Luminosity Masking for Colourising an Image

For the uniform and dress, I created a [Shadows], [Mid-tones] and [Highlights] layer (Same Hue and Luminosity, only Saturation is varied).  The Blend mode on each layer is set to [Soft Light].

I then created a mask for both the dress and uniform and used it on the [Mid-tones] layer

Using a B&W channel, I created a “Luminosity” mask for the [Highlights] and inverted it for the [Shadows]

Then I used an inverted [Mid-tones] mask to fill in the blacks for the [Highlights] and [Shadows] masks.Following that, I varied the [Opacity] on each layer, to get the right balance.

The couple are my wife’s Uncle and Aunt.  He survived being a POW in Changi and Japan.

He passed a few years back and I colourised this as a present for her 90th birthday.


A Sticky Situation …

Lately, I’ve had a run of people with photos that have got wet and stuck to the glass in the frame.  Here’s what I tell them:

Before trying to remove it from the glass, it needs to be scanned (or expertly photographed), still stuck to the glass, at a high resolution.  Unless you have the proper equipment, it’s probably best done by a professional (like me).

If you can’t drop it off, send it by Express Post, Registered Post, or Courier, putting the picture between two very rigid pieces of cardboard / art board (to avoid glass breakage and even more damage).

Once it’s scanned, the damage can be properly assessed and restoration undertaken.

When all that’s done, you could attempt removing the picture from the glass. 

It’s probably best to Google for detailed instructions, which will probably involve soaking it in tepid water, till it “falls” off the glass, then carefully drying it between towels, firmly held flat.

Gravy Train

Growing up, we had a saying for (good) things that happened, unexpectedly, while you were doing something else.  When that happened, it was called “Gravy Train”.

That’s what happens when you work on old photos, you get to have a glimpse at events in someone else’s life and learn a little more about them.

Recently, a Client brought in a binder full of old (c.1930) B&W negatives, that his Father had taken (and developed) as a teenager.  Photography was his hobby.

I got to see parts of Sydney, I’ve never seen before and at a time, long before I got here.

The “Gravy Train” (bonus) was learning a whole lot more about my Client and his life, at the same time forming a much closer relationship than just the business side of things.

My Client (John) was thrilled with the results and I felt pretty good at being able to “make his day”.  He got back a lot of his Dad’s history, that he knew little about.

A good outcome, all round.

Where it all began!

In the late ’50s, PHOTOCRAFT-ENTERPRISES was formed in Georgetown, ON, Canada, by me (Al Darby) and Bill “Wilfie” Hardman.

We were aspiring Photo Journalists, with Wilfie filling the role of Photographer and I was the Journalist / Darkroom Wizard.

Over the years, we both followed different career paths. Wilfie stayed in Canada and I migrated to Australia. Sadly Wilfie is no longer with us. I’ve always been interested in photography and decided that my hobby (and passion), like Phoenix, should rise up from the ashes and so, PhotoCraft was born.