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Cabinet Card - Katrina Flood Damage

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2005, 06:42 AM
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jannetie jannetie is offline
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Cabinet Card - Katrina Flood Damage

Hi all! This is my first post 'though I've been reading and learning so much from these forums for a while now.
I have a problem photograph that a client wants restored, but has budget constraints. The photo is terribly damaged by water and muck from hurricane Katrina. The owner would like it restored as close to the original as possible (and I have several of these - this is the worst one). What's giving me the most trouble is not using up all resources just getting it to the point where I can begin serious restoration. The many hues are primarily what is causing me to hesitate since I can't come up with a quick way to even out the tone across the picture. For me, it's much easier to work on the sepia than to desaturate. Removing the figures from the background isn't an option. The textured rug is bearskin.
I'm (trying) to post the picture here, but it also can be viewed at http://eaglewings-eyrie.com/katrinaflooddamage.htm . You'll probably have to click at least twice on the (webpage) photo to get the largest size.
Thanks in advance for any advice, pointers etc.
Janice
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2005, 11:18 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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The darker gray "stuff" looks to me like silvering. If it is and you copy this with a suitable camera, with double polorized light, it will all go away leaving just the background behind it.

That would cut down your job quite a bit. If you do not have the equipment to do that see if you can find a photo studio in your area that can do it for you. When you talk to them just ask if they know what "double polorized light" means, if they do not, just keep on looking.....
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:09 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hi jannetie,

and welcome to RP

Quote:
since I can't come up with a quick way to even out the tone across the picture.
the bad news is, there is no quick way, at least not that i know of. the good news is, that except for those places where the damage is so extensive as to wipe out any image data, it can be restored.

the primary picture, that of the two gentlemen, is pretty much intact as far as data detail is concerned. even some of the background can be repaired. but, like you pointed out, the hues and tones have gotten so mixed and confused, that there is really no easy fix.

now, you can do a few things, perhaps, to speed things up. a simple contrast/lighten adjustment layer with a medium contrast setting will bring out more detail and make things easier. you can also try using masks and selections to select out larger areas to work on to even out the tones and shades. and, in my opinion, there isnt anything worth trying to save in the background above the gentlemen's waistlines, and that would certainly make things easier. you might want to save a bit of it, like in the corners there is a tassle and something else, but i see most of the upper area of the background as a lost cause at this point.

but, for the most part, this looks like a LOT of hand work and zooming in on detail and careful cloning and smudging and pushing and lighten/darken. i did a bit of this on the man on the right's head. i'm attaching just that part blown up 300% here for easier viewing. blowing it up like this has added some more noise, but i think you can see the difference ok. and just this one small area took me a half hour or better of careful work.

some areas wont be that bad, like the pant legs, perhaps, but if you're going to do this, i'd expect some real 'roll up the sleeves' time here.

ignore the color on the attached image. that was due to the enhanced contrast of the adjustment layer and could be corrected later. also, most of the work was done on the head itself and not the shoulders or background.

craig
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Old 12-31-2005, 01:00 PM
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jannetie jannetie is offline
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Thanks for your reply, Mike, and for the tip on "double polarized light". What looks like silvering in the scan is actually embedded muck - I don't even want to think what it might be!

Craig, thank you for your welcome. And thanks, too, for letting me know there really is no "quick" fix. I thought as much but didn't want to be kicking myself later!

I agree completely about the upper background and will just use a mottled look for that. The hand work and cloning aren't new to me; I seem to pick up these types of jobs that most others don't want.

Thanks for your help, and for the time you put into the man's face. RP has some pretty amazing and helpful people!

Happy New Year!

Janice
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:11 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Janice,

Welcome to RP!

... I tried .... Not knowing what was muck, discoloration or other kind of damage, I'm not sure where I landed ...

HAPPY 2006 EVERYBODY!!!!
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:06 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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jannetie,

you're welcome

and now that flora has checked in on this one, forget everything i just said it would seem that more can be done than even i thought. ok, flora, what did you do? and how long did it take you to do it? i want details, dear!

craig
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:04 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Craig,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
.... ok, flora, what did you do? and how long did it take you to do it? i want details, dear!

craig
.... Would 'everything' do?? (guess not ....)

Well, I started on the two young men first ... creating two working windows, strongly zooming in on one of them, and 'tiling' them horizontally ... this to work on the smallest details while checking how it looks like at normal size...

(*)Created new blank Layers (Mode > Normal) on top, selected the Heal Brush (Replace first and Normal later), and, making sure the 'Sample All Layers' box was checked, I started evening out spots, removing lines, adding consistency to where it seemed the background could be seen 'through' etc.

For the background, since...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jannetie
Removing the figures from the background isn't an option. The textured rug is bearskin.
... I used good old 'Copy, Paste on new Layer, Resize, Move, Adapt etc. ' whenever I could, otherwise I used The same 'Healing Technique' (*) as described above for reconstruction.

Since the only person to know how the 'real background' looked like is probably the owner of the picture ... and no information whatsoever about it was given (that is one of the reason I keep PS as a hobby!!!!) , I tried to follow, as realistically as I could, what I could make out...
Still I don't know if it's even close .... ....

Time: 3-4 hours.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:38 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hi flora

ok,
Quote:
and 'tiling' them horizontally
i'm assuming you're using something like 'guidelines' or 'grid lines' for this, yes, no? or did you mean you're simply making two windows that are horizontally laid out, one on top of the other? also, does PS do that, let you work in one window while updating in another? that would be very handy and i dont think psp does that.

Quote:
(*)Created new blank Layers (Mode > Normal) on top, selected the Heal Brush (Replace first and Normal later), and, making sure the 'Sample All Layers' box was checked, I started evening out spots, removing lines, adding consistency to where it seemed the background could be seen 'through' etc.
and on this, i'm assuming the 'heal' brush is similar to the psp 'makeover' in that you simply touch it down on a spot and remove/correct things automatically by filling in with surrounding data. and whereas psp doesnt have any 'replace' modifier, i at least get what you mean, i think.

also, do you always do all of your cloning and healing type work on a blank layer using the 'use all layers' feature? i tried this out after reading your last post and found some distinct advantages doing it that way; and some distinct disadvantages. quite interesting and i'll be using that more.

and on this:
Quote:
I used good old 'Copy, Paste on new Layer, Resize, Move, Adapt etc
what would you be resizing here? and moving what? also, what does the 'adapt' feature do?

and i tell you honestly regarding the wanting to keep image integrity and why you keep ps as a hobby, you, of all people, with your skills, shld NEVER have to worry about this. even if you dont get it 'perfect', you are doing such an incredible job on almost everything i've ever seen come from you that most of us can only aspire to such levels... and do, just because of your work. a client shld consider themselves lucky to have you as the artist at hand. and if they dont, then they're not worth working for, as they probably fall into that 'source of trouble' category we all hate seeing. and those folks are NEVER satisfied. and any time you want an agent to seek out work for yourself, let me know, because i would have NO reservation in promoting your talents!

so, thank you for the tips and help. i've learned something new and useful in this and am working on this image again

craig
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2006, 01:38 PM
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jannetie jannetie is offline
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Thank you, Flora, for the welcome, and for the wonderful work!

And thank you, Craig, for asking Flora the "hows"! lol

Not much more of the background is visible on the originals than in the scans; what I guess to be a tasselled swag is only partially visible on one side, and much of the damage to the photo seems to have come from sitting in muck with several other cabinet cards on top of it. The cards' owner never gave me any information about the photo before the flooding, so except when I ask questions I'm pretty much in the dark too.

I'll be trying your suggestions, Flora; you always seem to work magic!

Janice
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2006, 10:26 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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jannetie,

you're welcome

and dont let flora fool you; she has elves helping her

craig
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