texas school

texas school

Texas School

The Best Little Photography School in the World

I spent last week in Addison Texas attending Texas School. This was my first time at this week-long orgy of photography education. It is intense. You spend a week with a single instructor getting a deep dive into their techniques in creativity. It was a blast.

The class I choose to attend was with Richard Sturdivant. (Check out Richard’s work and his tool shop) Sturdevant brings an artist and graphic design background to create composite images that transcend photography. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement. Richard’s use of tools in Photoshop is an eye-opening experience. New tools. New techniques. New ways of looking at the world to enhance reality into fantasy with a hyper-realistic look.

Here is an example of one of the projects which the class worked on.

finished imageMy finished piece from the class project.

A photo session was shown using MoLights which can change the way you photograph subjects that have movement. A post will follow specifically about that. In the photo session, the model was asked to perform, and these lights fired as fast as the camera could fire. With my Lumix G9 that means twelve frames per second. NO misses!

Photos were made of a couple of models in a period dress, and stock files were shared. Each student worked with the images with a base of instruction but each finished piece produced was different. It’s kinda like when you give ten photographers the same subject, and you’ll end up with ten different interpretations.

Below see some of the working pieces from the project. There were tons more, but you get the idea.

model one imagemodel two image


backgroundLook at the final image and see how many elements were added from the image directly above.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

retouching old photo

OK this was a tough one.

My almost ninety year old client wants to use this image of her sister in a book about her life. Does that give you an idea of how old this photo is??

Oh yeah, can you please remove the ink?

original photo scan

This is the original scanned photo for repair. I make a safety scan to preserve the original before attempting any rehab on a photo

Can Photoshop do the whole job?

So off to the Internet to see how other people have conquered this problem. What did we do before the Internet? I found this suggestion to use hand sanitizer and a Cue-Tip to help remove the ink from the photo without destroying it. I made the scan above as a safety measure in case the idea didn’t pan out we at least would have the original to work with. My first thought was I might be able to see through the ink by working the Channels in Photoshop. But, it turns out the ink was solidly applied. I could rescue a little detail but not enough to see her hair.

To the sanitizer!

So it’s time to try the hand sanitizer. I had some Purell hand sanitizer ‘Refreshing Gel’ that I use when traveling and thought it would be better than straight liquid. And, I was right. Being in gel form allowed gentle application without too much moisture hitting the photo. Please note that this is a resin coated print which allowed this. I believe if this was a fiber print I would not have had near as much success.

scan after ink removal

Scan of the print after as much ink as possible had been removed.
(note: I made safety scans throughout the process on a regular basis of ink removal each time I acquired more detail)

Back to Photoshop (to the Rescue!)

With as much ink removed as possible enough detail has bee revealed to begin the process of restoration. Removing scratches, age spots, restoring color, retouching out the rest of the blue ink involved various tools including the Rubber Stamp (clone) Tool, Patch Tool, Spot Healing Brush, Dodge & Burn Layers, **NIK Silver FX Pro 2, **NIK Color FX 4, Add Noise and more.

finished image

Here’s the final image.

Yours in Creative Photography,   Bob

PS – **NIK software is now owned by GOOGLE. The whole NIK Suite of plug-ins is now available for only $149. If you own any of the individual programs and have the serial number GOOGLE will give you the rest of the suite at no charge.