The Battle of Vimy Ridge, a painting by Richard Jack.

The available reproductions of Richard Jack's painting (paintings, really) are poor at best...most have a muddy green-brown hazy over everything and although they do give an indication of the absolute hell it was, they're not real nice to look at.

I took what I found and applied some photo-editting trickery and came out with an image I now have as my PC desktop image which is a bit easier on my eyes anyway!

Other might find it interesting, if not entertaining...I hope no one finds it sacrilegious!

I'm pretty sure I got the original I'm working with from the Wikipedia article which lists the available formats as:

To give you all an indication of what I've done, I'll use just a small detail from the large full resolution image. Here's the ammo crate and trash in the centre foreground:

Using GIMP (Graphics Image Manipulation Program), an open source application, I used a function which "...adjusts the colors of the active layer by stretching the Red, Green and Blue channels separately. To do this, it discards pixel colors at each end of the Red, Green and Blue histograms which are used by only 0.05% of the pixels in the image and stretches the remaining range as much as possible." It looks like this afterwards:

Pretty dramatic change already, eh?

To that image, I next used three more processes:

  1. "...automatically stretches the histogram values in the active layer. For each channel of the active layer, it finds the minimum and maximum values and uses them to stretch the Red, Green and Blue histograms to the full contrast range. The bright colors become brighter and the dark colors become darker, which increases the contrast."
  2. "...increases the saturation range of the colors in the layer, without altering brightness or hue. It does this by converting the colors to HSV space, measuring the range of saturation values across the image, then stretching this range to be as large as possible, and finally converting the colors back to RGB."
  3. "...most digitized images often need a sharpness correction. This is due to the digitizing process that must chop a color continuum up in points with slightly different colors: elements thinner than sampling frequency will be averaged into an uniform color. So sharp borders are rendered a little blurred. The same phenomenon appears when printing color dots on paper. The Unsharp Mask filter (what an odd name!) sharpens edges of the elements without increasing noise or blemish. It is the king of the sharpen filters."

The result becomes:

I scaled down and saved a version of the whole image showing the difference between the original and manipulated with just the first of the processes mentioned above.

Finally, a scaled down version (1,000px by 608px, 155kb) of the entire painting after all processing is shown below. If anyone wants the full-size version (2,791px by 1,696px, 618kb), merely click on the image below and it should load in your browser. Right-click on the image that loads and select "Save image as..." (or whatever your particular browser says). Hope you like the result...perhaps it should be added to the "Canadian Art" section?