Recently I've been spending some time looking through my photo archives. There are plenty of interesting photos went unpublished. Some of them (unpublished photos) were underexposed and not worthy of publishing. Luckily, I've discovered the power of Photoshop (PS).

PS is an amazing image editing tool that has forever changed graphic design and digital photographic editing. I used it VERY sparingly and in VERY subtle ways. Well, all I have to say is PS opens my images to new possibilities and brings them to life.

Starting from today, I'll be publishing a series of weekly posts about my PS images. Join me as I explore the hidden power of PS CS3 (Version 10). In this first article of the series, I'll discuss about the best way (in my opinion) to restore Perak Tong mythical limestone cave paintings. Note: Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

According to World66, Perak Tong (Perak Cave) is located north of Ipoh in Gunung Tasek. Built in 1926, it is similar to the other cave temples in having Buddhist statues, with a 12.8m tall statue of a sitting Buddha as its centerpiece. Mystical cave paintings adorn the walls, and the temple has a commanding view of the countryside at the top of its 385 step staircase. Click HERE to read my full article on Perak Tong.

The cave art is in a dilapidated condition, and it is very hard to photograph or decipher the layers in the dark. It definitely pushed my camera far over it's ISO limits. After almost three hours of Photoshopping, the cave paintings were 'restored', bringing it back to its original splendor. I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments :)

PS 1: Meditating monk

How many faces can you spot? Um...this picture reminds me of Shoko Asahara (麻原 彰晃). No pun intended.

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Color Balance + Hue/Saturation + Levels + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 450%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

PS 2: The Goddess

A beautiful Goddess with magical shawls.

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Color/Balance + Levels + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 400%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

PS 3: Deep in thought

An old man with frowned eyebrows and pursed lips. I wonder what he's thinking about? It must be the worldly problems and troubles.

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Levels + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 300%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

PS 4: The Guardian

A supersize Guardian in full uniform.

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Color Balance + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 400%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

PS 5: The wise man of Perak Tong

Looks like a holy man. Can you see the halo a.k.a circle of light?

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Color Balance + Hue/Saturation + Levels + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 300%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

PS 6: The laughing Buddha

Is this the laughing fat Buddha 笑佛 ? Can someone please translate this for me?

Note: This picture has been adjusted with Photoshop (PS) [Brightness/Contrast + Hue/Saturation + Shadow/Highlight + Levels + Smart Sharpen Filter: Radius 1.5 pixels, 300%]. Unless stated otherwise, all my photos are original (without PS).

Photobucket
-->Original wall painting

Last updated 18th June 2010 (3:54 a.m.)

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10 comments

  1. xplorer Says:
  2. nowadays digital editing is almost as important as knowing how to take a good picture

     
  3. micki Says:
  4. Very nice, you did bring the precious cave painting colors out! Indeed more miracle PSD would make, more time efforts would be put in! :):)

     
  5. lechua Says:
  6. i heard ps elements is more user friendly that ps. sometimes i use ps cs3.. but i always forget how i did certain changes before...

     
  7. eunice Says:
  8. i use CS3 too. sometimes i also regretted for not saving the edited file in psd format when i need to re-edit the photo!
    i m a "fangirl" of photoshop LOL n of cos a fan of your blog! ^^

     
  9. PS is indeed very powerful!
    Technology is getting so convenient these days.
    You can do anything, just about anything, you want with high-tech equipment.
    Can you imagine a day without mobile phone, camera, computer, etc...?

     
  10. May Says:
  11. nice
    i need to explore the magic of photoshop too

     
  12. fufu Says:
  13. wow that's amazing :) i got many cave painting pictures... because i visited number of caves when i was backpacking in china...gotta check this ps out when i am about to edit the pictures haha

     
  14. shloke Says:
  15. xplorer

    Indeed!

    micki,

    I was experimenting with PS. Interesting outcome but it's very time consuming.

    lechua & Eunice,

    It's important to save in psd format for future editing :) I'm a sucker for details. That's the reason why I keep track of the multiple adjustments.

    Hey Eunice, thanks for being a fan!

    londoncaller,

    I could hardly live a day without them. Technology ROCKS!

    May,

    Ooooh...you should try PS. The possibilities are endless!

    fufu,

    You gotta try PS! It's magical :)

    Cheers to all!

     
  16. Shelyn Says:
  17. I think original photos look more authentic and genuine. I don't mind defect beauty :-)

     
  18. shloke Says:
  19. Shelyn,

    I definitely agree with you. Original cave art has a sense of timeless beauty. Authentic and priceless. But then again, I was hoping to see some kind of restoration work to preserve the painting for the future. I can only play with PS...digital restoration :)

    Cheers!

     
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shloke
Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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