Deke’s Techniques 352: Extracting a Masterpiece from Its Frame

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to create your very own copy of a classic masterpiece, because, well, photographs of art in the public domain belong to everyone. Or no one. Something like that. Deke’s done the research for you on the legal issues; meaning he found this article on paying for the use of photos of public domain artworks. 

The photo in question (shown below)—-of 15th century painting St. George and the Dragon by Bernardo Martorell—-was shot by Deke during a game of "Masterpiece Bingo" we played at the Art Institute of Chicago. The game consists of finding the paintings that were used in the classic Parker Bros Art Auction Game that we both played as children. 

St. George and the Dragon on the wall at the Art Institute of Chicago

Deke begins this virtual personal restoration with some Camera Raw work: lens correction, chromatic aberration, and white balance fixes. Then he moves to Photoshop, where the new Perspective Crop tool allows him to remove the frame and fix the perspective at the same time. The result can be set to the same known scale and size of the original (which is not listed on the back of my Masterpiece game card so I’ll take Deke’s word for it), using Photoshop’s upsampling abilities to create a "life-size" digital reproduction. (Which you can print, or, of course, resize to include in your blog post.) 

Deke reproduction

If you’re a member of, this week’s exclusive members-only video shows you how to accomplish this dekeProduction nondestructively, using a smart object and the Free Transform Tool. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free week’s trial at Slaying your digital dragons with help from Deke!

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 354: Archiving and Enhancing Your Child’s Artwork

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 349: A Low Color Photo with the Camera Raw Filter


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