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Stealth3kpl

Adjusting The Contrast Of A Scanned Image

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I'm never really that content with the contrast curve I add to my scanned images. Do you have any tips?
I scan to achieve no clipping of the image. In Lightroom I adjust black and white points and adjust exposure then change the shape of the Levels curve to adjust tones of the image (often a S-curve). 

For example, this is what comes off the scanner (feel free to download it, play with it and upload to this thread).

Pete

 

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Posted (edited)

But it still looks a bit bland. What other avenues should I explore? Should I forget about retaining detail in the sky? Maybe consider clipping blacks more?

Pete

Edited by Stealth3kpl

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Oh yes but what did you do?
I had a go with masking out the sky here allowing me to give more punch to the mid tones, but crushing the blacks. Is there a better method?

 

 

 

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Aloha, first off I cropped, then in Photos, I added Contrast, Adjusted Black Point, Added +4 Definition, A Tad Sharpening & Vignette.. Everyone sees an image slightly differently, had it been my image, I would have carried out the PP as shown.   L

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I don't think I made my opening post clear. Can you tell me what you've done if you're posting the image? I'm looking for advice on post processing scans.

Pete

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7 minutes ago, andym91 said:

will send a screen shot of LR changes.....

Thanks, or you could post it on here. Someone else might find it useful.

Pete

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Stealth3kpl said:

And this is after Lightroom

Pete

 

Clip the shadows. Be ruthless about it. I know what you're thinking (many of us do this too), "but all the detail in her jacket/shirt/shoe/whatever is lost". Truth is, nobody cares about that kind of detail. When people are involved, we're hardwired to focus our attention to their faces. So try to get the best tonality on their faces, at the expense of everything else. Also, removing distractions (like unnecessary shadow details in wrinkled clothing etc.), helps direct the viewer's attention at what matters.

Edited by giannis
typos

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Where I am confronted with this in an image in Lightroom I will usually start by protecting the highlights first by pulling back the highlights slider to the left. How far depends on the image. I start here as blown highlights are the most noticeable problem (and I find most objectionable issue) with many images so fixing that is a good starting point and gives me a good basis for working on other issues. Once I am happy with highlights I will often adjust the overall contrast and exposure sliders - boosting contrast and pulling  back exposure marginally too if it needs it. This can help the overall tone by adding more shadows and blacks in the image but it does run the risk of darkening the blacks too much. So I sometimes I have to then adjust both the shadows and blacks sliders selectively by brightening them a bit if overall the image is too dark for my liking or if I have clipped the shadows too much. This admittedly does diminish some of the contrast I added in the previous step but it is often needed to produce a tone I prefer with not too much contrast in either highlights or blacks.  If needed though I will sometimes also then adjust the clarity slide which then boosts mid tones a bit where I like there to be more contrast.  I don't know if this is Kosher (many prefer just to use levels) but it works for me. 

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2 hours ago, peterm1_Leica said:

Here is how I did it in this specific instance. (Screen Grab from Lightroom)

 

 

but unfortunately you have a halo above the mountains in the distance

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6 minutes ago, frame-it said:

but unfortunately you have a halo above the mountains in the distance

Yes I noticed that. It was the product of trying to give the smallest touch of sharpening (hardly any) to a very small image. After noticing it I left if hoping no one else would A silly and vain hope I guess given this is a photography forum :^) :^)

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8 hours ago, giannis said:

Clip the shadows. Be ruthless about it. I know what you're thinking (many of us do this too), "but all the detail in her jacket/shirt/shoe/whatever is lost". Truth is, nobody cares about that kind of detail. When people are involved, we're hardwired to focus our attention to their faces. So try to get the best tonality on their faces, at the expense of everything else. Also, removing distractions (like unnecessary shadow details in wrinkled clothing etc.), helps direct the viewer's attention at what matters.

This is exactly what I'm looking for, thank you. I recall someone on the forum a few years ago saying something along the lines of don't treat it as you would a digital file.

In what way would you clip the blacks? Just bringing in the black slider on levels?

Pete

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