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Photochrome...

Dec 16, 2013, 00:42
Post: #1
Photochrome...
I've been fooling with trying to reproduce the Photochrome look in contemporary photos.

Photochrome is an old (invented in the 1880s) method of colorizing black and white photos. It's also called Photochrom, under which name there's a Wikipedia entry in the unlikely event there's anyone interested. I guess all photos were hand-tinted before that but they had to come up with something else because the young women were dying from illnesses caused by the toxic tints and "tipping" their brushes with their lips, like the radium watch girls. And women think they have it tough nowadays, HA!

You used to see used a lot in old postcards, the ones on that heavy paper that almost feels like canvas. It's a real distinctive look and here's a link to a page with a bunch of them:

http://reelfoto.blogspot.com/2011/10/old...troit.html

So I've been trying to more-or-less imitate that look using Gimp. Part of the problem is that I don't have enough color-sense or experience to precisely identify the elements of the "look". What I came up with is using two Gimp tools on two different copies of the background image, Retinex and then in G'mic under Colors: Sepia. And then I reduce the opacity of both layers to 50%. Here's what it looks like when I start:


   


And then after I fooled with it:

   

I know this isn't "there" yet, but I think maybe it's headed in the right direction.

The thing is, both Retinex and G'mic Sepia have a several sliders and I don't know what they do, so any advice you can give in that regard would be appreciated. Or anything else you can suggest, especially in regards to exactly what it is about Photochromes that results in that "look". And I have read the Gimp Docs for Retinex but kinda gave up at "how to allocate scale values between min scale (sigma 2.0). I couldn't find the equivalent for G'mic Sepia.

The original process involved individually applying the various colors to the image one at a time, so I thought of maybe reducing the number of colors with Posterize... or something. One thing I did notice is that green is a big component in a lot of them and there's the green/bayer array/human color perception thing going on so maybe I should look at that, huh?

I know there's a Script-fu plug-in for Photochrom, but I want to kind of figure it out for myself so I have more flexibility and I don't know enough about using Script-fu scripts to try it. Maybe I should. Oh hell, I don't know what to do! Take a nap, maybe.

Here's a another one I fooled with, before and after

   

   

All these images are too small to be useful so this post is essentially useless but I've already wasted enough time trying to get them the right size. There's GOTTA be an easier way than either of these multi-step processes [either upload to imgur and mess with the code or shrink the thing first then attach that]to get an image of the appropriate size into a post. It's hard to express how frustrated I feel after spending over an hour on this post which should have taken no longer than fifteen minutes and realizing that it's nothing but crap. My frustration results from having to learn a new convention for EVERY DAMN FORUM! Flickr-DPReview-Nikonites etc. they all have different posting regimes. A-A-A-A-A-a-a-a-a-g-g-g-h-h-h-h!!! [sound of head smacking into desk!] It's like reading a newspaper with every page printed in a different language or every brand of car having the controls in different locations, left, right, middle, front, back, center. Read the series on Ars about why people hate computers, he's an IT guy and he nails it.

Whew! I feel better now.
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Dec 16, 2013, 04:21 (This post was last modified: Dec 16, 2013 04:59 by iForStyle007.)
Post: #2
RE: Photochrome...
Nice! The effect in the link kinda reminds me of colored pencil or water color.

You did a better job with the two photos on the top (second one)

I have an idea with c2g and layer modes. I'll do a little playing around then hopefully post it up with the steps I did.

In the meantime, I think you actually did better then an add-on script: http://registry.gimp.org/node/24197 (either that or their example is par)

EDIT:
K here's my try, turned out nice IMO, its a similar HDR effect
(click for full resolution)
   

My Settings:
1. Create a duplicate layer of your image
2. (at a recommended resolution of 800x600 or less)
Go to "Tools > GEGL Operation > c2g (color to gradient)"
3. First, click off []Preview (it renders realtime)
set sliders to:
Radius: 109
samples: 10
iterations: 27
click preview back on or "ok"
4. Duplicate the original image, put it on the top.
Change the layer mode to "Color"
5. Go to "Colors > Brightness & Contrast"
bring contrast down (to the left) for washed out colors
or up (to the right) to exaggerate colors.

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than fear of failure." BC
[Image: 29uocaf.png]
iFS007 tut vids on YT ~ auto color B&W landscape tut
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Dec 16, 2013, 11:52 (This post was last modified: Dec 16, 2013 11:54 by rich2005.)
Post: #3
RE: Photochrome...
Not going to reinvent the wheel.
The pre-made script. http://registry.gimp.org/node/24197 mentioned above
and the script in action
http://iffles.com/2010/03/17/gimp-script...hotochrom/

A more hands on approach and there are some links relating to the process

http://www.flickr.com/groups/gimpusers/d...670657078/
Not as complicated as it looks, maybe too much yellow in this but that could be adjusted.
screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/oSGg21k.jpg

** https://www.gimp-forum.net/ now answering questions**
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Dec 16, 2013, 13:55
Post: #4
RE: Photochrome...
Ifor: GEGL! Why didn't I think of that... probably because I hardly know anything about it. Just way cool, dude, as my kid would say. I knew I needed something like c2g, but I had no idea what I was looking for. Thanks.

Rich: The additional links are a big help. I was feeling kind of lost in the wilderness with this. I had no idea others might be interested in it. The iffles thing in particular. I didn't realize the script was so flexible, that makes a real difference. Big help, thanks.

And I apologize for the rant. I sound like my old man fifty years ago, trying to adjust our first color TV. Ugh! I should see about getting some anti-psychotic medication... or moving to Colorado.
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Dec 16, 2013, 21:32
Post: #5
RE: Photochrome...
(Dec 16, 2013 11:52)rich2005 Wrote:  Not going to reinvent the wheel.
The pre-made script. http://registry.gimp.org/node/24197 mentioned above
and the script in action
http://iffles.com/2010/03/17/gimp-script...hotochrom/

A more hands on approach and there are some links relating to the process

http://www.flickr.com/groups/gimpusers/d...670657078/
Not as complicated as it looks, maybe too much yellow in this but that could be adjusted.
screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/oSGg21k.jpg

Wow, thank you so much for the question and answer
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