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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Old photo restoration problem

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  #1  
Old 07-03-2005, 12:02 PM
Steve Railey Steve Railey is offline
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Old photo restoration problem

Attached is an old photo of a gentleman from around the 1880 period, I think. The photo is "wrapped" around a metal plate. I restored a couple of others and they came out nicely, but this one is very faded and I'm having problems getting a realistic result. Any help appreciated. Also, can anyone help with identifying the type, or style, of this photo? Thanks, Steve
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File Type: jpg Gentleman JPEG.jpg (14.9 KB, 57 views)

Last edited by Steve Railey; 07-03-2005 at 12:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2005, 02:15 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Steve

This looks like a tintype, also known as a ferrotype from the mid 1850’s
We can probably do something with it if you can post a bigger picture

The limit for postings here is 100Kb Your post is only 15Kb. Also you can post it in Greyscale as we don’t need the colour.

Please read this
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/image-help/7933-attaching-files-images-threads-posts.html
And then Rescan your picture and try again

Ken
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2005, 02:28 PM
Steve Railey Steve Railey is offline
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Thanks. Here's a larger one, in grayscale mode. Steve
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File Type: jpg Gentleman JPEG.jpg (95.6 KB, 46 views)
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Old 07-03-2005, 03:51 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Don’t worry Steve Someone far better than me will be along to have a go at this.
In the meantime just to let you know that these old tintypes were actually a negative. This was something that they did not seem to care about at the time but if you want to see the gentleman as he was then you need to flip the picture.

Ken
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File Type: jpg GentlemanbwKen.jpg (82.2 KB, 37 views)
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:07 PM
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freddieanne freddieanne is offline
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Steve,

This is no huge improvement, but here's my go at your photo.

- Curves, levels and contrast adjustments
- Ran through Neat Image and jpg clean-up by Ro
- Some work with burn tool and clone stamp.

I'm no expert, but maybe with some more cloning you can get what you want. Like Ken said, someone better than I should be along to improve upon this.

Good Luck,
Annabel
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File Type: jpg Gentleman2.jpg (76.8 KB, 24 views)
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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actually, some tintypes werent done as negatives. they were direct. see the thread in the history section of the forum about 'A very old photograph'. that's my source for this.

second, welcome to the forum, steve!

this tintype is pretty far gone, but it can be partially saved. the first thing to do with the scan is, get rid of the extraneous parts. all that non-picture stuff to the left and bottom, we just chuck that out in our editors.

next, increase the file size. i doubled mine. this gave me about a 1200 x 1200 image to work with. the reason for doing this is that your adjustments wont affect as much image area at a time, and when cloning, that's what you want.

next, gotta bring that image out more. it's pretty badly faded. add a curves adjustment layer and raise the lights and lower the darks. how much is up to you, but try to adjust it so you get the most detail showing across the picture.

i also ran the Fast Fix plugin for some quick adjustments to contrast, brightness and saturation. you can do these separately with other editor tools, but i like Fast Fix for fast adjustments to these or even omit it if you're happy after the curves layer.

now, you shld have something to work with. i'll post what i have at this stage as that's all i'm going to do with it at the moment. from here, it's going to be clean the noise and clone to replace and clean.

obviously, some detail is lost here due to the file size limits of posting.

Craig

edit: ok, i replaced the first image i had up with one where i reduced the file size back down by half to better fit here.
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File Type: jpg Image7a.jpg (90.1 KB, 28 views)
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2005, 05:35 AM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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I read 'A very old photograph' which is posted here
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/sho...ght=photograph


Then I followed the link mentioned by CJ Swartz
http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/tintype.htm


Half way down the page it says

“The print would come out laterally reversed (as one sees oneself in a mirror); either people did not worry about this, or just possibly they did not discover it until after the photographer had disappeared!***”

The stars take you to a note at the bottom of the page

“*** Sometimes failure to recognise this has led to false assumptions. One reader kindly drew my attention to an article in the Guardian, regarding Billy the Kid, whose picture is shown on the right. (See HERE). He was not, as has been assumed by many, left-handed.”

There is also a good article here
http://www.digital-tintype.com/history.html

This states
“Early photographic products were placed in the back of a box camera and exposed directly though the camera lens. Because of this ALL forms of early photography resulted in a mirror image of the subject”


I’ve always assumed that ALL these pictures on tin (iron) are reversed.


Ken
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2005, 08:45 AM
Steve Railey Steve Railey is offline
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Excellent help, and comments, from all. Many thanks. One of the areas I definitely need work on is scanning technique. I originally scanned the image at 600 dpi, which gave me a HUGE file of about 68 megs. Right now I'm using that size as my working copy. I then saved it as a low res JPEG for posting, but there are probably better ways of doing this. But successful scanning remains one of the mystery arts for me.

Thanks again for all your help. Steve
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2005, 09:15 AM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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68 mb isn't really all that large for your master file. Obviously once you have finished restoring you could resample it at 300ppi.
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2005, 10:21 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ken,
in your second post in this thread you said:
Quote:
In the meantime just to let you know that these old tintypes were actually a negative.
did you mean negative or mirror, cause now i'm confused?

steve,
from what i can tell you did a fine job of scanning. a 600 dpi scan is good. from what i've read on this forum, anything more is a waste and anything under about 300 dpi would leave too much out. i use 300 dpi on my old tintypes and photos and it seems fine in most cases.

and yes, the large file size off a scan can make life interesting. do you work with the large file and bog your computer down as you add layers and so on, or do you sacrifice a bit of detail to save computer resources. that's why i mentioned one of the first steps is getting rid of all the extraneous material first. save the original for archival purposes, but work with only what you need to work with.

how you go from here now is going to be a matter of your own importances. the background in that picture is shot. there's nothing left to save that i can see. so do you wipe it and replace it with another background or simply clean it up a bit as is or replace it with something appropriate to the era or leave it alone completely? it's up to you.

and for the gentleman himself, this is going to be a cleaning and noise reduction and reconstruct depending on how much you want to try to do. in a restore you're basically just removing what doesnt belong there. in a reconstruct you're removing what doesnt belong AND placing back what shld be there. there's a bit of a debate over the definitions of those two things, but that's how i see it. in your image you have both problems. there is a lot there that doesnt belong and a lot missing that could be possibly rebuilt. you dont have to actually decide which you want to do exactly, but it's sort of good to have an idea of just how far you want to go when doing one of these.

Craig
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