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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Vintage repair

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Old 09-07-2005, 03:35 PM
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pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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Vintage repair

I have a photo complete with (paper) frame. Fixing the subject will be relatively easy. I'm almost finished with that part of it. My difficulty is with the frame. It's stained and discolored in several places, and I wondered if there were any quicker method than 42 hours of cloning in order to clean this image up. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. By the way, the talent that I see on these pages (which I just recently discovered) is simply amazing. I am enthralled by the beauty of the images reproduced in the Challenge forum. How blessed you all are to be so talented.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:38 PM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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The discoloration and stains appear to mainly be in the green and blue channels.

One thing you could try is to make a Duplicate of the whole image: Image>Duplicate and work on the frame only and later copy out the portrait image only and paste it into the frame you have repaired.

In the Duplicate image I always copy the Background Layer as a matter of course

What I briefly did was in the Duplicate image I looked at the channels and saw the Red channel had the least damage. I highlighted the Red channel only, selected it, (Cmd/Control+A), copied it, (Cmd/Control C). Went back to the Layer Palette, and with the Duplicate Background Layer highlighted I pasted the Red Channel copy into it, (Shift+Cmd/Control+V). This should give you a black and white image at the top of the layer stack.

I copied the B&W layer and set the Blending Mode to Multiply. I copied it again with the layer set to Multiply. This gave me a more defined image.
I didn't worry about the portrait image since I will later paste the good portrait in there anyway.

There still is some staining, but it is considerably less than before you could clone this away in about 30 hrs instead of the 42 hrs you had planned. :-)

I would then sepia tone the frame to match the portrait image. You then could go back and copy the portrait image and paste it into the new frame.

Incidentally, for 95% of the old, yellow, stained images I do, like yours, I convert them to B&W first and then, when all the corrections are done, I sepia tone them. I find it gives a better, more consistent, controlable color.

In your case, the frame and portrait sepia would have matched identically.

There are others who may chime in here who are far better than I in getting stains out.

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Old 09-07-2005, 05:46 PM
GaryRP GaryRP is offline
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Another option would be just to create a "new" frame based upon the vintage one in something like photoshop and paste the subject image (which is of course probably the most important bit) into it ..

Should be able to easily get those 40 odd hours down to single digit ...
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:48 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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It looks like that frame has the name of the company in rather ornate letters at the bottom? In that case I can certainly see why keeping it would be desirable. I think Ken's channels idea sounds like the way to go.
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:59 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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caitlin is right. there is a name in the frame. you also dont want to blur this image with all that ornate work in it.

at first, i thought maybe this problem was a color problem. so, i did all the standard actions like curves, channel mixer, color balance and even a hue map... all to no avail. that puzzled me. even in the curves layer i was getting more satisfactory results in the rgb channel than any individual channel. so, i even tried a hue/sat/light layer and it still wouldnt really correct in the right direction. when i took the saturation all the way down, i noticed that the red/green spots were different grays. that was the first clue.

i tried a few other things for color correction, but again, nothing was really working. so, i went to a different tactic. i took the lightness/darkness brush is psp and began painting in 'lighter'. aha! change! i then tried the saturation up/down tool, but that just did the same as the hue/sat/light layer. so, just to be sure, i tried the hue up/down brush. again, nothing satisfactory. so, this was a luminosity problem! NOT a color problem! that changed everything.

working with JUST the lightness up/down brush, i was able to then get some satisfactory results. you're still going to have to put in some hours, but not like you would with a clone. how many is up to you. you're going to want to leave some contrast because that's what's giving you the depth of the gild work, the contrast. but, you can cut it down in the dark spots or darken down the rest of it. just depends on how you want to go.

you might also want to check out Stroker's new beta 'Lum Frequencies' plugin found on his web site and in the software forum here. i did run one test with that on this image and managed to sharpen things up a bit making it easier to work with.

i didnt try splitting channels at all, so dont know what results you might get there. but, if you treat this as other than a luminosity problem, i'm guessing you're going to have troubles.

best of luck,

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Old 09-08-2005, 01:02 AM
maureeno maureeno is offline
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Here's my try. I can't read the writing at the bottom, though.

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Old 09-08-2005, 06:12 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi everybody,


Welcome to RP!

you don't say what software and what version of it you are using ....
Working on the frame of your 'retouched' version with PS CS2, here is what I did:

* Selected the frame only and copied the selection on its own Layer.

* Clicked on the Channels Tab and activated/selected the Green Channel

TIP: to acces the composite view while working on a single Channel, just press the ~ key after activating the Channel ...

* To minimize the colour spots, I used Image>Apply Image:

Source Channel = Red
Target Channel = Green (automatically since it's the channel you are working on ...)
Blending = Lighten
Opacity = 100%

* Repeated the exact same procedure on the Blue Channel.

* The spots are gone but the frame is now a whitish grey .... which I corrected later.

* Used the Shadow/Highlight Adjustment (available from PS CS only) to reduce the highlights and bring out a bit more details in the frame (I used a Layer Mask to reduce the parts that had become too dark in the procedure)

*Used USM to lightly sharpen the frame

* Selecting the hue from the inside of the picture, I used Hue&Saturation (colorize box checked) to put the sepia tone back in the frame.

Hope this helps....

...something must have gone wrong while attaching your picture ... ....
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:28 AM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Wonderful results Flora! Where have you been? I have not seen you around much. And I miss you! Well I am off for the day. As always you did an amazeing job.

Blessings Neb
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:19 PM
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pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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Hi Flora,
I have PS~CS
My apologies for the missing attachment. I am "mucking" around trying to figure out how to maneuver in the forum, and I accidentally deleted the first attachment. Sorry! I appreciate all the input. The results you got were awesome. Is there someplace where one could read about you and how you came about achieving the skill levels you have?
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:45 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi pjstaley,

I usually 'live' here .... (well...nearly)

I'm in the middle of moving right now, but if you'd like to read about the techniques I use for retouching/restoring, you could start by clicking on my name and, when you are in my 'Profile' click on 'Find all Posts by Flora'

'See' you as soon as I can ....
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