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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

How can I improve the clarity?

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2005, 10:24 PM
Caitlin's Avatar
Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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How can I improve the clarity?

I've only just started working on this - a photo of my mother as a baby with her parents. Unfortunately like most of my mother's photos it is quite deteriorated, and has been attacked by mould. I can deal with the rest of the spots and blemishes, but I just don't seem to be getting a good look from my levels or curve adjustments. It all looks rather flat and lifeless.

I've attached the original, and a work in progress. Can anyone give me some pointers??

I also need to figure out the best way to get that mould pattern off my grandfather's suit, and my grandmother's dress.

Thanks!

Caitlin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bronti_beach_before.jpg (99.3 KB, 115 views)
File Type: jpg bronti_beach_after.jpg (92.7 KB, 104 views)

Last edited by Caitlin; 07-15-2005 at 10:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2005, 11:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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caitlin,

run a contrast/lightness at around -15 lightness/+15 contrast. then run a sharpen or sharpen more. this will give it a bit more life and put some depth there.

as for the mold, not sure on the dad's suit. i normally use clone, but there might be a faster way and in testing this just a bit, that may not be the right tool. and on the mother's, make sure that's not a print on the dress. i'll play with it a bit.

Craig
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2005, 11:30 PM
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I'm not sure now if that pattern is mould or not. I've gone back to the original, and there is no sign of it on the back of the print, so maybe the suit and dress had this pattern. Just looked a bit odd to me.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2005, 11:34 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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well, i dont think the suit has that pattern. not sure of the dress.

also, rather than clone, i've been trying some very light painting. i pick up a light brown on the suit and set the opacity down to like 12-16, somewhere in that range. i paint a bit with that and then use the pickup color tool to pick up a dark and then paint with that. this tends to fill the right color between the splotches without losing all the texture. also, try lowering the density a bit on this to keep it from looking too painted.

but that's just a test. probably something better yet.

Craig
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2005, 01:00 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi,

Caitlin,

I think that in this picture, increasing the contrast, beside 'killing' the details particularly in the shadows, it seems to worsen the moldy spots...
  1. I made a loose selection around the moldy parts and copied it to its own Layer ..

  2. Run Neat Image (very strong settings particularly in Medium and low frequencies ... See attachment 2) on the selection Layer . (Adjust Layer's Opacity if necessary)

  3. Duplicated the Neat Image Layer and run a soft Median Filter (Radius > 3-5 Pixels) on it ... Create a Layer Mask and hide the Median blurring from edges ... (Adjust Layer's Opacity if necessary).

  4. If necessary, repeat the procedure of step 3 using Gaussian Blur instead od Median Noise ...

  5. If the corrected part of your grandmother's dress result a bit too dark, you can create a blank Layer (Blending>Lighten) and, with a soft brush (Opacity 20-40%) sampling lighter colour from surrounding areas, paint over the dark parts ... try to 'play' with Blending and Opacity of the 'Lighten' Layer until you are satsfied with the result.

  6. Add a bit of noise to the corrections.

  7. USM to sharpen.

It seems very odd to me that suit and dress could have the 'twin look' spotty pattern .... The dress maybe .... but then why only on half of it? ... I really don't think that a man's suit in that period would sport such a pattern .... and whatever it is (mold or else) it isn't regularly distributed on the 'front' of the picture either ... so, maybe the image surface wasn't even and mold (?) settled in an irregular way ...

Hope this helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg F_bronti_beach_before.jpg (98.1 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg SNAP-Neat.jpg (81.2 KB, 69 views)

Last edited by Flora; 07-16-2005 at 01:15 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2005, 02:27 AM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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As always Flora - you make it look easy!

I've had a bit of a go with your technique - but it still needs some work.... I will continue on it tomorrow.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bronti_beach_again.jpg (95.8 KB, 49 views)
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2005, 11:09 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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well now, see, i told you there shld be an easier way to do this thank you, flora! i had thought to try polaroid's dust and scratch remover, but had forgotten about neat image.

a few questions, flora... do you have neat image as a plugin or as a stand-alone or both and are you using the free version or a 'pro' version?

also, i noticed on your attachment of the neat image readout, that your settings show R G and B. on mine it's Y Ch and Cr. is there a setting you can change for this or is that just a version difference or something you get extra in a pro version or plugin? i only have the free version and only as a stand-alone.

and, when you say you made a 'loose' selection, is that an actual setting in photoshop or do you mean something like you just loosely traced the moldy areas for the selection?

when it came to your step 3, i veered. rather than run a median filter or gausian, i had purposely overdone the neat image filtering to complete noise removal. this gave a very pasty sort of look to the suit (i only did the suit). when i pasted this back in in its own layer, i still had the original suit in another layer. i laid the neat image one over the original whole picture and then laid the original suit over that. i then just adjusted the original suit's opacity to something fairly low to put back a bit of texture.. probably not the best method, but it did work.

the reason i did this is, i dont have a median filter with a 'radius' setting. it just has a strength setting. and, i'm always a bit confused by how folks use masking. for instance, i'm not quite sure what the differences are in a 'channel mask' and 'layer mask' and other possible types of mask. and, when you mask like this, what settings are you using to create the mask? in psp when i create a mask, i can choose settings like create from 'opacity' or 'luminance' and i think there's one other. so, when you create your 'layer mask', i guess i'm a bit lost on what you're doing. this may well be because photoshop has more options for masks than psp. or, it may just be because i have a confusion somewhere. and, if it's the latter, i'd like to correct this.

i also took a look at the woman's dress again, and i have to agree that this is not a print on the dress, or at least not completely. a print would repeat the pattern at some point. this does not. also, the baby's clothes also seem to have a bit of this same mold.

in my attachment, you can see that i cut off my selection a bit too early down on his pants and around the edges a bit, but all that could be smoothed out with clone or push and not hurt things much.

very nice job, flora

Craig
Attached Images
File Type: jpg moldyclothes-1-k-1.jpg (97.1 KB, 45 views)
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2005, 03:01 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Caitlin,

Try to decrease the contrast before doing anything else .... by decreasing the contrast a bit the spots tend to slightly fade after which minimizing them is a bit easier ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
a few questions, flora... do you have neat image as a plugin or as a stand-alone or both and are you using the free version or a 'pro' version?
I have both versions ... I passed to the Pro version mainly because of the PS Plug-in ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
also, i noticed on your attachment of the neat image readout, that your settings show R G and B. on mine it's Y Ch and Cr. is there a setting you can change for this or is that just a version difference or something you get extra in a pro version or plugin? i only have the free version and only as a stand-alone.
You have the RGB Option in the Demo version as well (Attachment 1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
and, when you say you made a 'loose' selection, is that an actual setting in photoshop or do you mean something like you just loosely traced the moldy areas for the selection?
I wish there were a PS 'loose selection setting' .... No such luck! ..I just loosely select around the problem areas with the Lasso Tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
when it came to your step 3, i veered. rather than run a median filter or gausian, i had purposely overdone the neat image filtering to complete noise removal. this gave a very pasty sort of look to the suit (i only did the suit). when i pasted this back in in its own layer, i still had the original suit in another layer. i laid the neat image one over the original whole picture and then laid the original suit over that. i then just adjusted the original suit's opacity to something fairly low to put back a bit of texture.. probably not the best method, but it did work...the reason i did this is, i dont have a median filter with a 'radius' setting. it just has a strength setting.
... Quoting Craig ... (you might know him ... ) .."there's always more than one way to do things in photoshop. so, whatever works!" ... even more so if you use a different software ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
...and, i'm always a bit confused by how folks use masking. for instance, i'm not quite sure what the differences are in a 'channel mask' and 'layer mask' and other possible types of mask. and, when you mask like this, what settings are you using to create the mask? in psp when i create a mask, i can choose settings like create from 'opacity' or 'luminance' and i think there's one other. so, when you create your 'layer mask', i guess i'm a bit lost on what you're doing. this may well be because photoshop has more options for masks than psp. or, it may just be because i have a confusion somewhere. and, if it's the latter, i'd like to correct this.
I'm no expert in the field, but, as far as I know, the channels represent the presence and their 'gradation intensity' of different colours in a picture ... Depending on which colours are present and how 'intense' they are, the relative Channel will show strong, medium or nearly no Contrast at all .... The contrast in a channel (can be tweaked with Levels or Curves after duplication) can be used as an easier way to create a Mask or as the rough start of one... but always limited/relative to the 'luminosity' of that specific channel ... A Layer Mask is usually done on the 'composite' view ... meaning all channels together and, therefore, more flexible since it lets span you selection 'cross channels' ... One last thing ... I haven't a clue why ... but somehow channel masks seem to deliver stronger results ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
i also took a look at the woman's dress again, and i have to agree that this is not a print on the dress, or at least not completely. a print would repeat the pattern at some point. this does not. also, the baby's clothes also seem to have a bit of this same mold.

in my attachment, you can see that i cut off my selection a bit too early down on his pants and around the edges a bit, but all that could be smoothed out with clone or push and not hurt things much.

very nice job, flora

Craig
Thank you for your kind word ... and great job!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg NIDemo.jpg (97.1 KB, 45 views)
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2005, 04:30 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Thanks Flora & Craig!

I was also stuck in Y Ch and Cr in Neatimage, so it's a revelation I can switch to RGB - I have no idea what difference it will make, but I have switched over now. I am having all kinds of problems with my PC at the moment, so couldn't open your attachment Flora, but I found the setting to change it anyway.

Craig - your clean up of the suit is terrific! I guess Flora's comment about contrast it where I have gone wrong, so mine isn't nearly as good. I will have another go in a few days - I think I might start again from scratch.

Now I am looking at the picture more closely I think there may be some mould damage on the lady's neck and man's face as well....
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2005, 08:24 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ah flora, you're brilliant! of course, dont use contrast till AFTER neat image. that makes a lot of sense!

and thank you for answering my questions! i think i'm moving to italy so i can tutor under you

pro version of neat image with plugin...ok.

yes, now that you mention it, i do recall changing some settings and seeing the RGB settings. just never used them. so ok.

lasso for loose selection. ok, sounds the same as my various selection captures, free style, point to point, smart, normal shapes type, and magic wand. i'm guessing the lasso is similar mostly to the point to point. so, ok.

on the layers vs channel masks, i guess what i was trying to ask is, in psp you can create a mask based on several things, luminance, opacity and something else, i think. i'm guessing that when you say channel mask you're simply creating a mask on one of the channels, but what kind of mask, or rather you're creating the mask based on what? luminance? and then i'd also guess folks are calling a 'layer mask' simply any mask created on a separate layer, or, by moving a mask that already exists TO a new layer, but i'm not sure. any clarification of this would be helpful.

you are a dear, flora. your willingness to help along with your talent are always noted and appreciated, if not always expressed. thank you!

also, is english your native language or italian or something else?

Craig
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