Help with old passport picture
I'm an intermediate user of Photoshop and can usually get an image to look the way I'd like it to look. The tips and tutorials on this website have helped me tremendously with my images but I'm having trouble with one image in particular. It's the attached passport photo of my grandfather. Because the photo was in a frame for many years, with the bottom part covered by the frame, most of the image no longer has the original tone and color seen on the bottom part of the picture. I'd like to fix the image so that it does. It seems this should be easy, but I've played with color layers, HSB adjustment layers, selective color, color balance... but I can't seem to get it right. Also, any suggestions on gradient strategies? I have one that gives me a transition I'm happy with, but I had to mess around for a while before I got it.
Thanks very much,
This is difficult and it can be confusing, so since no one else has responded I thought I might see if I could help.
First screenshot - First step to make the top the same as the bottom without trying to correct anything further;
-added solid color layer on top and changed it to color blending mode so that I wouldn't get fooled by variations in saturation as i made adjustments
-duplicated background, added mask to background
-added curves layer - changed curves layer blending mode to multiply, grouped curves layer with masked layer - see screenshot
-reopened curves layer and adjusted curve until I thought it looked the same
-closed curve and refined mask with brush
Second Screenshot - Want to keep image in color so that we can use the best color channel - so;
-delete solid color layer
-create new empty layer
-control-alt-shift-E to merge visible into new layer - change blending mode to luminosity
-Delete first duplicate of background and curves adjustement that we made when we started this, We now have the brightness of the curves correction combined with the color of the original background layer
-Open channels pallette, select Blue channel
-Do menu File>Mode>Grayscale to delete Red and Green Channel
-Do menu File>Mode>RGB to return to color
-Added curves adjustment to taste
-Added color balance layer and changed color to a subtle warm tone
-Retouched the chin with clone tool
I am sure there are more ways to do this, but this was my thought process.
Hope this helps,
Hi mashny, Roger,
Great technique! .... Never tried it that way .... before .... surely will!!!
Like Roger, first I tried to balance top and bottom of the picture. What I did is the following:
The Saturation is different so, at this point , you can follow Roger's brilliant Tip:
Ok ... now I had a minimum of consistency I could work on .... To further increase the consistency and enhance tone and contrast, I created Luminosity and Shadow Masks and played with the Blendings and Opacity until I was satisfied....
After this the Cloning, Healing and Patching seemed to go on forever ....
For further enhancing and correcting I used several Layers (Blending = Soft Light, Overlay, Lighten and Darken) adjusting the Opacity until I was satisfied.
If after correction some parts seem a bit too smooth, add a bit of noise to them.
Finally I used the Unsharp Mask for a slight sharpening.
Hope this could help.
Last edited by Flora; 04-07-2004 at 11:41 AM.
Mashny, I agree with Roger's basic adjustments but I did them in a slightly different order...
- selected the blue channel because it has the most tonal quality, discard the rest.
- change back to RGB since we're going to add sepia back in
- add levels adjustment layer, adjust levels and mask off the bottom. Adjust levels again if needed to fine-tune and match the darker bottom portion
- use color picker on the original image to select a sepia tone
- add color layer and fill with sepia tone to match the original
- you could even select the blue ink with your color picker, add a new color layer and paint the ink stamp back in -- as you can see in my example
- I always add the original image back on the top layer so I can switch on and off to compare my adjustments with the original coloring and tone
I'd finish with an overall levels adjustment, then proceed with your other touchups.
Good tip, Rexx, thanks!
Last edited by sdubose99; 04-07-2004 at 12:00 PM.
Thank you all so much
Thanks for the great and helpful responses to my post. After I posted, I felt emboldened and spent a bunch of hours messing with picture and came to a reasonably satisfactory result (which I'm attaching), but I may try to redo it using the suggestions. Roger ele's tip about putting a blank color adjustment layer would have saved me much trouble in the past. Also I used his black and white toning tutorial's idea of inverting a layer mask for the sepia toning.
I'm still a bit uncertain about using the Apply Image command for anything other than removing red eye, so thanks, Flora, for showing how it can be used in this situation.
Scanning the picture sideways would have reduced the work I spent with the clone tool (I rescanned it and got better results).
Looking at the picture again, I should have used the blue channel for the restoration. Instead, I desaturated the image completely and used the curve adjustment layer to tone the picture.
The picture, taken in Hungary (if you notice, the passport stamps say "Budapest") around 1919, is of my mother's father who died long before I was born, so it was nice to be able to work on it -- it will be a present for my mom.
Once again, thanks so much for your replies.
Last edited by mashny; 04-07-2004 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Forgot to add picture
Great job on your retouch!
Just wanted to post a quick note, I realized in retrospect that it would seem much easier in my first step to create a curves adjustment layer with a mask on it instead of grouping the curves layer with a copy of the background like I did. I thought about it and remembered/realized why I did that, and I thought it was worth saying out loud ...
-I wasn't sure starting out what method of darkening I was going to like best, so I put the mask on the copy so that I could change how I did it without changing or having to remake the mask. I probably should have put the mask on a set, and put the adjustments in the set - but I am in the habit of grouping...
-In either case doing this allowed me to experiment - also I could just as easily have added a hue/saturation layer and grouped it or put it in the set with the mask and reduced the saturation that way ... sometimes reducing saturation can make it a little 'muddy' in tonality so I am in the habit of doing it the other way to be on the safe side.
There are a lot of different ways to do the same thing - as is proved by the wonderful job everyone has done - we each do what we can visualize at the moment while we are working out the problem Even more important than the techniques is the thought processes behind them. Sorry if I am on a soapbox or sound a little preachy, but I run into people all the time who have been taught techinques by people who love being the teachers ... they teach Photoshop recipes, instead of teaching Photoshop so that it can be 'learned' - so I have been kind of sensitive to that and try to make sure the thought process is included.
Great mini-Tut, Roger!
Which means I agree, of course!
The mindset of several ways, several techniques, no answers hewn in stone is one that appeals a lot to me.
Flora, what happened to the glasses that the subject was wearing in the LH image, they are missing in the RH image. Was this as a result of the retoration process, or did you take them out deliberately.
... at first I hadn't realized what those "funny spots" on the bridge of his nose were.... sooooo .... I simply removed them ....
zooming in for corrections .... I realized that those "funny spots" ... were pince-nez .... soooooo ..... I put them back ....
finally ..... since I couldn't make out any kind of rim to go with them and increasing the contrast/shadows around his eyes made him look like if I had just 'digitally' punched both his eyes .... I decided to remove them definitely because, even knowing what they were, in my eyes, they continued to look like "funny spots" ....
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