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I can't figure out how to equalize the first image so it plays perfectly with the second. I've tried everything. It doesnt seem to involve saturation but rather something with exposure/gamma. I can't seem to find the exact trick however to equalize it well.

BAD Image/to EQUALIZE

GOOD image

This is the image with full contrast. Still seems too "saturated" but tweaking saturation doesnt achieve the desired effect.

enter image description here

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Try adjusting the contrast way up. –  MG_ Aug 20 at 10:24

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"I can't figure out how to equalize the first image so it plays perfectly with the second."

Thats because you can't. You've lost WAY too much out the windows as they are overexposed in the photo you are trying to fix. The girls shoulder is completely gone in the water reflections, all white pixels - it's a mistake photo.

However if you took the picture or have the camera original then go back to the raw file. Good cameras see more than what Photoshop processes and can get details back even if you are sloppy with the camera. Sometimes import it twice with different exposures and patch a lower exposure of the windows with a normal exposure using gradients and masking.

But if you don't care the photo is screwed up and just want colors to line up, you have to look at each color specifically. The HSV filter lets you pick channels with a combo box and adjust separately, this will get you close:

  • red channel: Hue +10, Saturation -30

  • green channel: Hue -30, Saturation -80, Lightness -50

  • cyan channel: Saturation -60

  • magenta channel: Hue +40, Saturation -30, Lightness +40

That adjustment downplays and washes out the windows so you don't see them so much; greens and the cyans turn a little more yellow and disappear. You can damage the other photo to look like that if you want.

A couple of other tricks to match is to put a gradient adjustment on the girl so that you put some red and yellow back into her. So that's another HSV layer that has a mask on it which is just a gradient stripe and add some yellow and red saturation back. Also an exposure adjustment except the opposite-darken everything except the girl, so the reverse of that mask.

Result should be like:

enter image description here

No matter what you do the windows are going to look bad though.

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Got it to an acceptable standard because of this. I hadnt discovered the HSV subchannel filters yet! Tweaked different colours using that + added a contrast layer. Thanks! –  montecruiseto Aug 21 at 6:38
    
@montecruiseto I didn't find it either for a while, I knew it was possible in other programs but thought you must have to buy a plugin or something. They hid the feature pretty well. –  Cakey Aug 21 at 10:38

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