Join Neil Rhodes for an in-depth discussion in this video Correcting the faded areas with Shadows/Highlights, part of Photo Restoration: Damaged Black-and-White Images.
- In this lesson, we'll be correcting the faded areas with the Shadow and Highlights from the Image Adjustment Menu. We've got an image here that needs some shadow and highlight adjustment. At the top of the image, there's a dark patch by the window, and by the feet of this gentleman, there's a large shadow area we need lightening. His suit is a little too dark, and this lady's coat is very bright at the top and at the bottom. We need to lighten and darken the appropriate areas to make this image a more even tone. When it was taken, I'm sure it wasn't stained and darkened like it is now, so we're aiming to put it back exactly how it was.
There are many methods in Photoshop to adjust shadows and highlights. We could be using dodge and burn for the shadows and highlights, or we could be using masks, but in this case the best way to adjust the general areas of dark and light is with image adjustment and shadows and highlights, so let's have a look and see how that works. Image, Adjustments, Shadows, and Highlights. What we're presented with is a load of sliders and some presets. The presets that Adobe inserts aren't always going to be correct for any given image, so we're going to need to adjust those for our own image.
We got a Preview button here that we can see how those settings are affecting the image, and we'll start with Shadows. By adjusting the sliders, we can brighten the shadows here or darken them. We don't know what these settings are going to be for any given image, so, by trial and error, we'll know what's good. So the only way we can find out is to actually use them, so let's carry on going, tweaking the Tone and the Amount and Radius as we go and finding out what works best.
By adjusting the Tone, it gives a wider area of what's affected, and we don't want too much. We only want to really adjust the darker areas, so that seems to work well. Moving on to highlights of the lady's jacket here. Add the Tone, gentle amounts, seeing what works best. We're aiming for an image that looks like it hasn't been altered, adjusted, or that's overly sharpened, or looks like it's got weird image effects going on. We want it to look as natural as possible.
So I think we're all right there, the Highlights. Let's have a quick preview. Yes, we've regained some shadow detail and highlight detail there. There's a Color slider here for if we were using a color image. There's no color in our image this time around. The Midtones, that adjusts the midtone contrast, and we can have a look at that. By sliding it one way or the other, it does make a difference. I don't really want to adjust that too much. I think it's quite happy as that is. So let's have a look and see how things have gone on there.
Clearly, there's some dramatic improvement on the man's suit. It hasn't corrected all of the shadows. There's still a few up here that we can correct later on, but that's another step towards getting this image back to the way we need it to be. Let's OK those changes, and we can move on to the next lesson.