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A few techniques to touch-up images in GIMP are

  • [1] Rescue an under-exposed photo
    • [2] Duplicate layer
    • [2] Set Mode to ‘Screen’
    • [2] Duplicate layer and apply ‘Screen’ mode multiple times till you get enough brightness
    • [2] Colors > Levels
    • [2] Drag White slider to edge of histogram
    • [2] Move Grey center slider to improve image. Examine the photo for banding. Move Gray slider to remove banding
    • [2] Layers > Merge Visible Layers
    • [2] Filters > Enhance > Wavelet-denoise
      • [3] All button
      • [3] Channel select: Y
      • [3] Color model: Ycbr
      • [3] Adjust amount
    • [2] Flatten layers
  • [1] Rescue over-exposed photo
    • [2] Duplicate layer
    • [2] Layers panel > Mode > Multiply
      • [3] duplicate multiple times as needed
    • [2] For red portions (skin areas mostly) of the image
      • [3] Scissors tools
      • [3] select required portion
      • [3] Feather edges > say value of 10
      • [3] Select menu > Invert
      • [3] select region will be protected
    • [2] Colors > Levels
      • [3] drag black slider to center of the dialog
      • [3] Curves bar > Channel
      • [3] adjust each colour as needed
    • [2] Merge layers
    • [2] for selected portions of skin (selected earlier)
      • [3] select ‘Dogbe/Burn’ tool
      • [3] Dodge, Smooth and Mid-tones button
      • [3] Paint away imperfections
      • [3] Select menu > None
    • [2] Filters > Enhance > Wavelet-denoise
      • [3] click All button. Set Threshold to 2.00 and Softness to 0. Click OK
    • [2] Filters > Gaussian Blur if needed
    • [2] Flatten layers
  • [1] Lighten shadows
    • [2] Duplicate layer
    • [2] Colors > Desaturate. Select ‘Lunminosity’ > OK
    • [2] Colors > Invert
    • [2] Layers panel > Mode > Overlay
      • [3] Lighten further with additional Layers
    • [2] Filters > Gussian Blur till acceptable sharpening is reached
      • [3] Use Fliters > Enhance > Unsharpen Mask for sharpening if needed
    • [2] Flatten layers
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