Author Topic: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?  (Read 4931 times)

guest4955

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"Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« on: February 06, 2018, 11:11:45 PM »
Had a bit of an esoteric discussion with a dealer, Poster Mountain's John Davis, and an APFer (er, for lack of a better term).

I've been using Photoshop Elements (90% as powerful as PShop, 20% of the price) since the 90s. I've read several PShop books and learned some fancy tricks but the 1st lesson is always "Correcting Light Levels." Many photos are underlit and a few are overlit. "Correction" is easy:



Hit "auto levels" or manually slide the adjuster to the edge of the "shadow mountain":



*****

The same function is in every other photo program/app as well:



*****

As far as I know, you're not distorting or misrepresenting an MP image by doing this, just turning on the lights ... digitally. If a photography expert says otherwise, post it.

*****

But votes are 3-0 against me, Davis has switched:



What sayest thou?

Offline oldposterho

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 09:57:25 AM »
It would be interesting to see a zoom from a full poster photo into a known defect with a before and after shot side by side.  I generally have no problem with digital manipulations as long as it doesn't cover/disguise problems. This did improve the pictures here.
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Offline MoviePosterBid.com

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 04:09:16 PM »
when publishing images for auctions, I don't have time for this
when publishing images in books (like the ones I'm working on) the images need to be corrected

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Offline erik1925

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 04:14:11 PM »
when publishing images for auctions, I don't have time for this
when publishing images in books (like the ones I'm working on) the images need to be corrected

Makes total sense to "polish up" images that may need some work, Rich.  thumbsup.gif

But to take, for example, a poster image from the 1920s, 30s or 40s, and rework the levels so that the borders look minty white (when the paper they were printed on wasn't even that brilliant white shade when fresh off the press), can make a vintage poster look like a modern repro that was printed on 21st C glossy, snow white paper. And that, imho, is not an accurate depiction.


-Jeff

Offline MoviePosterBid.com

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 04:29:08 PM »
Makes total sense to "polish up" images that may need some work, Rich.  thumbsup.gif

But to take, for example, a poster image from the 1920s, 30s or 40s, and rework the levels so that the borders look minty white (when the paper they were printed on wasn't even that brilliant white shade when fresh off the press), can make a vintage poster look like a modern repro that was printed on 21st C glossy, snow white paper. And that, imho, is not an accurate depiction.

when selling, it is best to have the image reflect what an item looks like in real life

when publishing, the images need to look clean. crisp & new. Who cares if the book publication makes it look nm, it's not for sale, it's for reference

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Offline erik1925

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 04:30:43 PM »
when selling, it is best to have the image reflect what an item looks like in real life

when publishing, the images need to look clean. crisp & new. Who cares if the book publication makes it look nm, it's not for sale, it's for reference

 sm1


-Jeff

guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 03:07:31 PM »
Images all over the map!

Orig eBay pic (unadjusted):



Orig PM image - Light level adjusted:



Pics taken today under bar table lights - no adJ:





Framed - no adj:



Light levels corrected:


Offline Dr Bill

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 08:44:16 PM »
To further correct color, I use X-rite Colorchecker Passport.
http://xritephoto.com/colorchecker-passport-photo

An example from my thread:
http://www.allposterforum.com/index.php/topic,11559.200.html

Photograph the Colorchecker under lighting conditions used for your photo, then import the file into Lightroom or Photoshop to create a preset for all photos taken under the same conditions. White balance and clipping (full grayscale) can also be adjusted. A calibrated monitor is also recommended.


guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 09:20:17 PM »
To further correct color, I use X-rite Colorchecker Passport.
http://xritephoto.com/colorchecker-passport-photo

An example from my thread:
http://www.allposterforum.com/index.php/topic,11559.200.html

Photograph the Colorchecker under lighting conditions used for your photo, then import the file into Lightroom or Photoshop to create a preset for all photos taken under the same conditions. White balance and clipping (full grayscale) can also be adjusted. A calibrated monitor is also recommended.

Gracias and, per your link, "it's a perfect night for mystery and horror." (BoF)

A slightly better framed pic:



Offline erik1925

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 09:48:29 PM »
You need to Photoshop out the reflection of those white blinds going right thru Frankie's face (or keep it simple and just change the angle of your shot).  ;)


-Jeff

guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 11:06:41 PM »
You need to Photoshop out the reflection of those white blinds going right thru Frankie's face (or keep it simple and just change the angle of your shot).  ;)

Closet!

guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 09:57:40 AM »
Closet!



Lived here two years, a befuddling enigma since I lack keys; possibly a fallout shelter....

Offline Harry Caul

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 11:11:49 AM »
As mentioned above it depends who is taking the photos and for what purpose.  Most of the photos we dig up and post around here originally come from auction archives.  In that case I'm glad they don't manipulate the image any more than they already do. Consistency is the key.  If you are selling two posters and the paper has darkened on one, the photos better reflect that -- and hopefully be consistent across the whole site.

To further correct color, I use X-rite Colorchecker Passport.
http://xritephoto.com/colorchecker-passport-photo

An example from my thread:
http://www.allposterforum.com/index.php/topic,11559.200.html

Photograph the Colorchecker under lighting conditions used for your photo, then import the file into Lightroom or Photoshop to create a preset for all photos taken under the same conditions. White balance and clipping (full grayscale) can also be adjusted. A calibrated monitor is also recommended.

Yes, this is the only way to get an accurate, consistent photo -- include a color card in every photo and adjust exposure and color temp in post to the same levels every time.

Mel, your use of any sort of "auto-adjust" setting will give different results for every single photo.

The software can't possibly know the "correct" brightness level, so it instead bases it's calculations off the image itself, same for color temp.  Even if you took 2 photos from the same auction house that were shot at the same time and post-processed in exactly the same way -- if one was a white background poster and one was a full bleed dark background poster, the "auto-adjust" algorithms would treat them much, much differently. 

At that point you might be more pleased with the look of the posters for online use, but it probably no longer accurately represent the physical item. Based on your clean-up jobs of the Library of Congress posters, I don't image that is your intent anyway, though, so it shouldn't be an issue.  Just be aware that others responding to your question might be coming at it from a very different place.

guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 12:02:07 PM »
As mentioned above it depends who is taking the photos and for what purpose.  Most of the photos we dig up and post around here originally come from auction archives.  In that case I'm glad they don't manipulate the image any more than they already do. Consistency is the key.  If you are selling two posters and the paper has darkened on one, the photos better reflect that -- and hopefully be consistent across the whole site.

Yes, this is the only way to get an accurate, consistent photo -- include a color card in every photo and adjust exposure and color temp in post to the same levels every time.

Mel, your use of any sort of "auto-adjust" setting will give different results for every single photo.

The software can't possibly know the "correct" brightness level, so it instead bases it's calculations off the image itself, same for color temp.  Even if you took 2 photos from the same auction house that were shot at the same time and post-processed in exactly the same way -- if one was a white background poster and one was a full bleed dark background poster, the "auto-adjust" algorithms would treat them much, much differently. 

At that point you might be more pleased with the look of the posters for online use, but it probably no longer accurately represent the physical item. Based on your clean-up jobs of the Library of Congress posters, I don't image that is your intent anyway, though, so it shouldn't be an issue.  Just be aware that others responding to your question might be coming at it from a very different place.

Good points. I did try to clean up the LoC images to match what came out of the printing presses but I guess most just love acid-tanning, scratches, stains, fading etc. The main technical issue is whether the original printing paper was pure white. If they were not "pure" white, then the "remove color cast" command over-lightened everything. In the right pic, I presumed the white area in the Paramount logo was pure white.

http://moviepostercollectors.guide/MPC_Showcase_Library_of_Congress.html





*****

PM's pics of Frankie were ridiculously darker than real life, that's for sure. 8)

Under 2 regular light bulbs -no adjustments:



The "prince of darkness" - PM's photo:


Offline Dr Bill

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 08:16:55 PM »
As mentioned above it depends who is taking the photos and for what purpose.  Most of the photos we dig up and post around here originally come from auction archives.  In that case I'm glad they don't manipulate the image any more than they already do. Consistency is the key.  If you are selling two posters and the paper has darkened on one, the photos better reflect that -- and hopefully be consistent across the whole site.

Yes, this is the only way to get an accurate, consistent photo -- include a color card in every photo and adjust exposure and color temp in post to the same levels every time.

Mel, your use of any sort of "auto-adjust" setting will give different results for every single photo.

The software can't possibly know the "correct" brightness level, so it instead bases it's calculations off the image itself, same for color temp.  Even if you took 2 photos from the same auction house that were shot at the same time and post-processed in exactly the same way -- if one was a white background poster and one was a full bleed dark background poster, the "auto-adjust" algorithms would treat them much, much differently. 

At that point you might be more pleased with the look of the posters for online use, but it probably no longer accurately represent the physical item. Based on your clean-up jobs of the Library of Congress posters, I don't image that is your intent anyway, though, so it shouldn't be an issue.  Just be aware that others responding to your question might be coming at it from a very different place.

One frame of the color card will suffice before a series of photos IF the exposure (f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO) is not changed, the lighting intensity or flash setting remains the same, and the light source-to-subject distance remains constant. Light intensity drops off at the inverse square of distance, so doubling the distance of the light source from the subject means one quarter the light on the subject. When any of these variables have to be adjusted, I retake a frame of the color card just before the new exposure.

Of course, if you really want to get picky, it depends on the color space of the original photo. When raw files in ProPhotoRGB are converted to sRGB jpgs for web display, all bets are off. But you probably don't want to go there...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:30:52 PM by Dr Bill »

guest4955

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Re: "Fixing" Light Levels in MP Images?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2018, 11:33:50 AM »
I am reminded again of EMP's inexplicable (inexcusable?) under-lighting of its MPs:

Image from http://www.impawards.com/2017/logan_ver3_xxlg.html vs. EMP:



20% underlit:





I emailed Bruce twice about this ... [crickets]