Image Optimization

By  optimization,  I mean getting the most out of an image based on the intended use.

At top right is the before and after picture of a sweet lady on her birthday. Problem was, the background is so well focused that it detracted attention from HER.

Furthermore, she appears to have flowers growing out of her head. The retouched version takes care of that. Sometimes, a photo is so good, you wish it were a painting. Click the picture to see the result.

Retouching is also good for practical reasons, such as to remove power lines from a picture of a building or monument. You can’t pull the traffic light out of the ground or take down the power lines, so digital retouching comes to the rescue to erase the offending material and reveal what is behind it. On the lower right is a  “before and after” comparison of a wing of a church that was obscured by power lines and a traffic light. Click either image for a high resolution view of the before and after finished project

Like a good haircut, retouching shouldn’t look like it happened. See if you can spot all the before and after changes we made to the customer’s shop building at top left (Click image).

Aside from practical or aesthetic purposes, digital photo manipulation can create images which appear to be real, but can’t possibly be: an effective way to demonstrate doubtful or ridiculous claims or simply to get attention. The images above left are good examples -click them for enlarged views of Rebel headed out for his vacation, and something that looks like it belongs in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” I’m told my picture should be on my web site -so there it is.

Another problem arises when you have the images you need but they have become distorted or worn from years of reproduction and they exist on paper only. In such cases, we can restore the work to a  clean  image and give you a digital copy which may be used over and over without deteriorating. Here is a recent example for AAA Appliance, which had years ago commissioned an artist to draw a  sick  refrigerator. The image on the left came from the business card. As you can see, it is blurry in areas of dense detail. The ice bag on top of the refrigerator might be mistaken for a pizza! The one in the middle is the same image after being cleaned up. It is also transparent, so it will pick up whatever is in the background (such as the paint work on a vehicle) and not appear to be glued over the underlying material. The yellow and green discs are solid, behind the art. Art for the web has special considerations of its own. The refrigerator web image on the right has been given a three dimensional appearance and a small file size. Click the image for a larger version to disclose details. Click here to visit the customer site.

Restoration can be applied to text as well as art. By the same token that a faded and discolored old photo of aunt Nellie can be restored to a more natural appearance, so also can old documents be made sharper and more legible, and, if necessary, even converted into actual text files that may be used in a word processing program. See the DataBlasting page for more on converting text to data.

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