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Old 11-06-2002, 10:22 AM
zbgump zbgump is offline
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New to this Forum - need help to...

Howdy folks. I haven't done any serious photo retouching in awhile. A good friend of mine asked if I could restore an old family portrait of his great grandma and the family. Its posted here.

I've already done some work on it...removed alot of cracks and dust, although theirs still more to be done. I posted a lower res copy and their's still scratches in the higher res.

My problem lies in the legs of some of the people in the photo. As you can see their pretty much gone. I was thinking about trying to recontruct them and was wondering if anybody had any advice. Maybe I should forget that and just accentuate the fuzziness?

Just looking for some advice. I'd appreciate any aid.
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Old 11-06-2002, 11:01 AM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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First of all, Welcome aboard to RetouchPro!
for your photo you're trying to restore, I'm not sure how well it would work, but you could try selecting each pair of legs with the Lasso tool and using Curves to bring up the contrast enough to make it easier to rebuild.

- David
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Old 11-06-2002, 12:00 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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Welcome to RP. I'm sure you'll like it here. I didn't download the picture, but if you check each channel individually, you might find one that shows more detail than the others. If so, you could work on that channel only, and discard (or combine with) the others. I'm sure you'll have other suggestions coming shortly. Best of luck with it. It's a very nice picture.

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Old 11-06-2002, 02:22 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Location: Colorado foothills
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Hi zbgump - and welcome to RetouchPRO!

This is a fairly difficult picture. I worked on it for just a few minutes and got a little further, but I think it still needs some work.

The first think I noticed (at least on my monitor, which is calibrated as best I can at this point), is that the shadows lack detail. Thus, the dark area around the legs is one big blob of black and it's difficult to see the legs. (So, the baby looks like she's floating.) To lighten the shadow area, I tried using the fill flash technique.

This lightened the shadow areas a bit, but made the legs of the boy on the right almost disappear. It appears that the color of his socks was just about the same color as the background, so they blend in and make it appear as though he has no legs. So, I did a quick selection of the lower part of his legs, then applied a curves adjustment layer to darken them slightly.

I still wanted more detail out of the shadow area, so I added another curves adjustment layer to the entire image and lightened only the shadows. (Like a reverse-S curve, only I anchored the top half so it didn't move.)

One thing I noticed once I did this is that the blue channel seems to have a bit of noise/damage in it. You might want to try substituting another channel for the blue channel to remove the damage. Or, you might only want to substitute in the dark areas, since the blue channel appears to have the best highlight detail of the three channels and you'll lose that if you replace the entire channel.

What a neat picture!! I don't know what it looked like before, but it looks like you've done a great job so far!

Hope this helps,
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File Type: jpg goodcopy_jsa.jpg (60.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 11-06-2002, 03:52 PM
zbgump zbgump is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4
Thanks alot for all the responses folks! I'm glad to see theirs a good community of Photoshop-ists that I can turn to. I'm gonna keep an eye on this forum to see if I am ever able to aid those in need.

Here's where I'm at so far.

I basically painted in the legs of the kid with the stockings. On the two seated adults I used copies of their good legs to try and replace the missing legs. I also used a little bit of the seated mans leg to give a little leg to the smiling kid.

How does it look? I would appreciate any critiscisms. Thanks again.
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Old 11-06-2002, 05:14 PM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Location: Chicago suburb
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ZB, nice job so far...looks a lot better in leg area. My only suggestion is to put back more of the lost detail in the faces and other light areas. I think you brightened the pic too much at some point and the increased contrast stole some important detail.

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Old 11-06-2002, 07:03 PM
zbgump zbgump is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice. I went in and burned some of the whites in to pull up some details.

I think when I lower the res on the image to uploadit, I lose some details....theirs more apparent in the 300dpi, 8x10 that I have. It did need some burning though so thanks for the heads up.

I actually have a quetion about printing. I'm doing this for a friend of mine so he can give it to his grandma for Xmas. He wants to get it "professionally" printed. Since he's only going to get this printed once or twice, I imagine he's going to have to go somewhere that will print on a good quality ink jet. Is that the best way to go for him? Is their a better option?

Also, I told him to scan it at a high resolution originally and ftp it to me. He scanned it at like 1600dpi and I ended up with a 300meg image on my hard drive the next morning. I immediately worked it down to 300dpi. Was I right to do this? For his needs, I felt that was plenty big.

Thanks for any advice
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