View Full Version : Help fixing burn out in the facial expresion

25th February 2008, 07:51 PM
Hi all


I took the picture through glass at edinburgh zoo las year. I was very pleased with the mood the jaguar was caught it, he was yawning but it shows a more sinister and cold side to it. The problems i had were reflections from the flash and the burn out around the mouth area. I cloned up the reflections and ok it looks a little suspect but it took hours to do and it passes for my needs, is there any way i can bribg back the facial detail tha has gone?

Thanks for your advice


25th February 2008, 10:25 PM
Hi Steve,

It's going to be very difficult to rescue this one I think. The detail just isn't there around the areas you identify. The only way round this I can see is more jiggery pokery with the cloning tool. Maybe parts of the good side of the head could be copied and flipped to recreate some of the missing detail on the other side. More cloning around the top of the head might be possible. Even more problems arise because the eye on the good side is very dull and dead looking and the eye is almost non-existant on the other side. I can see why you want to try to rescue this shot as it does have great potential, but I am struggling to think of how the problems can be eliminated. You need more cat from somewhere to copy and paste. This cat needs some surgery. Have you got any shots of the same scene which could be copied only for the problem areas?

27th February 2008, 08:20 AM
Hi Steve,
I can see what you mean about the attitude of the cat making it special and wanting to save it and in my opinion its worth a little extra work.

The first thing to do after your work on the reflection is to de-fog it to bring back mid tone detail that shooting through the glass has reduced. This is simply using unsharp mask set at a low amount and a high radius.

Next using a blank layer set to darken and the clone tool you can take care of the burn out on the chest and rim of the head, , the part to the left of the jaw is in fact a small part of the body and can be cloned out. The small amount of whiskers and face in that area are IMHO unrecovarable with out looking false but do not detract to much in my opinion.

You can recover the eye by duplicating the layer and changing it to screen mode and adding a layer mask and filling it with black then using white gradualy paint detail back and finaly add a blank layer and using a soft edged brush put a spot of white in the eye and adjust the opacity of this layer to get the right blend.

It actually takes longer to type it ( I'm a one fingered typer) then do it. This took me ten minutes in Elements 6. Hope you do not mind me borrowing your image to demonstrate, I will delete it if you wish.



27th February 2008, 08:32 AM
Good job Paul :D

27th February 2008, 08:50 AM
Good job Paul :D


Regards. Barr1e

27th February 2008, 03:18 PM

Thankyou for your excellent advice Rob and Paul. Wow the difference is stark and much improved. I have other pictures of the cat but it is lounging about looking as playful and homely as my own cat at home, this was the only picture that had an edge to it. It didnt help that it was taken on the ZD 18-180 so it was never going to be the sharpest. I shall gt to work and try save it.