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Cleaning up photo taken in a museum

Feb 12, 2011, 23:44
Post: #1
Cleaning up photo taken in a museum
I would be grateful if anyone could guide me to tutorials/tips on how to clean up photos taken in a museum.
i have a load of photos in which the sculpture i was intrested in was inside a glass display.This resulted in glares,reflections etc on the photos.
What i am looking to do is :
1.extract the image of the sculpture from its background and replace the old background with a white background so that i can label it individually,

2.remove the glare/reflections etc and anything to make it look better.

here is the link to one of the images:

http://img13.imageshack.us/i/img0158on.jpg/

any help much appreciated.
TIA
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Feb 13, 2011, 01:36 (This post was last modified: Feb 13, 2011 01:37 by ofnuts.)
Post: #2
RE: Cleaning up photo taken in a museum
(Feb 12, 2011 23:44)aceofspades1 Wrote:  I would be grateful if anyone could guide me to tutorials/tips on how to clean up photos taken in a museum.
i have a load of photos in which the sculpture i was intrested in was inside a glass display.This resulted in glares,reflections etc on the photos.
What i am looking to do is :
1.extract the image of the sculpture from its background and replace the old background with a white background so that i can label it individually,

2.remove the glare/reflections etc and anything to make it look better.

here is the link to one of the images:

http://img13.imageshack.us/i/img0158on.jpg/

any help much appreciated.
TIA
You should do it the other way... 1) remove the reflections and 2) extract the foreground. This said there is no magic bullet, removing these reflections is going to take some hard work (count in hours per picture), because you have to rebuild what the reflections have masked... Not for beginners, especially since every picture will have its own specific needs and possibilities, so there is no general method here.

In museums, I use a lens hood: I push gently the lens hood against the glass: 1) it makes the camera very steady (I can use very low speeds) and 2) it keeps it perpendicular to the subject (no nasty perspective distortions), and 3) it completely avoids reflections.

You can also use a polarizing filter, but it will work better if you shoot laterally, and absorbs some light, which can be scarce in museum displays.

Last, with digital cameras, there is no purpose in having the date printed on the picture. The date the picture is taken is stored in the JPEG (together with other info collectively known as the EXIF data) and all decent photographic software can manage it there. For instance, in our picture:

Code:
Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SX130 IS
Image Date: 2011-02-08 10:46:11 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 5.871mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure Time: 0.050 s (1/20)
ISO equiv: 640
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

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Feb 13, 2011, 11:45
Post: #3
RE: Cleaning up photo taken in a museum
Ofnuts,thanks for your reply.

As you would have guessed from the photo and the date stamp on it I am pretty much a beginner in photography.

Quote:1) remove the reflections and 2) extract the foreground.

Could you tell me how I would go about doing this? I am willing to put in the hours as it will help me learn GIMP as well.

kind regards
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Feb 13, 2011, 13:20
Post: #4
RE: Cleaning up photo taken in a museum
Reflection removal:
- when there is no detail, the easiest way is to clone some other part similar part with the clone tool.
- elsewhere, reflection shows mostly due do added brightness and loss of contrast (you are fortunate it's not reflection on colored elements), so it can be attenuated by selecting the area (use the scissors tool, and once you have a selection, feather it by 30-50 pixels (on your original photo)). Then use the brightness/contrast controls to obtain something close to the part without reflections. Since you have several different reflections, you have to make a selection for each.

To extract the foreground, you have the foreground extraction tool, or the scissors tool. Feather the resulting selection by 3-5 pixels.

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Feb 13, 2011, 16:39
Post: #5
RE: Cleaning up photo taken in a museum
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my query
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