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No Los Olvido
|Photo Collage portraits of family created using Photoshop. The portraits are 11x14" printed on Hawk Mountain Art Papers Osprey Smooth on an Epson 4000 using a custom paper profile created by Cathy's Profiles.
The first two images are the two final photo collages. While the "base" photographs used in the collages are the same, each collage contains 3 unique photographs of my sisters as young children--the collages were created for my nieces and nephews.
Following the collages are the individual photographs showing the original scans and the final corrected image (some intermediate work images are also shown). There is also a brief tutorial on working with scanned handwritten text. S
See also Remembrance 2 (will open in a new window) for the photo collage using images of my younger sister.
|The following are images of my Cuban great-grandparents Pedro and Maria Sans. The first two images show the wonderful original "photo" cards (unfortunately somewhere along the line someone cut Pedro's card) followed by scans of the handwritten text on the back of the "photo" cards and while the front of these full sized card were not used in the collage, I thought they were too interesting not to be shown.|
|As you can see in the following images of the card backs, the original scans (left) barely show the handwritten text. The images on the right are after doing a Levels Adjustment layer, a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer (with the "monochrome" option checked to convert to greyscale) and an additional Levels Adjustment layer. While I was pleased to see the text shown more fully, I thought I might be able to do better.|
|Below, you can see the final cardback text images. I sepia toned the greyscale images (above right) as follows:
1. Image > Mode > Greyscale
2. Image > Mode > Duotone using a custom duotone of Ink1=EB8B23 (Sepia 1), Ink2=000000 (Sepia 2)
3. Image > Mode > RGB
4. Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with Saturation=40%
Next, using the Magic Wand tool (Tolerance=15, Contiguous checked), I carefully selected the text ("Pedro", later "Octobre..." and "Recibe...") using the Shift key to add to the intial selection.
I then went into Quick Mask refining the selection creating a very tight selection mask.
In areas where part of a letter was missing, using the Eyedropper tool, I sampled existing text and using the Brush tool, I carefully filled in the missing letter area.
Each completed mask was saved (Select > Save Selection). The first time I did this, it took me about 40 minutes to get the mask I wanted; however, other text areas took me a much shorter time--about 10-15 minutes.
With the final mask loaded, I did a ctrl-j which put the selection on a new layer. I then changed the Blend mode of the new layer to Mulitply. See the final images below--note, the white areas are actually transparent in the working files.
|A rough translation of the text on the left is:
"Receive (I send) this remembrance as a sign (show) of my love for you"
Using the intimate/familial you of "de tu" (vs. "usted"). Signed "Nanita"--my great-grandmother Maria Sans--and sent to her daughter Marianna Sans (my grandmother).
|Other scanned text didn't require as much recovery work but I did do some modification as needed. The first one below roughly translates to "To my beloved wife M. Sans" (Marianna Sans, my grandmother) signed "D. Alfonso" (Domingo Alfonso, my grandfather). The last one below roughly translates to "To my friends, I dedicate this photograph that we won't forget/will remember [each other]" signed by Hortensia Menedez (a close friend of my grandmother Marianna Sans.). This last text area was modified so that it fit on two lines to better fit the collage.|
|The following show the original scans (all scans 600ppi/dpi at 150%) and corrected images. There are also some intermediate images showing the Channel Mixer corrected version prior to sepia toning.
In general, the first step after scanning is to correct the yellowish color cast by placing 2 Color Sampler points--one where the image should be white and one where the image should be black. With the Info palette open (shows the RGB values for each sampler point) and using a Levels Adjustment layer, the white sample point is adjusted first by selected the channel with the lowest value and moving the white input level slider (rightmost Levels slider) so that it matches the channel with the highest value. The channel with the next lowest value is then selected and the process is repeated.
For the black sample point, the channel with highest value is selected and the black input slider (leftmost Levels slider) is moved so that it matches the channel with the lowest value. The channel with the next highest value is then selected and the process is repeated. I usually click "OK" and then add another Levels Adjustment layer to tweak the exposure because it gives me a bit more flexibility.
I then added a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer using the "monochrome" option to fully greyscale the image after checking individual channels in the Channels Palette to see which channel would be most useful as the base for the greyscale image. It did occur to me to just try using the Channel Mixer adjustment layer initially, bypassing the color cast removal, but I've found--for these images at least--the I get a better end result by removing the color cast and then using Channel Mixer. Also, for images that did not require a color cast removal, I used a Levels Adjustment layer to adjust the exposure before then using a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer to greyscale the image.
Once I have an acceptable greyscaled image, I then start cleaning the image using the Healing Brush (wonderful and indispensible tool!). I've shown a close-up of the before and after on the Pedro Sans image.
The last step in the process is to sepia tone the image using the same RGB > Greyscale > custom DuoTone > RGB mode conversion process described above when working with text. Generally, I sepia toned only the older images.
The final photocollage has a top layer which is a copy of the background layer (created via a custom pattern stamp from the back of the Pedro Sans cardback which was duplicated with the duplicated layer blend mode set to Multiply). This top layer's blend mode was set to Color, 50% opacity which gives an overall sepia tone to the entire image.
|Above: My maternal great grandfather Pedro Sans, my great-grandmother Maria Sans, my maternal grandfather Domingo Alfonso, my maternal grandmother Marianna Sans Alfonso (pictured outside my parents quarters at Gunter Field, Montgomery, AL)
Left: My mother, Esther, and her brothers--Dominguin (left) and Octavio (right).
|Left: My mother, Esther Alfonso, as a child.|
Below: My mother, Esther Alfonso, in her nurse's uniform--Ft. Knox in 1942.
|Above: My parents Sam and Esther LaBarbera--my uncle Link on the right.|
|Left: My parents with my two older sisters Maggie and Rita (picture taken at March Field, CA)|
|Images of my older sister Rita--used in the collage for her and her daughters.|
|Above: Rita (3 years) and below: Rita, 2nd birthday party|
|Left: My mother and Rita (in front of my parents quarters at Gunter Field, Montgomery, AL)|
|Images of my older sister Maggie--used in the collage for her and her sons.|
|Above: Maggie (1951).|
|Above: My sister Rita (left), Terrie (me!) and my sister Maggie (right) 1950(?).
Below: Maggie, my mother and Rita
Below: my sisters and myself--from left to right: Rita, Terrie, Mary and Maggie