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Help needed with 1974 wedding photo

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Old 11-18-2005, 07:57 AM
bkpoltis bkpoltis is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 38
Unhappy Help needed with 1974 wedding photo

Hi all,

This is my first post. I have been scanning through some of the posts. There is so much here, that it is quite overwhelming! So much knowledge in one place.

This is my wedding picture from 1974. It has been displayed since then, but not in direct sunlight. I have read several places that pictures from the 1960s and 1970s had some color pigmentation problems. Well, that is certainly true in this case. There are small brown dots all over the photograph, which especially shows up on my face (rats!). The colors are really faded. My husband's jacket was a light green, and also the trim on my dress was a light green. The wedding was in May in Ohio, so the trees were all green.

I scanned this on an Epson Perfecton 4870 Photo scanner, using Silverfast AI Studio. I am reading a lot, but still having problems making sense of all the info, so I know that I am not doing a lot of things correctly. I have tried using curves, levels, noise reduction, etc. with Photoshop CS2, but have not gotten results that I am happy with. This scanned picture does not have any work done on it, though, so you could see the original.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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File Type: jpg Bernie&Joe_8x10Web.jpg (89.5 KB, 125 views)
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:18 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lancashire (UK)
Posts: 1,158
Hi Bernie
Welcome to RetouchPro

Its amazing how these old photos have faded. (See the Nov Contest) It seems like the darker colours go red while the lighter colours just fade.
I have tried to find out how or why these colours fade like this but can find no info.
Take his jacket. I would have made it white or cream without you saying it was green.
There seems no way to ‘work out’ what the original colours were.

The top left of your picture has a different cast, so I added a gradual mask to balance that.
Adjusted the levels and painted back most of the colour.
Neat image removed most of the marks but the bad ones were painted back.

I hope I got it close to the original.

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Old 11-18-2005, 04:15 PM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,104
Looking at this photo it appears to my eye to have become a tad magenta over time. I did a levels adjustment first and set my black point as the pants, the white point as the bodice of the dress and used the trees in the background left hand side as the grey point. I then did a curves adjustment using the same pointers, upped the saturation a little and moved the hue slider around 1 point to the left to reintroduce just the slightest bit of red.
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File Type: jpg Bernie&Joe_8x10Web copy.jpg (93.8 KB, 72 views)
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:22 PM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 479
Couple of silly questions. 1) Do you have any photos that were kept in the dark that would show how the colors are supposed to look?, 2) Is there any chance that the photographer still exists and might have the negative?

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Old 11-18-2005, 09:35 PM
bkpoltis bkpoltis is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 38

Thanks for the replies!

Bart, yes I do have a photo album that has not seen much daylight. The colors are still faded, though not as much. The spots do not occur on the album pictures. The pictures in the photo album are smaller, though, so I thought that I would have better quality pictures, if I could scan the 8x10 picture. I have lost touch with the photographer, but I think that he is still in the area. I could try contact him. Thanks for the suggestion.

Ken and Cass, thanks for working on the picture. They both look a lot better, and much closer to the original. Cass, I understand the steps that you have taken with the photo. Ken, I'm not sure how to add a gradual mask. How did you adust the levels - with the pointers? Did you paint back color with the paintbrush, just picking appropriate colors? And, what is 'neat image'? I have been working with Photoshop for awhile but still have a lot to learn.

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Old 11-18-2005, 10:40 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
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neat image is a separate program. it can be used by itself or as a plugin to photoshop and other programs. it is basically designed to remove noise from an image. there are links on this forum as to where to get it. there is a free version and a pro version. only the pro version can be used as a plugin. if you cant find the links, just do a google on 'neat image' and you'll get to it.

and welcome to RP!

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Old 11-19-2005, 02:11 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,717
Hi Bernie,

Had a bit of a play with your picture. Haven't got a lot of spare time at the moment, so sorry it had to be a quick job.

Duplicated layer, applied Auto Colour to get somewhere near, then adjusted using Colour Balance. Fine tweaked with Curves.

Did a local adjustment for Grooms face and hair, which still appeared to have a slight magenta tint.

New layer set to colour mode, and hand tinted some of background trees.

New layer, and cloned out red spots (may have missed a few), tried auto tools, but didn't give good results.

Flattened image, and adjusted hue/sat, to up colour saturation a little.
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File Type: jpg Bernie&Joe_8x10Web copy.jpg (95.3 KB, 62 views)
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:16 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Hi Bernie,

Welcome to RP!

I had a go at your picture as well. (I work with CS2 too)

For the spots, I used Filter>Noise>Dust&Scratches (Increased the Radius until most of the spots had disappeared, increased Threshold until I had most of the texture back but stopping before the 'spots' came visible again)

To balance the colours and minimize the yellow/Magenta casts, I used the Curves 'Set white point' on the brightest spot of your veil.

I used Image>Adjustments>Shadow/Highlights, mostly to balance/minimize the 'blown out' areas in your dress and faces.

I used A blank layer set to Color, Selective Colors and Color Balance Adjustment Layers on selected parts of the image to fix the faded colours.

I used Neat Image (can be downloaded free here ) with soft settings to reduce noise/JPG artifacts

Finally I used USM to lightly sharpen the picture.
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File Type: jpg F_Bernie&Joe_8x10Web.jpg (99.6 KB, 119 views)
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:39 AM
dbuckle dbuckle is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: On Canada
Posts: 61

Adjusted using Studio Artist and PScs2
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:52 AM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Flora, So nice to see you back. I, for one missed you very much!! A lot of folks were helpful in your absence. Chris, cameraken, phil..just to mention a few..if I missed anyone I am sorry,for I appreciate all of you!!

I have learned a little more about some of the functions since you left. For me the scale is hard to learn when setting proper adjustments. Could you be so kind to post the numbers you use when adjusting please. Right now I am at 3 radius and 23 threshold. I think it a little fuzzy yet. But if I go any higher the clairity of the picture seems better but the spot..I am focusing on Bernies chin comes back?? Can you help me out on this?? Thanks Neb
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