Registered: August 2003
Location: Mountain View, California
This one was really tricky. I thought it was important to keep the texture and detail in the children's faces. Clone stamping, healing brush, and patch tool would have destroyed that. I wanted the image to stay looking like a photograph, and not like a painting, so I had to resort to some very time-consuming tactics...
The first thing I did was get rid of the mould and scratch. I did this by adding a channel mixer layer. I selected the Monochrome checkbox, and then adjusted the gray channel to Red: 25%, Green: 75, Blue: 0%.
I then added a Curves layer to improve the tone of the image. I added one marker, Input: 95, Output: 160.
Then, because the channel mixer layer made the photo black and white, I had to colorize the photo to some semblance of what it was before. This involved 14 different layers: Background, oldest girl's sweater, youngest girl's dress, boy's sweater, faces, 3 hair layers (one to color, one to multiply, and one to make the oldest girl's darker), faces, blush, arms, lips, eyes, and eyeliner.
For each colorizing layer, I did a new solid color layer, changed the blending mode to Color, lowered the opacity, and increased the right half of the upper left blending slider in the blending options to about the middle.
Then, I used the clone stamp to get rid of the damaged edges.
There was just a bit too much texture at the end. I duplicated the original image, added a slight gaussian blur, and then set the opacity to 65%. This smoothed out the image without losing too much sharpness.
Finally, I cropped the image to center the children.