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VERY Faded Picture...

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Old 07-21-2006, 06:12 PM
mahgem mahgem is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1
VERY Faded Picture...

Hello everyone!

I'm new to RetouchPRO and I'm so glad a help forum like this exists.

The most adorable old lady you can imagine asked me if I could restore a very old picture she has of her family, and before even looking at the picture I agreed to do it because how do you say no to an little old lady? When I finally saw the picture I banged my head on my desk... still have the bump to prove it. The picture is incredibly faded.

Anyhow, I'm not new to image restoration but this time I'm at a loss. I've played with levels, curves, blending options, etc. but I have not been able to get something decent (especially with the two guys in the back row).

Any kind of imput would be an enourmous help.

Thanks in advance!!
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File Type: jpg familia copy.jpg (93.3 KB, 132 views)
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:22 PM
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Ziaphra Ziaphra is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 439
This is the best I can do for a bit of a rush...:P
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File Type: jpg mahgem.jpg (70.7 KB, 112 views)
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:48 PM
i.ilievski's Avatar
i.ilievski i.ilievski is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Teaneck NJ
Posts: 92

I've tried some tricks of mine, but no result on those guys at the back, especially the guy on the right, there is no detail information on the photo for that guy... Only thing that can be done in this case is to draw his facial lines, eyes, nose etc...

However this is my result... Hope someone will discredit me, and maybe I'll learn something new!


Last edited by i.ilievski; 07-22-2006 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:49 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,028

Mahgem, welcome to Retouch Pro!
The image is very weak so you need to squeeze every ounce of contrast out of it and little things will count.

1. Rescan with a scanner that has a high dynamic range. Get the best possible scan with no adjustments whatsoever in teh scanner s/w. No color adjust, no sharpness adj, co contrast adjustments. Import the native scan in 16 bit and do not convert to 8 bit until you have completed all of the editing.

2. Keep the scanned image in RGB mode.

3. Do a manual levels adjust separately to each channel, compressing the sliders on both sides. The color will look awful but the important thing is to recover the detail and build up some contrast.

4. When you are done, convert the image to B&W. There are 10 ways to do so. I would suggest starting with the channel mixer as Desaturation or conversion to LAB will not give you the best B&W.

5. See what you can get and from there you can try to separate the tones a little more and make the touch-ups. The gentlemman at the viewer's right rear will be the most challenging since he is faded to the point that virtually no detail exists in part of his face.

Attached is a quick set of similar adjustments. However the image you uploaded is low res and fairly pixelated which significantly limits the effort.

Regards, Murray

Good luck with it.
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File Type: jpg Mahgem faded rev MM.jpg (94.9 KB, 99 views)
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:55 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 728
Hi there

I tried to get some detail but the more I played the more I lost detail. Someone like Flora and her Lighten...Darken layer system should be able to do a much better job but I think it woulod take a good amount of time.

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File Type: jpg cbkr-family.jpg (96.7 KB, 83 views)
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:43 AM
cobra1972 cobra1972 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3
My attempt

Hello all

Here is my attempt.
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File Type: jpg CBKR-Family.jpg (94.4 KB, 66 views)
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:10 PM
Squggle Squggle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ludlow, Shropshire
Posts: 48
I had a bash as well...

TBH the people were starting to freak me out a little as I was doing this, the bald gentleman at the back particularly so... :shock:
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File Type: jpg odd.jpg (94.2 KB, 60 views)
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:19 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 620
One problem is that you are picking up surface texture on the hidden man in the back that hides the minimal detail that there is ... if you can take a picture of the photo with your digital camera, or if you know someone with a good camera or can call around and find a lab instead of scanning it you will see a little more detail.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:53 AM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 1,324
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Hi all,

I tried too...

Thanks Retouchpro for making it happen
This pic is my test, every so often I'll come back & post new version of it.
Here it is one year later.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg familia 33.jpg (87.4 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg familia 33_chill.jpg (182.2 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by chillin; 07-19-2008 at 07:22 PM.
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