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Curry_Family
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Maigo



Junior Member

Registered: January 2003
Location: Southwest FLorida
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I was very intrigued with this photograph. When I started working on it, I had no idea it would turn out as it did, one thing just led to another.

Interestingly it was the sky & trees that gave me the most trouble. They were the last to be finished, and I have no idea what the foliage on the right is, or what kind of tree is in the photograph. I found one I thought worked, and I added a tree on the left to balance it. I also tried to bring out the view through the breeze-way. I hope I have defined the house as it was, the roof however could use some shingles.

So besides adding color, and the tree, I did add a few other things like a reflection in the far left window, and to me the dark spot on the left looked like a flower pot, so I added a few flowers, and I put in a lawn,. Even with all of these changes I tried to keep it as true to the original as I could. Any of these things could be redone, the important part was the family, and I think most of them turned out fairly well.

While most of the picture is there, there are many missing features, like eyes and feet, etc., so there was a lot of guessing as what certain things really looked like. The girl in the yellow dress was very difficult, but each face had its own challenge.

After doing the initial cleaning, I do a lot of working with objects, varying the transparency, or adjusting the object in some other way, then layering them to create a little depth. I mask something, copy visible, paste, remove mask outline, then either move the object somewhere, or work with it where it is arranging the order of the objects. I do this over and over again, sometimes creating an object from the original, from a photo in my library, or from a previous copy I’ve done. There is also a lot of art work involved, a lot of looking at the original for any detail I can find. I also save often. This creates a way for me to review my work, and there is often a part I like which I then add to what I am currently working on.

I really enjoyed working on this family, everyone is so different.
· Date: 1/8/2006 · Views: 6079 · Filesize: 47.3kb, 141.5kb · Dimensions: 800 x 579 ·
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Lucius
Junior Member

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1
1/11/2006 3:11am

This turned out great! I like to color b/w pictures, but they don't seem to stand out so colored like this one.. any advice? I like how it almost looks like a painting! good job
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Shalford
Member

Registered: October 2003
Location: Solihull - United Kingdom
Posts: 67
1/15/2006 5:14pm

Maigo

So much work has gone into this.
Beautiful clean family - house nicely restored.
Looks really good.

Tell me is that an apple in the tree? The one on the left.

Kind Regards

Steve

------------------------------
Steve
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Maigo2

Junior Member

Registered: January 2003
Location: Southwest FLorida
1/15/2006 11:59pm

Thanks Lucius I enjoy adding color to old photos too; I think it can help define areas, and all these sepia people were at one time just like us, full of color.

Advice would be to look for contrast in the photo. I kept the house darker to give the faces a backdrop. Make sure your edges are sharp. Zoom in often to look for details, and zoom out to see how that looks.

Good eye Steve, I wondered if people would notice the red in the tree. It’s a Robin actually. Since the photo has kind of a “spring” look I thought it would be fun to add.
This did take a while to do, and it was defiantly very frustrating at times, but also a lot of fun.
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Matt Roberts

Junior Member

Registered: December 2002
Location: Australia
1/21/2006 10:10am

This is one of the best restorations I’ve seen in a long time.
You have done a great job on the clothing and faces.
The whole restoration looks so clean and well balanced.

My favorite “touch” was your handling of the breezeway.
Having distant trees and hills behind the house was a great idea.
I think little touches can really add to the look of a photo.
The tree branches top left add balance. The flower pot and window reflections enhance the overall look of the photo.

As I said to Steve, adding color to a photo this old is hard hard hard.
Great choice of muted “old looking colors”.

I know how meticulous you are with your work Maigo.
So I know you’d like suggestions.
I like the grass instead of the bland hard ground they were standing on.
But I would love to see shadows beneath and behind most of the family.
I would never have mentioned such a piddling little thing like shadows had I not thought this restoration was absolutely outstanding.
What do you think Maigo?

Matt
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Maigo2

Junior Member

Registered: January 2003
Location: Southwest FLorida
1/25/2006 4:12am

Thank you very much Matt. This was one of those photographs that really challenges you.

At the very beginning I could see something through the breezeway, so just enhanced it a bit, and carried it on to the right of the photo. I’m sure they would have chosen a spot with a nice view for their house.
The background was the last part I did because I just couldn’t decide what to do with it, it was very frustrating. When I finally found the branches I liked for the tree already there, I added some on the left, and felt it helped balance it.

I know they didn’t have a lawn, but for the purpose of composition I think it works. As for the shadows, you are right they could be enhanced, but if you look at the original pretty much the only shadows there are directly under the older girls. I don’t see any stretching out anywhere else, I also don’t see any of the family squinting as they are in #82, this leads me to believe that the photograph was taken around noon, and so there wouldn’t be much of a shadow.

One of those I show my work to before I post mentioned the same thing, that shadows are needed, so I guess I’m still not done with this. I agree shadows would help to make them more grounded, but going with my thoughts on the time of day, they would have to be subtle.

Thanks again for the kind words.

Maigo
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Lorraine

Senior Member

Registered: September 2001
Location: Flemington, NJ
Posts: 219
1/25/2006 4:41am

Maigo,

This is an incredible restoration. I can't imagine how much time you spent on it.
I tried this one, but gave up. It was way beyond my ability.

Excellent work.

Lorraine
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Maigo2

Junior Member

Registered: January 2003
Location: Southwest FLorida
1/25/2006 5:52am

Thank you very much Lorraine.

I really have no idea know long this took because I put it away more than once, and each time I came back to it I saw different things.
Even though it was difficult, it was also fun to see them come to life.

Thanks again,

Maigo
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Matt Roberts

Junior Member

Registered: December 2002
Location: Australia
1/25/2006 9:15am

Maigo - I pondered the question of adding shadows under the
Curry family when I did my restoration.
I didn’t do it but afterwards wished I had.
Like you, the only shadows I could see were under the older girls.
But the hard ground they were standing on appeared a little blown out.
And any shadows might have been reduced.

I have seen all your Retouchpro restorations and know you miss nothing.
So I knew it was a conscious decision on your part not to add shadows.
You are lucky to have someone to show your work before you post.
A couple of months ago I showed my wife one of my restorations.
Her comment was “It’s awful, I hate it.” That sure dented my confidence.

Matt
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Maigo2

Junior Member

Registered: January 2003
Location: Southwest FLorida
1/25/2006 5:57pm

HI Matt,

After looking at the original, and doing a lot of thinking about it, I believe that the ground they were standing on was mostly dirt with tuffs of grass, defiantly not the lawn I put in. As my work progressed I thought the green looked better, it started out fairly light getting darker as I went, I think it gives the bottom half of the photo some contrast with the children’s legs, but it also changed it from a “straight” restoration. It was blown out, but I think it was also mainly dirt, and not very attractive. Since I already had added a few different things that were pure guess work, I just went with it. I did try to put in grass with variations in color, kind of a built in shadow, but it didn’t translate well.

I’ve put this particular photograph away many times, and tried again with it later. At some point I will take it out again, and do some of the other things I didn’t do this time.

It’s funny about asking someone what they think of a photo. You & I can spend maybe hours doing this & that, but for some reason they will always zoom in on something we “didn’t” do. I think you just have to be confidant in what you feel, and go with it.

We are so lucky to have RetouchPro because we all understand how difficult it can be to fix something, especially some of the faces in the Curry family, and can cheer each other on, and learn how to do better restorations as we go.

Maigo
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Doug Colwell
Senior Member

Registered: October 2003
Location: Alberta
Posts: 157
9/14/2006 4:18pm

Wonderful restore and great colouring Maigo. I think it's just the barefooted family members who look to be floating a bit, and the blurry mass of leaves (upper right corner) doesn't quite fit in with the rest of your excellent pic.
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