Monday, February 22, 2010

Hair We Go Again...

This is an edit I did for Ian Jardine a little while ago. The photographer had wanted to push the background to pure white (click the below edited image for more complete instructions!). The best way to do that, without sacrificing the quality of the photo, is to isolate...or mask it.

A great way for isolating hair is with channel masking. It is a little more difficult to do than other masking, but once you get used to it, you will find that you can use the same, or similar, technique for many images. Hair is always the most difficult thing to work with. Well....

Hair We Go Again.....
Here is a link to the original from Ian Jardine:
Initially I had the image in RGB mode, but none of those three channels had a decent contrast between hair and background. So I switched the color mode to CMYK, and got 4 different channels. The Yellow channel had nice contrast, and some great details in the foreground model's hair...
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Original Artist - Howie Day
Vocals and Guitar - Veronica Ballestrini

I selected All from within the Yellow Channel, then converted the image back to RGB without flattening, and pasted into the image so it would be an additional layer. Now, each separate channel is like a black and white (greyscale) image...and there was still some tone in the background. I boosted the contrast to push the background to pure white as well as trying to maintain as much hair detail as possible. Remember I am creating my own mask as a layer here, so I need to paint black onto the models. I used a large brush for most, and switched to a smaller one for the edges...
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Original Artist - U2
Vocals and Guitar - Peter Knight (OutrageousThoughts)

I left the details of the blonde model's hair as well as her earrings. I then duplicated this layer (and shut it off) to add more black. I couldn't easily go back to this version, so the duplicate layer is a safety before I paint over the highlights. On the duplicate layer I painted all the highlights, and then used a soft large brush to include a bit on the edge of the hair. This can help the finer details more. Then, apply this layer as a "Screen" mode, and this will make the background pure white while it maintains all details of the hair...

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Starz2 {edit}Full description of edit |

It was a super shot to start with. The local photographers in their area get together, and have a flickr meet up. They are mostly strobist shooters, but it is a great opportunity for someone starting out who doesn't have strobe lights yet. They help each other, and usually have a few professional models at the shoot. You share your work with the models, so they get some nice photos in return for their work.

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very much!

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