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Removing Lighting and Tone Variances Caused by Direct Sunlight


thechexican

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Hello Photoshop Gurus. First-time poster and intermediate-beginner image editor here, looking for some insight on how to best edit photos for work. I do office/website maintenance for a kitchen & bath remodeling sole proprietorship, and one of the projects that's landed on my desk is retouching photographs the boss has taken of his completed projects. One of the big things he wants done is the removal of hot spots caused by direct sunlight. I've experimented with a lot of different methods: clone stamping, healing brush, paint brush with sampled colors set to "color" blend mode at 30-50% opacity, but haven't really gotten much success. The best results I've had so far is copying the door on the other side of the photograph and applying warp transformations to get it to blend in (see image 2 below).

Just wanted to see if there's a better way I could go about editing out those hotspots and getting those areas of the image to match the color tone of the areas not been hit with direct sunlight. I know there's a lot of tools I don't know how to use efficiently that may be suited for the job such as using channels for compositing or the color match tool. With only so many hours in the day, thought it'd be better to ask the pros than to keep running with trial & error and hoping for something to stick.

0973-bath-2.jpg

0973-bath-2-edit.jpg
 

IamSam

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I agree with Peter, whoever is taking the photos should be more aware of the lighting. I count 7 "hotspots".

Your second image looks a bit fake. The best tool for this job will be Clone Stamp Tool, the Content Aware Move Tool, and some of the Brush Tool.

All of these areas need to be selected and isolated to their own layers so you can apply adjustments. Adjustment layers with their layer Masks will also be another method of repair.

The most difficult repair will be the electrical outlet above the sinks.
 

Steve

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As for the photos posted, I agree with the comments above.
Open the image in ACR and make the adjustments Peta62 suggested, it will greatly improve the image.
Then follow Sam's advice on the rest.

As for the electrical outlet and switch, either remove it entirely of find a new image.


Now for unsolicited comments:

If you're boss is using a cell phone for these, he should invest in a camera that can do fill flash.
If these photos are important in generating business, it's certainly worth investing a few dollars on a decent camera.
Another way to look at it is how much does it cost him to pay you to fix these photos.

As un-technical as I can put it, fill flash allows the photographer to use one set of settings to adjust for bright outdoor lighting, and use the camera's flash to light the the inside.
You also need a camera with a wide angle lens.

The boss also should have gotten down lower to shoot the image it would have lessened the distortion.

If you want more info on this just ask.
 

IamSam

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I've not had much opportunity to work on this, but this was done in about 10 minutes using the clone stamp tool.
The door here looks much more natural with the soft light reflection from the window but with the "hotspot" gone.
Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 8.35.32 PM.png
 

peta62

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...he should invest in a camera that can do fill flash...
Well, the guy who made this picture using flash in a small room with mirror and window, do you really want to see the result ? :giggle:

Ome serious note, I consider the distorsion much worse issue on this picture than hot spots.
 
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peta62

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.... Your second image looks a bit fake....
I think the second image is the first one, just the left foor is somehow overwritten by the right door, that is why the upper and lower part of the left door has different colours and probably what OP asks for help with.
 

Steve

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Well, the guy who made this picture using flash in a small room with mirror and window, do you really want to see the result ? :giggle:

Ome serious note, I consider the distorsion much worse issue on this picture than hot spots.
You obviously don't understand what I'm talking about.

Fill flash doesn't mean turning on the flash on you're i-Phone.
That won't work and it isn't within a million miles of what I'm talking about.
 

peta62

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Steve - fill flash is definitely the right tool here, I just think each equipment has to be handled with some knowledge and I am not sure the author of this picture has it.
 

IamSam

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I think the second image is the first one, just the left foor is somehow overwritten by the right door, that is why the upper and lower part of the left door has different colours and probably what OP asks for help with.
No Peter, your not reading or understanding what I have written. I meant what I said when I stated that the second image looked fake, it was because when the OP replaced the door with the other one, he removed the nice window glow that I show in post #5.
 

peta62

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No Peter, your not reading or understanding what I have written. I meant what I said when I stated that the second image looked fake, it was because when the OP replaced the door with the other one, he removed the nice window glow that I show in post #5.
Yes, you are right, I forgot. It was late night here :-(
 

thechexican

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Hi Steve (and peta62, IamSam)

Thanks so much for the input. In regard to the picture quality, I agree completely. Many of the photos in our image catalog are ones that my employer took himself of his completed projects using a few different "prosumer" point-and-shoot cameras (and in a handful of more recent instances, his cell phone camera). Though he recently bought a mirrorless Sony a6000 and a lighting kit, he's also been doing his remodeling work for close to 40 years now, so there are a lot of photos that can't exactly be re-taken using better modern imaging tech; this particular photo is from a project completed back in 2009.

That said, the direction provided in your comments is very helpful in determining an approach to achieve the best viable results and in considering the details that I'm not yet trained/experienced enough to account for myself. It's greatly appreciated.
 

Tom Mann

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@thechexican -- At the risk of belaboring the obvious, and rehashing what others have already said, with regard to future photography, once above the level of cell phone cameras and point-and-shoot cameras, the quality of the camera and its cost means almost nothing when shooting with lights. All that really matters is the skill of the photographer. So unless your boss wants to spend a substantial amount of time devoting himself to becoming a half-way decent interior photographer, he should *seriously* consider spending the small amount of money it would cost to hire some young photographer who is willing to work for peanuts to build his portfolio.

There is an old computer expression, "Garbage in, garbage out" that applies perfectly to spending a little time up front on the photography vs spending huge amounts of time in Photoshop trying to fix photographic errors. Even worse, no matter how good the Photoshopper is, the results of a PP fix will NEVER be as good as getting it right in the first place. You really should try to (tactfully) educate him on this subject.

Just my $0.02,

Tom M
 

Steve

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Thanks so much for the input. In regard to the picture quality, ......................................... he recently bought a mirrorless Sony a6000 and a lighting kit, he's also been doing his remodeling work for close to 40 years now, so there are a lot of photos that can't exactly be re-taken using better modern imaging tech; this particular photo is from a project completed back in 2009.

That said, the direction provided in your comments is very helpful in determining an approach to achieve the best viable results and in considering the details that I'm not yet trained/experienced enough to account for myself. It's greatly appreciated.
We're glad to help.

As for the Sony a6000, it shoots RAW and can do fill flash.
Have you're boss experiment with it, it should get him better results.

If business is good enough to justify it a wide angle lens and a flash unit will really help.
Removable flashes can be twisted and turned to bounce light off a reflector, ceiling, or wall to give a more natural light.
 

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