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First real photo restoration attempt

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:39 PM
argle argle is offline
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First real photo restoration attempt

Hi All!

The before and after photos are located on my website here.

I have been playing with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements for years, but I've just now started dabbling in restoration. The photo at the link above was scanned from a 1972 Kodachrome slide using a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 at 2600 DPI and saved in TIFF format. (The high resolution is for archival purposes, not editing). DigitalICE was set to the lowest level and no other correction was enabled. I then used Photoshop Elements to adjust the individual RGB channels to remove the haze and get the color of the whole image looking more accurate. Then, I adjusted the image for the skin tone, which made the image a bit warmer. I removed some of the specks and noise using a very light Dust and Scratches filter and then spent an eternity with the healing brush and clone tools to get rid of the bigger stains, splotches, etc. Finally, I dodged the shadows on the shirt (just under the collar) to get rid of the dirt. I think I may also have applied an unsharp mask at some point, but I don't think it was very strong.

I realize that the background looks a little too manipulated, especially around his head to the left and right. Any suggestions on how to have made that look better would be appreciated. Thanks!

Parker
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:09 PM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Hi argle,

Crop, crop, crop, crop ....... did I mention cropping I've had a quick go at this because I'm on the way out, but I will go back and work on it some more when I get home.

Used levels adjustment layer to adjust the individual channels. Picked a colour from beside the boy - bluey - new layer, filled layer with blue, inverted, set to overlay (or soft light) at 25% ( I think, I'll look later), used the patch tool to clean up some of the debris, used high pass filter set to overlay @ 50% used mask to delete effect from the background. Needs the clone tool to finish off the rest of the mess.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:15 PM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

I'm back, and I finished off the image.

I left the dirt on the shirt because I have two boys and they haven't been clean since the day they were born
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:39 PM
argle argle is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Ok, first of all - wow. And you did it so fast! I'm embarrassed to say that I spent about 3 hours on that image, but then I was also experimenting with the tools as well. Cropping was a good call - I've been scanning these images for "posterity" so we wanted everything preserved - so it didn't even occur to me to crop it. I've only got elements, so no patch tool for me - that would have made it easier, but I feel like I get almost the same effect with the clone tool. You just have to pick the copy area carefully. I'm still trying to understand how the overlay worked, but the high pass filter makes sense, although the elements version isn't as powerful as the Photoshop version.

Thanks for the insight!

Parker
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:53 PM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

You have done an excellent job of retouching so I did not even attempt to clean anything..

It seems to me there is still a tinge of blue/cyan...

I used an underwater action on your original(underwater correction By james connell) found at (click)Adobe Exchange, search Photoshop> underwater (it does wonders on 1970s slides/transparencies that have that bluish cast).. 1 click and it came out as shown..

Has CROP been mentioned?

(Hue/Saturation>cyan, Saturation -82 to correct the bluish color) + Crops (Using original dimensions)
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File Type: jpg IMG005ecompare.jpg (98.7 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg HorizontalCrop.jpg (87.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Verticalcrop.jpg (88.0 KB, 26 views)
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:25 PM
argle argle is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Thanks for the retouching praise! I'm working on a calibrated monitor and I agree there's a slightly bluish tint - shows up most in the white stripes of the shirt. Alison's method got rid of it - the white is much "whiter" in her final version - but that underwater action seems to work as well. Just wish it worked in Elements. Sigh. Ok, Ok. I give up - I'll go buy CS3.

Thanks for the tip!

Parker

Last edited by argle; 11-29-2007 at 09:34 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:46 PM
argle argle is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Alison - can you explain a bit more in detail how you got the results you did?

Thanks for your help on this!

Parker

Last edited by argle; 11-29-2007 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:47 AM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Quote:
Originally Posted by argle View Post
Alison - can you explain a bit more in detail how you got the results you did?

Thanks for your help on this!

Parker
Hi argle,

Sorry, just got back to my computer. When we first start out doing this kind of work, all of us mindlessly heal everything without giving any thought to what we want from the image. To save time, look at the image and see what is important, what it is that needs to be brought to life. In this case it is simple, the little boy/girl. With that in mind, we don't need any of that background. So you could crop this into a 6x4 portrait size (not just crop in any fashion as I did). Now you can focus on the image.
After my first post, which I saved as a psd file, I went back to the previous layer before the high pass layer.
From there I used the patch tool for all the larger stained areas. Next I used a plugin called neat image - you can get a free version at the website, just google neat image. The free version is limited to files 1024x1024, but it does the job, or you could get noiseware, which is also free.
I adjusted the settings to what I thought would be good, and then lowered the layer opacity to achieve what I thought would work with what I had in mind. This will heal a lot of the smaller blemishes as well. Don't forget to take a snapshot (if elements has that feature) before you merge the layers down.
Duplicate layer and then go back and heal any mess that is left. I used the high pass filter at this stage to sharpen the boy. I thought the background was still too sharp, so, after merging and duping, I used the gaussian blur filter, then used a mask to bring back the little boy again.
Hope this helps a little bit, I don't know anything about elements so I don't know what features are available to you. I'm pretty sure that you could achieve a similar result though.
Btw, I am lazy and always look for the easiest ways to do things
At some point I would have used a 'selective colour' adjustment layer to boost some of the colours, or subtract them.
Another point to remember, is that sharpening is not just about sharpening. You can get a nice effect by using less sharpening and then blurring the background - you can the same end result without the look of over sharpening ..... did that make sense ?
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:52 AM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Hi argle,

You asked about the 'overlay' when used with the High Pass filter. Set the blending mode before going to the filter - and don't panic with what happens to the layer :-) Using 'overlay' will help you see the amount you need to set the filter too, i.e. how sharp it is going to be.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2007, 09:44 AM
argle argle is offline
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Re: First real photo restoration attempt

Thanks for your replies Alison, it all helps!

You are spot on with the healing; I definitely need to crop before starting to eliminate the debris. I played around with Neat Image and I also tried Noise Ninja and Alien Skin's Image Doctor Dust and Scratches remover. All gave similar results. They seem to work well with backgrounds, especially slightly blurred ones, but none of them seemed to give satisfactory results whenever the damage crossed textures. Still, it's quicker than doing it by hand with the healing tool. I played with the patch tool, but I found that again, when crossing textures, it doesn't perform that well. It is quicker than heal, though.
I haven't used the high pass filter for sharpening before, but iI see that it is definitely a quick/easy way to do it, plus you have excellent control over just how much is applied.

I've been trying to reproduce your results and I can get pretty close - one thing I'm having trouble with though, is getting the colors to pop as you did. No matter what I try, I can't seem to whiten the whites and bring up the color without washing it out. I've adjusted levels/curves/hue and saturation, contrast, etc. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?

Parker
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