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old fading colour image -- advice, suggestions requested

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Old 07-20-2004, 01:48 PM
saltfish saltfish is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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old fading colour image -- advice, suggestions requested


I am a new member with a fading colour photo ca. early 1960s(?) -- see attached . I am seeking basic advice, suggestions -- it has developed distinctly yellow cast and the image fading due to long exposure to daylight.

One bonus, all the edges were under frames and so have maintained some of original qualities, but they too seem yellowy and washed out a bit. I was beginning to touch up the forest in background top right, but arbitrary shade of green chosen.

My three basic questions:

1) where to start? should I a) get rid of the overall yellow cast (and what is the easiest way to do this?) and then try to improve exposure/levels OR b) work on levels and then work to remove cast?

The underlying question is

2) what are the best steps so I can return as closely as possible to what were the original hues of sky, water, grass clothing, skin. Or will it all be arbitrary choices of colours for these things given it has faded, discoloured so much? I fear the latter.

3) how best can I make use of the information on the borders to retouch the overall image?

Anyhow, if anyone can offer some basic suggestions, advice I'd be very obliged. I am working w/ I assume now ancient photoshop 6.0

Thanks so much for all and any advice,

Mark Ferguson
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File Type: jpg working master post.jpg (88.8 KB, 81 views)
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:48 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
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My suggestion would be to balance the edges. You have highlight detail on the wood to the left and deep shadow on the man's cuff. Once you have the edges neutralized, you might try sampling different border areas with the Pattern Maker Filter and use the Stamp Tool to paint it into the damaged section.
You might also be able to improve the image highlight detail by utilizing the Luminosity channel in LAB, hit it hard with Filter:Other:High Pass and copying it back into your original "duplicate" layer.

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Old 07-21-2004, 12:26 AM
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kbeatrice kbeatrice is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 33
Hi Mark!

I just worked with an image like this myself from the 1950's. I followed Flora's tutorial for unevenly faded pictures: My pic came out pretty well, except that the baby's nose is blown out.

I tried Flora's technique on your pic and did an autolevels which helped some, but it looks like there's a lot of uneven areas that you'll have to mask out.

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File Type: jpg mark.jpg (93.7 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg uncle-bridge-sample2.jpg (99.4 KB, 47 views)
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Old 07-21-2004, 05:51 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,717
Hi Mark, I've had a bit of a play with your image, and what I did is as follows.

Selected central area and colour balanced using levels, also darkened slightly.
Selected inverse, and adjusted border area to merge better with central area.
Added curves layer and adjusted contrast/brightness.
Selected various individual areas and fine tuned colour balance.
Created various layers and painted colour in where missing.
Painted in new grass colour (not quite happy with this, still needs work).
Added 50% grey layer soft light blend, and adjusted darkness/brightness in various parts of image.

There are unfortunately areas that are totally blown out, and it will be hard to restore these in any really satisfactory manner.

Hope this helps, good luck with your effort.
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:09 AM
saltfish saltfish is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2

Dear Dave, Karen, Gary:

thanks for the excellent suggestions and for taking time to fiddle with the image -- vast improvements. I will endeavour to follow a composite path of your suggested approaches and see what I come up with on a high rez version. I may get back to you individulally if- well, no, in this case- when I get stumped.

Cheers and thanks again,

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