Paint Shop Curves
To see where this tutorial is going hover your mouse over the image - the change is so shocking that you may want to hang on to something so you don't fall off of your chair ...
(Mouse Over to see before and after images)
Now that's a dramatic change, isn't it?
This tutorial will show you how to achieve results like this (incidentally, this technique works exactly the same in both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro). This is one of the most useful ways to modify an image in your digital darkroom and it is well worth the time to understand how to use it.
The first step in this Paint Shop Curves tutorial is to eliminate the color cast.
When you have an image like this you will obviously have to scan it into your computer. When you are scanning make sure you scan it as an RGB image rather than black and white (you can find information about scanning an old photo here).
The reason will become clear soon enough.
I don't know how you feel about the sepia color cast but I really don't like it. For some reason it seems to make it very difficult to clean up any problems in the image - like scratches and dirt marks and folds and stuff.
The answer is to convert the image into black and white using the Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer.
Have you ever wondered how to set the Red, Green and Blue in the Channel Mixer to create the best results?
This is how to make that important decisions ...
Go to Image > Split To Channel > Split to RGB and suddenly you will have four images on the screen - the Composite RGB, the Red Channel, the Green Channel and the Blue Channel.
To make it easier to see the channels click on Windows > Tab Horizontally. Now you have a great view of the RGB plus the three channels.
This is what you will see on your screen ...
|Top Left = Blue||Top Right = Red||Bottom Left = Green||Bottom Right = RGB|
Now your job is to inspect each one of the channels in an effort to determine which one(s) you need to choose for your Channel Mixer.
With this image
with little contrast
Green Channel - somewhat better than red
Blue Channel - best contrast but a bit dark.
For the Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer I started with the following:
Green Channel - 30%
Blue Channel - 70%
After some messing about I ended up with the following numbers:
Green Channel - 15%
Blue Channel - 75%
With this result ...
Now this is a lot easier to work with, isn't it?
Now for the fun part of the Paint Shop Curves technique (as if the Channel Mixer wasn't fun) - adjusting the contrast with a Curves Adjustment Layer.
Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer - and put some points on the line like this ...
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo lets you adjust both the brightness and the contrast in your photos.
Contrast is the difference between the photo’s lightest and darkest pixels.
By applying the commands to a selection or an entire image, you can do the following: