learning
> curve?


If your camera can produce a RAW image, then this is an easy job for a
RAW converter, and the RAW converter that came with the camera will
probably be the easiest to use for the job. You want to compress the
dynamic range between most of the darkness of the piano and most of
the lightness of the walls. This could be done globally by changing
the luminance translation curve, or locally by using some kind of
local dynamic range optimiser, if the RAW converter offers that.

There are some third party dynamic range converters that will
automatically try to do that for you on that kind of image, and will
often do quite a good job. For example Picasa's RAW converter (free
from Google) does that, and if that doesn't do enough, allows you to
tweak it a bit more with the shadow fill slider.

--
Chris Malcolm
 
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Peabody
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      11-06-2009
David J Taylor says...

> For free I would look at:


> Paint.NET
> http://www.getpaint.net/


> PhotoFiltre
> http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm


> Cheers, David


Thanks very much. In fact Paint.net has an example of what
I want to do using what they call the Magic Wand. So I may
give that a try. But first I have to install .NET 3.5


 
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Peabody
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      11-06-2009
David J Taylor says...

>> Well, I don't mean B&W in that sense. I mean I'm
>> trying to take a picture of a black grand piano located
>> in a fairly small room with white walls, and when the
>> piano looks good, the walls are blazing, and you feel
>> an urge to reach for sunglasses.


> BTW: are you shooting RAW?


> David


No, sorry, I should have said. It's a Canon A590. CHDK
will make it do raw, but I've never tried that, and I don't
know if any of the raw processors could deal with those
files. Anyway, it's only 10-bit as I understand.

 
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Peabody
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      11-06-2009
Chris Malcolm says...

> If your camera can produce a RAW image, then this is an
> easy job for a RAW converter, and the RAW converter that
> came with the camera will probably be the easiest to use
> for the job. You want to compress the dynamic range
> between most of the darkness of the piano and most of
> the lightness of the walls. This could be done globally
> by changing the luminance translation curve, or locally
> by using some kind of local dynamic range optimiser, if
> the RAW converter offers that.


> There are some third party dynamic range converters that
> will automatically try to do that for you on that kind
> of image, and will often do quite a good job. For
> example Picasa's RAW converter (free from Google) does
> that, and if that doesn't do enough, allows you to tweak
> it a bit more with the shadow fill slider.


Well, it's a Canon A590, and CHDK can get raw files from it,
but there's no Canon processor for them, and I don't know if
things like Picassa would recognize those files either. In
fact, it's not clear how you're supposed to process those
files. Anyway, for now I'm just using 8mp super-fine jpegs.

I've been using XnView, which has a number of global options
for changes, including contrast. And others have suggested
HDR software for this. But the problem is that the piano
itself looks good, including the black case, the white keys,
and the highlights coming off the polished brass pedals,
etc. So I really don't want to compress that. I'm pretty
new at this, but I still think I just want to knock back the
walls, and leave the rest alone.

 
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