Registered: December 2006
- I use PS Elements, which I started learning about 7 months ago
- I’ve never done a major retouch and definitely never done a restoration. I’ve only read two short articles on restoration of tin types. But I am a photographer, an artist and have excellent PC skills, so I think these helped me.
- It took 6.5 hours to complete. If I were doing this for someone to actually hang, I’d spend another 1-2 hours on it. I hope it gets faster as I learn.
What I did, more or less in chronological order:
- First I got rid of the green cast using levels for black and mid-gray. A white selection, of course, didn’t work because there wasn’t anything white in the photo. (This layer is on top of all other layers)
- Reduced the noise.
- Did a little touch-up here and there for spots and specs.
- The used the skin tone tool to improve tone (I worked on skin tones continuously throughout the process)
- Duplicated the image into a new layer, then used Multiple to darken about 20-30%
- Wanted the faces to have more contrast, so I selected the faces and neck area, pasted it to a new layer and added brightness and contrast.
- I think this is when I used the Unsharp Filter on all three layers
- De-saturated the yellow and red to help skin tones
- All the color work that follows was done on separate layers. (I had a lot of layers when I was done.) Some color layers were blends and few of the layers for facial tones were not color blends but were multiplied (to darken) or were normal layers with the opacity adjusted. The multiplied layers were interesting because I could select a nice pink flesh tone and the program would automatically darken it for the shadow colors… nice, I’ll do it again. The color work layers included: clothing, background, eyes, white (for shirt, silver necklace and handkerchiefs), hair (not white but pink!), her lips, necklace, lapel pin, and finally several layers for facial tones separating work on the shadows, midtones and highlights. The facial tones were on several separate layers so they could layer on top of each other with adjusted opacities.
- Dodged and burned the faces to improve the shapes and make their faces appear more 3 dimensional
- Used the healing and cloning tools to clean up edges. (I probably also did some of this after the Unsharp Filter.)
- Used a brightness/contrast layer to improve overall image.
- At some point I used a Sepia Photo Filter which improved overall tone of the entire image.
What I would do different:
- I’m still not happy with the skin tones. I really like Matt Roberts’ skin tones in his edit of this image.
- I probably didn’t use the largest version of the Challenge photo. I’m still learning my way around the website.
- I’d use different background color to help pop the faces out a bit more -- maybe a blue tone to compliment the clothing.
- Her lips are too full. I’d back off on the opacity or use a color blend, or start over.
- Work on his eyes some more. They look too big to me. Maybe I’d soften the edges a bit.
- Matt Roberts said in his posting, “I used the skin color chart which is free on this site.” I haven’t been able to find it. I’d love to have something like this to help with the skin tones… very difficult to get the tones right.
- After I finished I thought in the future I might try converting the original photo to B&W. Create a high quality B&W first, the dodge and burn to sculpt the faces and improve the 3D, THEN add the color. Does anyone already do this?
- What worked, what didn’t work, what would you do different?