Removing Sun Glare from Landscape Image

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by ash_shelton, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. I'm okay with photoshop as I'm a html/php coder and spend a lot of time splicing and coding designs into valid websites, this however rarely if ever involves photo re-touching so I'd really appreciate some advice into how to best go about removing sunglare from this image.
    I've had a few attempts by following tutorials using the heal brush and clone tool etc but I can't seem to get it right. If any of you can offer any help and advice, it'd be really appreciated.
    This is a link to the offending image: http://www.ashshelton.co.uk/photo/southamerica.jpg
    00XwCh-315811584.jpg
     
  2. If the worst flare wasn't in the middle of the image, I might be tempted to leave it in. This is difficult to fix, but not impossible. It would take me several hours to fix this.
    Work at 100%. Clone from nearby areas at 100% opacity. Use several areas or the repetition will be obvious. Then blend the borders at a lower opacity. Somewhat of an oversimplification, I realize, it takes a lot of trial and error to get it right.
    Before you do anything, fix the levels. The flare has washed out the entire image.
    00XwDG-315815584.jpg
     
  3. Before - just resized to display in-line in photo.net
    00XwDU-315823584.jpg
     
  4. After 2 min using ACR, Topaz Adjust, and patch tool.
    Tom M
    00XwDV-315825584.jpg
     
  5. a couple of minutes w/ ACR, contrast mask and a H/S layer to cleanup the excess blue
    00XwE0-315829584.jpg
     
  6. Start with The Clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw that will help a lot withthe general haze factor, and then adjust brightness and Vibrance.
    If you use the H/S/L controls in either ACR or Photoshop itself:
    In ACR Start with Luminance, then Hue, and only if those don't do the job,turn to Saturation.
    If you do this in Photoshop use each as a separate layer. You can fine tune the effects by adjusting the layer opacity, and once satisfied wit hthe overall effect fine tuen each by creating a mask with each layer and , choosign the brush tool (use a very soft-edged brush) and painting with black where you want to erase the effect of that adjustment layer. The rule of masking is "Black reveals (what is underneath) and white conceals. "
     
  7. Don't you have that backware Ellis?
    Black conceals, white reveals
    I did my HSL layer in PS targeting Blue and de-sat'ed and lightened to help clear the blue mountains background
     
  8. When painting in a layer mask, black reveals what is underneath that layer.
    00XwKD-315893584.jpg
     
  9. Here is a reduced size version of how I went about post-processing Ash's JPEG. This was all done in Photoshop CS5. I was going for a more natural appearence (in my opinion) than what Tom or Howard id with theirs and a little more punch than Matthew's.
    I hope Ash's orginal is a raw file not a JPEG. I also have higher res step-by-step versions so you can see the changes each adjustment made , but I need Ash's permission before I publish that.
    Note: I did not try to fix the lens flare issue.
    00XwKX-315897584.jpg
     
  10. Looking at it in my browser I'd probably re "pop" the blacks a little as a final step to create more contrast.
     
  11. Few minutes with PhotoResampling.
    00XwLF-315913584.jpg
     
  12. Thank you all very much for your responses to this, I'm going to try and replicate the things Matthew, Tom, Howard and Ellis have tried to explain to me. I really appreciate how you've advised me on both how to get rid of the central lens flare and in the general post-processing to improve the brightness/contrast/levels etc.
    You're all really helpful when I've had my goes at implementing your ideas i'll post back with my result.
    Cheers :)
    edit: forgot to add that of course you have permission to post the high res version you made Ellis any help/examples are very much appreciated!
     
  13. try using curves rather than levels and also do your individual adjustments on seperate layers. that will help enourmously if you needto back track.
    Finally think about your problem resolving first on a global, then on a regional (depending on the image this might mean individual sets of colors or tones and not just x/y co-ordinates), and then on localized spot specific problems.
     
  14. A step by step tutorial of what I did: http://www.ellisvener.com/data/web/Machu_Pichu_tutorial/index.html
     
  15. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    I adjusted Levels, Contrast and Color then Made a mask around the most obvious flare and then Filter - Blur - Gausian Blur to feather the edges. I then used Levels to adjust the flared.
    00XwUC-316025584.jpg
     
  16. EV: "... I was going for a more natural appearence (in my opinion) than what Tom or Howard id ..."
    Sometimes I just can't escape my Velvia background / mindset. :)
    But on a serious note, you are correct that my version almost certainly doesn't look like what the OP saw through the viewfinder. However, my approach to tweaking such shots is that unless there is some overriding need to do otherwise, if I'm taking a landscape image on a day that's a bit hazy, I have absolutely no hesitation to minimize the haze in PP, just like in the old days, one would use an appropriate glass filter when taking a B&W of the scene. Similarly, if the only lens I have with me flares and holding my hand between it and the sun doesn't work, I fix that in PP as well. Of course, I don't do this for strict documentary work, but when it comes to images like this, to me, doing this is little different from being at that spot on a clearer day with better gear. :)
    Or, as Paul Simon sez, "Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!" (and I have perfect lenses".
    In addition, I usually sleep with the initial, intentionally over-the-top tweaked version for a few days and then often blend back in some of the original to tone it down as needed. I'm not a big fan of over philosophizing such an approach, but it works for me.
    Happy New Years, folks!
    Tom M
     
  17. PS - I'm curious why there was so much flare in the photo. It was taken using a Nikon E4600. That camera takes reasonably good pix. Were you inside a vehicle with dirty windows, the lens covered with dust, or something like that?
    PPS - If you are unhappy with your own shot and really want a nice one from the same vantage point, do a Google Images search for similar pix with longest dimension of at least 1024 pixels, you'll turn up 432 very nice looking images, i.e.,
    http://www.google.com/images?q=machu+picchu&hl=en&safe=off&sa=G&gbv=2&as_st=y&tbs=isch:1,simg:CAESEgkrBk12Kls0WSGnLAWdehNI0w&iact=hc&vpx=357&vpy=157&dur=3113&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=36&ty=267&ei=Ka8fTYDZKsL88Aawic3RDQ&oei=Ka8fTYDZKsL88Aawic3RDQ&esq=1&page=1&tbnh=154&tbnw=203&ved=1t:722,r:1,s:0&biw=1280&bih=869
    Cheers,
    Tom M
     
  18. Like I said, it was about 2 minutes of work and yea, it's over the top :) As Tom noted, sit w/ it for a bit and dial it back via any # of methods. In this sort of thing, it's very common to go too far and then pull it back via opacity or something.
     
  19. @Tom: I suspect simple lens flare. People often forget that a simple lens hood is one of the very easiest ways of improving image quality.
     

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