Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Image Help Got a problem image? Don't know where to begin? Upload images and ask our users what they think or if they can help

What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

Thread Tools
Old 10-23-2011, 04:26 PM
dwolfe dwolfe is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 5
What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

I didn't think this photo would be that hard to retouch. But, I have tried every recommendation I could find and, as you can see, my attempts have failed. I can't seem to find the right colors to make it less "brown". Then I correct that and the skin tones are off. AArrggghh! Am I trying to apply too many corrections?
Thanks for all your help!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg allcousins.jpg (90.4 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg allcousins-copy.jpg (87.7 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg allcousins-copy2.jpg (99.7 KB, 68 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 10-23-2011, 06:07 PM
Tony W's Avatar
Tony W Tony W is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,414
Re: What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

Hi dwolfe welcome to RetouchPro.

It is possible that you are trying to apply too many corrections, however I think that it is more likely that you need to target areas by masking which may help.

Colour film and prints of the 60's tended to be not as saturated as more modern materials. That plus the fact that many D&P houses were not too good further compounds the problem. So I suppose it depends on how you want the image to look - near to how originally printed or a more modern bright saturated look? I went for the former (or at least how I imagined it!) with a quick play. You should spend as much time as needed to get the 'look' you want but I hope this may get you started
  • As the image is quite flat using a curves layer you could try Auto correct. This should get you fairly close to a reasonable colour balance overall - maybe a little tweaking of colour concentrating on the front row
  • Make a selection of the second row of people and add a curves layer. Adjust curves to get a pleasing result trying to match the front row.
  • Do the same for the rear row and also adjust contrast and brightness to get closer to other rows
  • Discoloration on the upper part of the image can be removed by using a colour layer and sampling a good area and painting over stain parts
  • A little dodge and burn to the upper part of the image to even out density
  • If required another curves layer to adjust overall balance and colour saturation.
I did not spend much time on this but with a little more care and finesse it should work out quite well for you
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cousins.jpg (97.2 KB, 65 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 10-23-2011, 07:30 PM
tom60634 tom60634 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 54
Re: What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

I tried to lift the people from the background with an inverse overlay edit coupled with a gaussian blur.

It's a rough file and so are my results. That's the problem with small files constantly being jpeg compressed back and forth.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg allcousins-copy2-copy-copy_DxOv2.jpg (91.6 KB, 48 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 10-24-2011, 12:37 AM
John Wheeler's Avatar
John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 583
Re: What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

Hi dwolfe

Here is my attempt.

- Use Curves adjustment Layer using black, gray, white eyedroppers for intiial tone and color adjustment
- Use same or second Curves adjustment Layer to tune in skin tone
- I added a touch of vibrance
- Then desaturated the top portion of the image just a bit with Hue/Sat adjustment Layer and a gradient mask

All of this may have had a better result through ACR or Lightroom yet did not give that a shot.

I did not like the results of the boys pants on the left side yet that could be due to color reflection from the carpet for part of the issue.


Hope this gives you some ideas just like the previous posts by Tony and Tom.
Reply With Quote top
Old 10-29-2011, 02:59 PM
Cupcake's Avatar
Cupcake Cupcake is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 816
Re: What am I doing wrong with faded photo?

Here is another try.
Color face & clothing after bringing it to screen.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1966web.jpg (93.7 KB, 31 views)
Reply With Quote top

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I need a real estate photo retoucher luckysky Classifieds 0 10-22-2011 03:54 PM
Newbie question--uneven color in old photo LynetteW Photo Restoration 9 10-03-2011 08:50 PM
Nature Photo Retrouch MagicTuning Photo Retouching 2 06-20-2011 01:34 PM
Free photo retouching! douboc Classifieds 0 02-08-2011 10:48 PM
PixelFIX - Photo Restoration for Auckland Pixelshaw Classifieds 0 02-07-2011 03:25 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved