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Remove sky but leave out-of-focus powerlines


pkk

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Hello to All

I'm trying to remove the sky from an image & it's going fine except for the powerlines. The towers are easy but the powerlines are just too whispy for the limited masking techniques I know. I've never tried the channel method & I'm not sure even it would work here as the lines are just barely there. I tried drawing new ones with the line tool but 1 pixel lines look quite heavy. If the forum thinks a channel mask is the best way I'll learn that but is there another way to do this?

Thanks in advance



powerlines.jpg
 

Paul

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Image is very noisey close in the lines are also heavy pixels close in, a better image would make it easier and very doable.
 

IamSam

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Hey,

This is a very low quality image. As Paul has pointed out, if you don't have access to a hi res image, I don't think there will be an easy way to select the power lines. The other option is to remove the tower and the power lines altogether.

Unless this is a very high paying job, I would move on to another project.
 

peta62

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I am sorry for a dumb question, but what are you exactly trying to achieve ? You write "remove the sky", does it mean you want to remove the sky and let the wires in the picture ? In that case I would try "blend if" since the wires are darker than the sky. If you want something else please describe it.
Thank you,
Peter
 

Tom Mann

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Assuming you actually wanted to remove the power lines and towers, and not remove the entire sky, then, I first used the spot removal brush (in healing mode) in ACR multiple times, and fixed a few of the remaining details in PS using the clone tool, the patch tool and spot healing brush. I made no attempt to fix all the small details and edges, but just wanted to demo the big picture of what can be done without much effort. More effort = a better result.

The total time it took me was about 10-15 minutes. BTW, no accurate selections were needed because the sky is so featureless.

Double click on the preview below to download the full rez version and see what you think.

Tom M

PS - Assuming that photo is yours, you have water /dirt spots on your sensor. You need to clean it.
 

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pkk

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Wow! Thanks everyone for the quick replies!! I'll try to addess all of your questions. I'm removing the sky so I can replace it & the powerlines need to stay in There are other of my images of the same scene floating around & the powerlines are in those so I can't just remove them. The image quality of the thumbnail is poor because of the radical resizing & compression I had to do to post it but the same problem is totally still there in the full res image so your remarks certainly still apply. Tom M, the water & dirt spots are actually on the film-this was shot with Fugichrome & it is part of the reason I want to replace the sky. This problen has plagued me for some time now. At first I blamed the lab but now I think it might be the film. Anyway, that's another problem.

So, even though the forum didn't really fix it it helps me a great deal to know what is possible & not waste a lot of time trying things that won't work. I have 2 things to try now. 1) rescan that part of the image at the highest resolution possible & work from that or 2) go back to the same location with my telephoto lenses & get the powerlines directly on a digital image. If I do this on a nice crisp day with no haze I'll have something better to work with.

Thanks again to all. I'll post my "progress".

pkk
 

Tom Mann

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Ahh ... now that I understand (more or less) what you want to do, think about this:

If you can restrict your changes to the sky to primarily changes in its color (including gradients, gradient maps, etc.) but don't need to dramatically change it's luminosity, just select the sky, make the color adjustment, and set it's layer blend mode to "color", and the power lines will still be visible.

In the attached image, I did a very quick, 30 second selection of the sky (yeah, I know there's fringing all over the place, and I didn't take the time needed to deselect the towers) and used a gradient map (in color blend mode) to recolor it and a levels adjustment layer (in luminosity mode) to darken it, and came up with the following.

One certainly can't make arbitrary changes to the sky with this trick, but maybe changes like these are enough for what you need?

Tom M

PS - the advantage of this approach is that masking of the power lines themselves is not needed, just a general selection of the sky from the buildings and the towers.
 

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pkk

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Thanks Tom. these are the kinds of pointers I need. I do a lot with skies so I'm always looking for new techniques. I'll be trying your suggestion on other images too.

Pkk
 

IamSam

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You can make some curves adjustments by making a selection of the sky and adding it to the Curves Adjustment layers layer mask.
Then add another layer for spot healing.

powerlines2.jpg

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.50.22 AM.png
 

pkk

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Thanks Sam. I do a similiar thing with 2 levels layers but I've only barely developed the workflow of doing spot healing or cloning on it's own layer. Having you guys discuss this helps me remember that kind of technique.

Pkk
 

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