figure 1 - the central photoshop image has had surround pieces of imagery added using layers and filters.
figure 2 - this image portrays a cat escaping the wild and out of the painting and into your home using layers as shown in fig 1.
figure 3 - my retouching area showing graphic tablet
figure 4 - expression 10000 XL Graphic Art Scanner
figure 5 - images awaiting copy work.
figure 6+7 - photographing images from the copystand
When restore images or creating artwork digitally it is important to understand that Photoshop (the industry standard software) uses a format called layers. Layers are used to build up the image to create your final piece of work. Layers live in the layers pallete and can all be be individually merged or edited. (Figure 1 right) shows not all but most of the layers used to make up the central completed piece of work (figure 2 right).
In the layers palette each layer falls in the order as your eye would see. The background image is the bottom layer in the palette ending with (Figure 1 right) the top text layer. In this example the cat on the sofa or the small text layer placed over the sofa could also be the top layers as they are not being obscured by any other part of the image.
For working with compositions as in (Figure 1-2 right) each layer must be worked into the artwork using blending and screening techniques, colour adjustments and filters.
Most images brought into this composition required adjustments with colour balance, hue and saturation. As you can see in (Figure 1 right) there are a variety of colours. Additionally some image layers require background removal, using path clipping, resizing and sharpening.
This client wanted to achieve with this composition
a cross over between realism and art. Representing his wonderful felines in the best way, with exact ideas of what he wanted to achieve. This image portrays a cat escaping the wild and out of the painting and into your home.
The Digital Touch office is a very peaceful environment most of the time. Image editing requires a significant amount of concentration and patience this is the best surroundings to work in without distractions. While working on images I work using two monitors as I may be reading email instructions or multi-tasking between two programs. When working with large format images I may have all the palettes displayed on one monitor and the piece of work on the other to maximise the working area.
My main monitor is surrounded by a monitor hood. Monitor hoods block out a lot of external light and have a non reflective black lining, this one is homemade (Figure 3 right) to my specifications and does an excellent job. It really would not be good working with images while light is beaming onto the screen.
Retouching and restoration require detail so a Wacon Graphic Tablet in replacement of the mouse is essential (Figure 3 right) this enables precision while selecting sections or using palette tools, paint brushes etc. (The larger the graphic tablet the better).
When working on clients images it is best to start by saving the scan or emailed image as a PSD (photoshop Document) and if I do nothing else at this point I always duplicate the image in the layers palette and work on the duplicated layer.
This way at least I have the origin to fall back on.
All of our image are scanned using a Epson Expression 10000 XL Graphic Art Scanner,
(Figure 4 right) this scanner provides superb quality scans and can scan up to A3 with an output resolution of 2400dpi meaning images can be enlarged. High end print resolution is 300 dpi. "dpi" means " dots per inch" and basically this means the printer will print 300 dots of colour in every square inch of paper. As our scanner is able to scan at such a high resolution we are able to not only scan a physical image up to A3 we can provide a much larger digital image. This can then be used for large format prints, canvas print or acrylic prints.
Often with restoration images are quite old and frail or sometimes printed on textured paper sometimes with a honeycomb effect with simply will not scan. No amount of editing can remove this effect once scanned. At Digital Touch we use a Kaiser Copystand with mounted camera (Figure 5/6 and below) to digitally reproduce images by photographing them, this is very effective in the digital reproduction of old images. Our copystand has four individual lamps which can be angled in any direction. A high end digital camera is needed for this and must be between a 12 to 16 megapixel ranges to capture the detail required without having focus issues.
With images which arrive at Digital Touch which are in pieces and can not be scanned adequately. With the copystand they would be rephotographed individually and reassembled digitally.
At Digital Touch we recommend that you send your images for restoration by recorded delivery.
They will be scanned or rephotographed and returned immediately, leaving us to get on with the restoration work.
All client work is backed up onto an external hardrive, we hold templates here and back up images for our clients when needed.
Contact us today to discuss your photo retouch requirements and get a free quote.