Build complex toys and simple tools
by Tony Karp
Here is the original image. A picture of a tapestry at the Vatican in Rome. It was shot with a Sony DSC-F707 in "Nightshot" infrared mode. The result is overall green, somewhat underexposed. Sort of what you might see with night-vision binoculars. There is some color hiding in here if you look for it.
At this step, some of the original color was restored. I use a program called Photogenetics. It has individual adjustments for all colors -- RGB and CYMK. For each color, you can adjust the saturation or adjust the shift to the color's complement. So you have 14 sliders to play with. You can also adjust the brightness and contrast. After you find a combination you like, you can save it as a "Genotype" to be applied to other similar pictures. I have several dozen genotypes that I have created, so I just try them one after the other until I find one I like.The bad news is that Photogenetics is no longer made, and that it was only available for the PC. However, a friend of mine was able to come up with a passable restoration in Photoshop, and I'm sure that other programs can be coaxed to produce a useable result as well. (I don't use Photoshop, so I can't give you any help with this.)The important thing that this image demonstrates that pictures shot with the Nightshot mode can be restored, with a little bit of work, to show some of the original colors.
The next step is to use a photo editing program to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color rendition of the image.After that, the image is rendered into Postscript. In this form, it is no longer a bitmap, with a bunch of pixels. It is now a series of shapes that are filled with solid color. The trick is to get enough shapes to render the original image, but with its excessive grain and detail discarded. This gives a sort of "Impressionist" look. More importantly, there is no longer a size limitation. The picture is now a bunch of mathematical curves that can be reproduced at any size.
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