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 Post subject: Fixing Pictures - Section 2 Gimp - by DreadedOne509
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:44 pm 
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gsmitheman wrote:
Fixing Pictures - Section 2 Gimp
Created by DreadedOne509

This picture was taken several years ago of two members of my squad in northern
Iraq. We had just finished constructing a 2-man fighting position (foxhole) around
the perimeter of an adjacent airbase, and they were taking a much needed break.

The picture itself was taken by a 35mm disposable camera with I believe ASA 400
film. There are black marks in the sky portion of the picture are the result of me labeling all of the pictures with a black ink marker on the backside, and then stacking them in a picture box. The ink had not fully cured before I did this, so almost every single picture in the box (around 300) has these marks on them…


I am using The GIMP 2 (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) with can be downloaded
from: http://www.gimp.org/ for free. Be sure to get the appropriate one for your operating system.

I scanned this into my computer at 32-bit color, 200 dpi resolution at an original dimension of 4 x 6 inches (102 x 151 mm) using the .tif file extension.

This is a simple photo to fix, it is only color washed and has the easy to fix black ink marks. The first step is to use the eye dropper tool to get the proper color of the sky set in the color palette. I will use the eye dropper tool several times, to sample near each mark, this will take into account the very subtle color gradient of the sky as I move from left to right across the picture. If I were to take just one sample for instance to the extreme left, and try to use that specific color of light blue on the far right it will look like a blotch of off-color.


I’ve highlight the tool itself (eyedropper), the area of the sky I sampled from, the color change in the color swatch area (far left, under tool palette) and the color picker applet in the picture.

Now that I have the proper color I will select the airbrush tool. In the tool properties area I will set opacity to 45.5 percent, and fuzzy circle brush profile. This will blend better in an area that does not have crisp definition.


I’ve zoomed into the area that I will be working on at an increase zoom level of 200%. I’ve outlined the area, this shows the results of the black marks after some light passes with the airbrush tool set at 45.5% opacity. Notice you can still see faint marks. I will now use the smudge tool (also set at about 50% opacity) to blend the blue sky over the remaining black marks, going from left to right (horizontally).



One area of black marks gone, 4 or 5 more to go. Black marks all gone.


Next up is to give the picture some vibrancy. This will help take care of the washed-out look. For this I am going to use the Hue-Saturation tool. I chose the following settings to un-flatten the picture a bit.


Hue -11
Lightness -5
Saturation -20

Hue 8
Lightness 5
Saturation 20

Hue 8
Lightness 5
Saturation 20

Since the picture was taken on a bright summer day with very little natural contrast in a semi-monochrome environment (desert), I wanted to adjust the hue saturation to give the earth tone colors a little more depth, so I went into the negatives in the yellow spectrum. Since the sky, sandbags, boot etc were ‘cooler’ (blue and green tones) I adjusted them positively.

Final Picture


Thanks very much DreadedOne509 for showing us all another photo editor (The Gimp) and another way to eliminate problems from a picture.
Anyone who wants to give photo editing a try, now has a free option available and a preview of how it works.

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