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Is restoring this picture hopeless? Please look.

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Old 11-04-2002, 07:48 PM
pixeltone pixeltone is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Warner Robins, GA.
Posts: 2
Is restoring this picture hopeless? Please look.

I have a picture scanned and have looked at it very good in photoshop. I'm starting to believe there's nothing that can be done to repair it. I would really like your opionion on this picture.

Your opionion is really needed here.

The large sized picture can be viewed at the address below.

My e-mail address is...

Keith Brand

There is no deadline for this being it is personal. It is a picture of my wife when she was young. She has been begging me to fix it and i have really been putting it off because of the shape it's in.

I feel pretty bad and not sure when to start.

feel free to try anything you want with this picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg vikkibrand small.jpg (86.9 KB, 191 views)

Last edited by jeaniesa; 11-19-2002 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:23 PM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
Welcome aboard pixeltone. First off, let me say that there are many on the site who are much better at restorations than yours truly. I took a look at the large file. You're in luck with the eyes, as they're the most important part. The face, while lacking detail, at least has form. The background appears to be trash, and should probably be replaced. The shirt and diaper lack detail, and might be replaced, if that's okay. If not, you'll just have to work with what little you have. It is not completely hopless! I'm sure you'll get plenty of help on this site. No time for me to play around with it now, but if you don't get some help by tomorrow evening, I'll try to take a stab at it. Good luck.

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Old 11-05-2002, 12:01 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 620
Kieth, This totally looks like an effort of love, so whatever you come up with will be appreciated.

The hardest part of this is deciding what it should look like.

The longest part of this is in the detail if you decide to work the detail ... seems impossible but I don't think it is, just a lot of work.
There is real good shape to the face, that is the biggest hurdle.

I looked at your large image, looking past the white streaks of damage to the image in between - the light source is coming a little from the right of the camera, there is a baby bottle on the floor to the left of her, a floor lamp on the left, a cabinet with vertical paneling with a radio on it against the back wall, and maybe a newspaper on the floor at the back left, I can't tell if she has a bow in her hair or a clip or if it is a hair style, if her mom or dad is still alive, they might know if they always did it the same way.

OK - for the easy way out - are there any other photos around of the same room?

Does anyone here know how to darken just the brown in each area seperately (since the amount needed will vary depending on the subject area) so that it will match the brightness of the surrounding area and dissapear when converted to B&W? That would make some large areas quicker.

Good luck, I am excited to see what others have to say ...
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Old 11-05-2002, 01:52 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 439
Hi Keith and Roger. My PC is playing up and I will have to reboot, so I can't show any Photoshop examples to get you started (APS keeps crashing)...but here are some tips, presuming Photoshop 6 or higher.

Assign a 2.2 gamma RGB work space such as sRGB or Adobe RGB (colour should not matter is it is probably best to desaturate or add a monotone channel mixer adjlayer to the RGB file). Even better would be assigning a custom RGB profile with a 3.00 gamma - this way you lie about the true gamma of the file and make the image darker before you even perform a hard edit in Photoshop (but this is no biggie in the scheme of things).

Apply a levels/curves adjlayer set to multiply blend mode - then adjust the level/curve to add definition...dupe and repeat if needed.

Add a new blank layer set to overlay blend mode - then fill this with 50 gray (50B in HSB colour picker) or use the option in the fill dialog box. Due to the o/lay blend - this will be neutral. Now grab the dodge and burn tools and lighten/darken the overlay layer where needed. If you make a mistake use a paintbrush with 50% gray as the colour and paint away the dodge/burn back to nothing.

You can also make selections and mask adjustment layers to burn in tones in larger areas or to copy selections to new layers for multiply blending and masking etc.

Here is a quick movie link to dodge/burn using more regular methods direct on the image data:

P.S. Screen is the opposite of multiply - it lightens. 50% gray is the neutral blend for this layer, while in multiply white is treated as transparent and for screen black is treated as transparent.


Stephen Marsh.
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:29 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 709
I've only had a little time to work on this so far (I've been busy as a one-armed paper hanger), but this is what I've come up with. I plan on doing more work on it when I get a bit more time.

1. Cropped

2. Kept only the blue channel (deleted red & green) and converted back to RGB (go to grayscale first).

3. Ran Decrack 3 times, flattening image between each time. Left the settings as is on the first 2 and set high pass to 4 on the last

4. Adjusted Levels

5. Duplicated BG and ran Rank Replace/6 on bottom layer. Erased damaged area of top layer.

6. Flattened and repeated step 5 using Dust & Scratches instead of Rank Replace. Flattened.

That's about all I had time for this morning. Hope it helps out some.
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File Type: jpg vikkibrand 1.jpg (70.7 KB, 173 views)

Last edited by Jakaleena; 11-05-2002 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 249
Maybe this will help you or someone else that has more expertise than I.

She was a little doll..... a heart winner even as a todder!!
Well worth an investment of love & time to restore this photo.

Best of luck ....
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File Type: jpg 1-revikkibrand-goldcoin4.jpg (17.4 KB, 129 views)
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:52 PM
Barbie Hocking Barbie Hocking is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 18
I didn't do a lot here. Mainly, I was curious about how much of her facial features could be retrieved. I ran curves and really darkened her face. Then I checked the channels and the green channel had a fairly decent nose. I did some dodge and burn to remove some of the splotchyness. From this, a face with recognizable features appreared.
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File Type: jpg vikkibrandupld.jpg (58.4 KB, 96 views)
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Old 11-16-2002, 11:34 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,062
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Not even close to a finished job, but at least it's a simple step that might make it seem a bit less hopeless.

Using just the blue channel, I made a duplicate layer and ran the Polaroid D/S filter, set at very high levels and for light defects. I set the blend mode to darken and used a layer mask to let her original face show through.
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File Type: jpg vikkib_b.jpg (26.5 KB, 104 views)
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Old 11-17-2002, 12:08 AM
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Posts: 249
Welcome Barbie..

Very nice recovery..... Hope the person that post the photo returns to see the results.
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Old 11-27-2002, 07:43 AM
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phili1 phili1 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 237
I tried to paint restore, all in seperate layers trying to keep as much detail as possable. I figure nothing ventured nothing gained.
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File Type: jpg untitled-1.jpg (15.5 KB, 89 views)
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