Restore Old Photo
i'd recommend curves, levels and/or contrast/lightness to start. probably curves would be a good first bet. bring the blown out whites down first and then see if there's enough left in those blown out areas to get some contrast showing things up.
This photo had a few problems to say the least. What helped some was to use a series of levels adjustment layers stacked on top of each other, and then I used a brush on these masks to select the various areas that need fixing.
As you say, the image is splotchy. So I dropped the low frequencies with the high pass filter at radius 10.
The image is dark and low contrast so I put the heads on a screen mode layer to preserve detail before adjusting levels.
I used dust and scratch at radius 3, threshold 60 to get rid of the white noise and the patch tool on the rest. There is still noise left however; particularly those fingerprints near the man's head. I did a final clean up with Neat Image before sharpening.
Edit: I took out the Photoshop Dust and scratch step as it was messing up the picture too much. I did more patch tool instead.
Last edited by Panpan; 11-11-2005 at 06:32 AM.
Hello. This is my first post here.
First I made a copy of the original (onto another layer) and applied a gaussian blur to that. Then I made a mask based on that. The mask passes the bright areas (where your photo is overly white) and blocks the dark areas. Made another copy of the original and adjusted the histogram and curves until the white areas looked a bit better. Then apply the mask to this adjusted layer such that I'm getting the right parts of the adjusted and original image with decent-looking transitions between the two. That fixed the bright spots (well, sort of. As you can see it's only partially fixed.)
I tried to do an analogous procedure with the dark splotches as well. Again, only partial success.
Used NR at the end, and used a combination of makeover tool and clone brush to clean up the specks and other damage.
Overall, I didn't quite get it all evened out. I think someone with more experience (or if I made a few more attempts) might be able to get it pretty even although there's some real information loss at the bottom of the picture you can't really fix without some artistic skills.
I used PSPX.
You guys have done just amazing things with this photo to the point that I had to have a go too. Nothing too sophisticated here though, just layers of dodge and burn and a bit of repair.
Here was my quick attempt. I worked first in CMYK and deleted the black channel, adjusted the curves in the yellow and magenta channels, then I converted to RGB and then greyscaled it. Mainly because I was just trying things here and there but it brought out some detail I thought. I then used the recommendation above and fiddled with the burn tool and did the poloroid dust and scratch filter. This is what I got out of doing that.
I selected the highlights and adjusted the levels then made a graduated mask
I repeated this process Five times.
Then I used the De-Crack action to remove the spots.
I don’t know what to do to improve it further.
Welcome to Retouch Pro. I wish my first post here was as good as that. Well Done.
I am trying to follow your method.
First I made a copy of the original (onto another layer)
and applied a gaussian blur to that. – Understood
Then I made a mask based on that. ??? based on what??
The mask passes the bright areas (where your photo is overly white) and blocks the dark areas. – Do you mean set layer mode lighten?
Made another copy of the original and adjusted the histogram and curves until the white areas looked a bit better.
Then apply the mask to this adjusted layer such that I'm getting the right parts of the adjusted and original image with decent-looking transitions between the two. That fixed the bright spots (well, sort of. As you can see it's only partially fixed.) – not got to this
I tried to do an analogous procedure ?????
with the dark splotches as well. Again, only partial success.
Used NR at the end, and used a combination of makeover tool and clone brush to clean up the specks and other damage. – Do you mean NI (Neat Image)
Bart your picture looks very sharp. What did you use?
Thanks for the compliment!
Note: I'm using Paintshop Pro. PSP treats a mask as separate layer whereas Photoshop treats a mask as an attachment to a layer. For those using PS, the mask will simply be attached to the group layers shown in fig 1 and fig 4.
I'll just go through the steps after making the blurry image. The first step is to darken the bright areas. Fig 1 shows the layer group used to do this--it's called "Group - Fix Bright". I have it all expanded out so you can see all of the information.
This group is sitting on top of the Original. The first thing I want to do is apply a curve to a copy of the original to darken the overly bright parts. This gives me an image that looks like the Fig 2. Of course it's mostly too dark, but the mask I'll create in the next paragraph (and the one you asked about) will mask out the dark parts and pass the parts that look right.
Now I make that mask you asked about. It is initially created from the luminance of the blurry layer and then a curve is applied to it to adjust its effect--the resultant mask is visible as the icon for the layer "Mask for bright stuff" in fig 1. You can see from the icon that only the correctly adjusted part of that darkened image will pass through the mask. You might need to readjust the "curves 1" or the mask curve again to get everything looking right. The result of the "fix bright" group stacked onto the original gives an image with the bright spots darkened (fig 3).
Next I need to lighten the dark spots. The same basic procedure occurs in the "fix dark" group shown in fig 4. This time I applied a curve (curves 2) to lighten the dark spots--which gives fig 5.
Then I make in inverse mask (ie., a mask based on the inverse of the luminance of the blurry layer) and apply curves to it (icon for "Mask for dark stuff" in fig 4.) Now these two groups on top of the original looks like fig 6.
Fig 6 is pretty much evened out. Now it's just a matter of adjusting exposure level and removing noise which is very taste-specific. You'll notice I was clumsy and Fig 6 isn't quite evened out--a bit more careful curve adjustments would have given a more even result. Panpan used the highpass filter--that's a good idea--I didn't even know about the highpass filter in Paintshop until he mentioned that. Or you can use a burn brush to fix it up as well. I did some of these things and the result is fig 7 which, as you can see, brings out more details than my first attempt, but it's also more splotchy (probably fixed using a touch of the high pass). I was trying some different adjustments this time around, but the technique is the same. If it was my photo, I'd probably go around for a few more attempts.
The NR I used is the one built into Paintshop Pro--for maybe 75% of situations I encounter, the PSP NR does a better job than either Neat Image or Noise Ninja once you get proficient at it (I also have the Noise Ninja plug which occasionally is the better choice--especially for extra coarse noise.) I also used the sharpening that's in the NR tool in PSP.
Had a quick play with your image. There's quite a few things to correct, and it's probably going to take a lot of careful and time consuming work to correct them all.
Don't have that luxury at the moment, so did what I could in time available.
Duplicated layer, and applied levels adj to darken whole image, till light area was slightly darker than top (this meant top area was now almost black). Applied graduated mask to even out tone across image. Adjusted layer opacity to fine tune.
New layer set to Soft Light blend, filled with 50% grey. Use soft black brush set to about 5-10% opacity, to paint darkness into areas where it was needed.
New layer, and cloned out blemishes.
Still a lot to do, but hopefully this will help give you a start.
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