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Pardon, May I Reposition Your Eye? It’s Slightly Out Of Focus

June 21, 2011

I wanted to do a tribute to 1960s era pro golfer Mason Rudolph who died in April, 2011, at age 76. His thick-framed eyeglasses made him look like an accountant, but he was one of the most consistent players on the tour: he made the cut in 409 out of 430 career starts, and once went 105 consecutive tournaments without hitting a ball out of bounds. Funny to think golf pros once looked like average guys.

I’ll do a future post on the tribute illustration itself. This post involves preliminary work. I could only find a single fuzzy B&W close-up of Mason Rudolph. I needed to clean it up and enhance it. Scroll down to see the step-by-step sequence.

The original photo was a grayscale image at 300 dpi. I made a copy, and changed the mode to RGB. I sharpened the photo using Unsharp Mask, then applied a red Photo Filter (color adjustment). I always duplicate the layer (image) before sharpening or applying a color adjustment.

1960s era PGA Tour golf pro Mason Rudolph compare showing original B&W photo and sharpened colorized enhanced photo

I wanted Mason’s eyeglasses to be a prominent part of the tribute illustration. For
that reason, I needed to build a new pair that I could easily manipulate. I began by carefully cloning out the original glasses in the colorized photo. I used the Clone tool with a small soft brush– about 10 pixels. Then I used a soft Brush set to Watercolor, opacity roughly 28%, flow roughly 24%, to smooth and blend the cloned areas, most noticeably on his left cheek.PGA Tour golf pro Mason Rudolph compare showing photos before and after I cloned out his eyeglasses

At this point, I noticed his right eye seemed to be out of focus. I decided to fix it. I
used the Pen tool to select the pupil, and moved it onto a separate layer. I used the Eyedropper to sample nearby color, and brushed a line of this color over the white
of the eye. Then I moved the pupil back into position, nudging it slightly to the left. I
used the Pencil to add a single pixel of white to the pupil– and suddenly the eyes sprang sharply into focus. PGA Tour golf pro Mason Rudolph compare showing photos before and after I modified the position of the pupil in his right eye

I found a nice photo of some old-fashioned, heavy black-framed glasses. I sharpened the image using Unsharp Mask, then applied a Levels adjustment to deepen the blacks and eliminate most of the grays. I used the Pen tool to select, then delete the area inside the two sequence showing how I was able to extract the front of a pair of black thick-framed eyeglasses from a yellowish photo

I also needed a stem piece, and for this I used a second photo. My Levels adjustment failed to eliminate all the yellow, so I desaturated the image. Then I used the Pen tool
to select out the stem sequence showing how I was able to extract the stem piece from a photo of eyeglasses using Photoshop's Pen tool and several color adjustments

I pasted the glasses and the stem piece onto the Mason image, putting them on separate layers. I needed to make the lower part of the glasses translucent.

I selected this area and then placed it on its own layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Control-J). I discovered I could achieve the translucent effect by changing the blending mode of this new layer to Color Burn, and lowering the opacity.

I used the Transform tools (Rotate and Distort) to bend the stem piece into position. I had to fine-tune the “fit” with some careful nudges using Photoshop’s Liquify sequence showing how I was able to add a pair of eyeglasses in Photoshop to a photo of PGA golf professional Mason Rudolph

Here’s a compare showing the original B&W photo and the final enhanced compare of old B&W photo of golf pro Mason Rudolph to enhanced colorized photo with eye correction and replacement eyeglasses

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mia permalink
    June 21, 2011 12:17 PM

    Golly, Mark – what a cool and intricate process!


    • June 21, 2011 6:19 PM

      Yes, all those years in med school finally paid off, despite my cutting all my classes… : )

      Thanks, as ever, Mia, for your kind support!


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