That’s daft, Peter.
Sorry for stating the obvious here–it’s a picture you love, but you can’t find the negatives.
It’s the only copy you have and it is encased behind glass.
Siesta–Here’s a picture my sister-in-law took of the Phun boys snoozing. Those long days and nights with a new born are so much fun. I just taped the picture frame to the cupboard door in my garage. The light source is whatever daylight was coming in through the garage door and the small door.
Whenever you place a picture inside a frame with behind glass, it’s always a good idea to matte it.
Besides making your picture look better, there’s another more important reason.
If you don’t, over time, the picture will stick to the glass. Then you’ll be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
Even if you break the glass carefully with the hopes of liberating the picture underneath, bits of the picture may tear off with the shards of broken glass.
So to rescue your picture that’s behind the glass, you’ll need to copy it with your digital camera.
You could slap it on a flatbed scanner but the resolution is not going to be very good.
If your camera has the ability to shoot RAW, this would be a good time to set it to RAW to get the biggest file size as this is going into your archives.
Copy the picture
Grab your tripod and find a bright wall in a room that is painted a neutral color and use your macro lens if you have one.
A word about reflections. Glass reflect objects that are placed in front of it according to Snell’s Law of Reflection, so the trick is to shoot this picture from an angle from the side.
Stick with a neutral colored room Â because you don’t want to have a color shift and have to do more work in post production. I just shot this in my garage. The main garage door and the smaller one was open, overhead florescent Â lights are off. Camera set to daylight white balance. Try the shadow side of building icon for good measure if you like.
Macro lens and tripod sort of go hand-in-hand to remove camera shake. If you don’t have a cable release, then set the camera to self-timer. My camera has a 2-second and a 10-second delay.
When you do that, you’ll end up with a pretty funky picture. The sides of your picture will have strange angles. Don’t sweat it, this where Photoshop comes into its own as an image editor.
In Photoshop CS3
- Open your image in Photoshop. Make sure all the fields in the Options Bar is zero.
- Use Â the crop tool to just draw a marquee on your picture. If you don’t draw a marquee with the crop tool, you won’t see the option â€œPerspective.â€
- Go up to the options tool bar and check the box â€œPerspective.” Doing so allows changes the behavior of the crop tool. Instead of it being constrained, now you can drag the 4 points independently. I’m simply drawing a marquee to crop out the picture frame.
- When you Â have drawn your marquee to crop out the picture frame, go ahead and hit â€œReturnâ€ if you’re on a Mac, â€œEnterâ€ if you’re on Windows.
- What Â you’ll see next is a distorted picture which has been squeezed on the sides, but the picture frame has been removed.
- Under Photoshop menu, Image>Image Size brings up the Image size box.
- Uncheck the â€œConstrain Proportionsâ€ box but make sure to check â€Resample Imageâ€
- Change the unit of measurement from Pixels to Percentage where it says Pixel Dimensions.
- I am going to change the percentage from 100 to 80. That should correct the compressed look. Again, this is where you might need to eyeball it and try different percentages. It’s not too difficult to come up with what looks good since you can compare it against your original in the picture frame.
- That’s it. Now you have an original once again.
Before you close the file, why not fix the color Â and clone out the dust spots? Save it as a TIFF or Photoshop Document PSD.
That’s it. Next time you’re at an art gallery and you feel like copying some of the work, ah…never mind. You didn’t learn this from me.
It’s intended to save your heirloom pictures, okay? What you do with this knowledge I’ll leave you to reconcile with your clergy, rabbi, priest or whoever’s name you yell out in fear.
Those of you without photoshop can still use this. All you need to do is shoot the picture, then find a friend who has Photoshop, load up this page in a browser and follow these directions.
So get cracking and start saving those precious family pictures.
I don’t intend to include a lot of Photoshop tutorials because there are countless tutorials online. And you can always buy a book if you want to learn photoshop.Â From time to time, I may include one here, but only if I find them practical and useful.
So get busy everyone ! Save those precious memories of grandpa, pets or those dearly departed ones.