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70 yr old photo - almost repaired

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2006, 11:35 AM
leanan`si's Avatar
leanan`si leanan`si is offline
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70 yr old photo - almost repaired

Hi,
I've been working on restoring a 70 year old family photo and have ground to a halt. It is a photo of my late mother (centre) with her brother and sister. Mum was wearing a very deep blue velvet dress which has some impact on the tonal qualities I think.

I'd appreciate any advice as to how I can further improve the photo before calling it quits.

Have I done all that I can realistically do? Your input would be valued.

leanan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg odwyerkids2-original-web.jpg (94.5 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg odwyerkids2-repair-web.jpg (94.7 KB, 110 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2006, 01:55 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Hello Leanan

Please forgive the color job it is not intended to be good but just to show you this picture may do better with color to help in the separation of your mother and siblings. You could always convert it to sepia tone and still keep separation.

Butch
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dv16160422.jpg (83.3 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by Daviskw; 09-04-2006 at 02:13 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2006, 04:29 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, this is going to sound insulting, maybe, and it's really not meant to be, but did you or someone else do a manipulation on this image with either the heads or bodies? the man's head in particular seems too large for his body. it's in both the before and after so has nothing to do with your restore. just curious. the proportions just dont look right.

as for the restore, my biggest points are that you've darkened some things, particularly the two women's clothing and therefore lost some detail. you've also cropped the image, which i dont like to do in restores. if the image is yours or the client says ok, then fine, but other wise a restore shld simply fix the exact image that's there.

i'd go back to whatever step you took to darken the clothing and re-do it and go from there.

also, the sky looks a little 'dirty' yet. smudge or clone there is the easy fix.

craig
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:17 PM
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leanan`si leanan`si is offline
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Thank you ..

Butch: I may well have to take a crash course on colouring photos. I have done it, but in an almost haphazard way without structure. I shall look into that and get reading and practising. Thank you for what you have done and suggested

Craig: My uncle's head is absolutely a natural thing. This photo exercise is purely for myself and not a client. I have no clients Not paying ones anyway. I haven't deliberately darkened the clothing. In the original there are patches of 'silvering' in the dark areas. I found that difficult to get through with limited skills. The other major headache for me was the arc of fading across the top which affect the hat my mother (centre) is wearing. I darkened and evened out that area, but that didn't affect the clothing. I have the extremes of white in uncle's shirt and virtually black in mum's dress. I'm guessing at masking mum's dark dress and lightening it and possibly doing the reverse on uncle's shirt. Am I on the right track there?

The crop was to accommodate a particular frame I'm planning on using.

p.s. no insults perceived .. I welcome the honest input as one who wants to improve and learn

leanan
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2006, 05:33 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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leanan, ok, thanks.

try a histogram adjustment to even out those high lights and darks. it shld help. can also try a curves, but i've found in instances like this that a histo adj can be useful.

craig
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2006, 10:06 PM
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leanan`si leanan`si is offline
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Helpful advice :)

Thank you.

I've worked a bit more on the histogram, the sky and some touch ups. I'm happier with it now, I really wanted mum's face, her eyes and smile to be visible and I think they're not too bad. It feels smoother and detail in Uncle's shirt hasn't blown out as it was starting to do.

I was given that photo while she was in the last year of her life. She had not seen it in over 60 years. She beamed and instantly told me that her dress was a beautiful deep blue.

I had previously done some work on it, enough to give her a copy to keep. This version will go around the family.

Thanks again, and I think I will try a gently coloured version.

Btw Craig, I agree with the restoration vs retouch. The importance of keeping integrity in the result. I wonder if you'd like to take a peek at my recent challenge 66 'Great Grandma Boone'. Not so much for the quality of technical skills, I have a long way to go yet, but for the excitement of just maybe discovering something about the lady involved

leanan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg odwyerkids2-retouch.jpg (98.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg odwyerkids2-reptouchpro.jpg (98.5 KB, 40 views)
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2006, 05:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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leanan,

sure, post a link to that challenge and i'll take a look. (there are so many 'challenges' here on RP, that i'm not certain i could find the one you're referring to).

Quote:
I've worked a bit more on the histogram, the sky and some touch ups. I'm happier with it now, I really wanted mum's face, her eyes and smile to be visible and I think they're not too bad. It feels smoother and detail in Uncle's shirt hasn't blown out as it was starting to do.
good

craig
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2006, 01:31 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi,

leanan,


Generally speaking, I agree with Craig about the rather strict restorations' rules, but, in my opinion, sometimes it's 'cleaner' to crop than trying to restore/reconstruct non 'vital' parts of an image (which can result in worse manipulation giveaway than cropping...).

When working on images with different problems in different areas, a 'global' correction will never work ... meaning... when dealing with exposure problems = much too dark shadows and nearly blown highlights, a global fix to tone down the highlights will turn the shadows so dark that all details in them will be lost .. as happened in your restoration (Attachment 1) ... viceversa, a global fix to brighten the shadows will brighten the higlights so much that, again, all details in them will be lost ..

As for colouring ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by leanan`si
Thanks again, and I think I will try a gently coloured version.
... please, keep in mind that in Photoshop you can't add colour to extremely dark or extremely light parts of your image ...

... so, whatever are your plans for this image, balancing shadows and highlights should be your first step anyway...
From PS CS upwards you can use Image > Adjustment > Shadow/Highlight to correct 'both' in one go ... but sometimes it's simply not good enough ... that's when shadows and highlights should be selected and correceted separately ...

I had a go at your picture ... didn't do much about noise, sky etc., but concentrated mainly on balancing shadows and highlights... (Attachment 2).

In Attachment 3 :
* Original
* Shadows/highlights balanced-B&W
* Shadows/highlights balanced-Sepia
* Shadows/highlights balanced-Lighly coloured
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SNAP-148.jpg (94.1 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg F_odwyerkids2-a.jpg (99.8 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg SNAP-149.jpg (97.5 KB, 36 views)
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Quote:
but, in my opinion, sometimes it's 'cleaner' to crop than trying to restore/reconstruct non 'vital' parts of an image
absolutely. which is why i said:
Quote:
if the image is yours or the client says ok, then fine, but other wise a restore shld simply fix the exact image that's there.
and a very nice job, flora

craig
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2006, 12:17 AM
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leanan`si leanan`si is offline
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leanan resurfaces ...

I had a wee journey back to the days six months ago when I wept copiously into the keyboard because I couldn't make a layer work.

Flora, thank you so much for the detailed instructions, for the time and the interest. It is much appreciated.

I proceeded to try these things, and indeed remembered them from Katrin's book, but do you think I could make anything actually work?

I discovered that it does help to be using the correct layer when trying this wizardry .. *sighs* It is still a work in progress. I am ummmm .. *messing* about with the contest pic >

leanan
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