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Faded Colours: Old Photo I'd Like to Fix Up

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2005, 11:52 AM
rflxion rflxion is offline
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Faded Colours: Old Photo I'd Like to Fix Up

Hey guys,

I've been searching around a bit on the web for ways to fix up this old photo of mine from primary school. After reading through quite a few threads in this forum, I thought this'd be a great place to ask how exactly I'd go about dealing with this photo.

Basically what I want to do is fix the colour so it doesn't look so washed out and also fix the scratches/marks all over it for it to be printed out. I'm hardly a photoshop guru and so while I can fix the colour to some basic degree using curves, my patching up of the spots and scratches on the pic look rather dodgy. So far I've been trying to use only the clone tool to try to fix the photo but perhaps there is another way?

Anyway if anyone can help it's help much appreciated,

Thanks
Farhan.

Ps. The image is already fairly shoddy quality but the attached image is only a 25% quality jpeg exported from photoshop (to keep under the attachment size limit) so the original does look a little better.
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File Type: jpg old-school.jpg (94.5 KB, 61 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2005, 01:32 PM
suchyy suchyy is offline
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Hmm, I think that colors are very OK, but image is quite dark. So I lightened it up with curves a little and then started removing scratches.

What you can do is to remove them with Stamp Tool or with Healing Patch Tool (avaible from version 7 of PS). But I decided to do it other way. I used Dust&Scrtaches filter from Filters-->Noise (radius: 3, threshold: 4). It made photo quite blurred so that i had to erase parts I wanted to be sharp (people)

And here is the result.
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File Type: jpg 122.jpg (68.5 KB, 38 views)
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2005, 01:32 PM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Hi : I know nothing about curves and using them to correct pictures, But I did want to post what I did with clone and brightness and contrast. I would like someone to at least critique on doing these functions.I am just beginning to do restoration. So this is a very simple first try!! Thanks Neb
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File Type: jpg boysre.jpg (90.0 KB, 39 views)
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2005, 01:59 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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welcome to RP, rflxion.

looks like you're in good hands here, so i'll pass on this for now.

Craig

edit: neb asked me to comment on hers, so... it looks fine, neb lightening was the correct first step, then cloning. for a simple touch up of a photo that isnt 'art' or 'glamour' or something, i'd say that's fine. if you want to get super-picky, you might try a color balance layer and reduce the reds just a tiny bit. the boy on the bottom right, his right cheek looks a bit odd to me, and the taller boy in the middle back, his forehead looks a bit blotchy. and the boy on the top left needs to be brought out a bit more, maybe with some lightening. you could also reduce the background to foreground ratio of lightness; make the back darker and the fore brighter a bit. and, the picture could be cropped a bit also. but like i say, that's being real picky. overall, the image would be pretty acceptable to a recipient.

the thing with touching up photos is that different works require different levels of quality. a high glamour retouch requires a pretty high level of quality. a retouch you do for a friend or family member, such as the one posted here, in my book, just doesnt require that same level. so, all my super-picky criticisms on this picture really arent nearly as significant as if they were on a high glam shot or photo art pic. now, that all might change if this were a picture going to be used on a web site for friends, or for a christmas card or something of that nature, but as a casual gift or posting somewhere i think you can draw a lower line on the quality level.

i'll also add in one other comment here. if this is for a print on a typical home color printer, let the printer do some of the work. printers just do not match up in resolutions to monitors yet. so a truly high level of quality on a monitor just isnt going to translate to a home color printer. the printer is going to smudge and blur things a bit and a retoucher can use that to his advantage.

Last edited by Craig Walters; 08-12-2005 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:51 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Neb,

You've done a nice job cleaning up and retouching this image.

One very minor criticism, the medal on the boy with the white shirt is now a little blown out, a little touch with the burn tool should fix it.

Otherwise, nicely done.

Gary.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2005, 04:37 PM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Thanks Gary and Craig:
Gary can you post how to use the burn tool please? I have never used it.
Craig, I know the cheek is a little funny and it was just a practice run so did not think it was that bad for a practice post so left it. I believe it was a bad clone spot.

Thanks for all the comments. Neb
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2005, 04:41 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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that's fine, neb. like i said, i was being super-picky

Craig
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2005, 04:59 PM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Craig: That is how we learn from good people who are picky. Customers are going to be picky right??
Thanks Neb
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2005, 02:53 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Neb,

To use the burn tool, just select it from the tool bar, set Range to highlights, and Exposure to desired amount (I usually start with about 5% for highlights, as the effect can be quite harsh).

As an alternative, try this.

Click on your Layer palette.
Now click on the arrow in the palette tab, this will give you a drop down menu.
Select New Layer.
Change Mode to Soft Light.
Check "Fill with Soft Light neutral colour (50% Grey)"
Click OK.

You should now have a grey layer in your layer stack above the picture layer.

Paint on this layer using a Soft edged black paintbrush (set opacity of brush to about 5-10%), this will darken the area you paint to. (If you use a white brush, it will lighten the areas you paint to.)

The second method is a bit more involved, but often gives more subtle and realistic results.

Hope this helps. The amount needed to effect the medal, using either method will be quite small.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2005, 08:08 AM
rflxion rflxion is offline
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Thanks a lot for your replies and attempts at fixing the pic everyone. Nebgranny, your attempt at fixing the photo looks really good to me and I'll be sure to try out using just brightness and contrast along with cloning again to acheive the same effect you have. Also the photo looks a lot better once it's been cropped - thanks for pointing that out Kraellin. I'll be sure to crop the original when i'm editing it as well.
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