Tutorial: Restoring Dark Images with Photoshop
      The West Group at Kabah    right reading news service

homeward bound



For this tutorial we will restore detail and overall light balance in an image of the western group at the Mayan ruins of Kabah, which are located near Santa Elena (and the better-known site of Uxmal) in the Yucatan peninsula. I like the west group because it has not been restored. Observing the jungle reclaiming the ancient city brings something of the sensation that the early explorers Stephens and Catherwood must have experienced.

The image was shot in low light at dusk. The camera was a Canon A620, handheld at 1/25 seconds, which is at the very limit of my steadiness. This enabled me to set the F-stop at 8 and get some depth of field, since I didn't want selective focus for this image. For the purpose of this tutorial I've reduced the image to a width of 500 pixels, so much of the detail is lost, but you'll get the idea. Here's the original.

original kabah west image

Our work will be nondestructive to the original image, so we'll start by duplicating the background layer.

We'll use this layer to lighten the dark areas of the image. Begin by inverting the new layer.

continue tutorial ...




page 1 <--
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6

top of page