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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Friend's wedding picture

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Old 04-06-2006, 03:27 PM
AmyR AmyR is offline
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Friend's wedding picture

I've been staring at this picture in my friend's house for the last few years and decided to try my hand at improving it. It's harder than I thoughtl. I'm a pro photographer so I could easily tell you how to retake the shot and make it look perfect. After the fact is another thing altogether. I didn't take this shot and would really like to hand over something much better than this. I'm so-so at PS ( I have PS 7) and would like the step by step to anyone who tries their hand at it. Thank you so much.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:12 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Hi AmyR,

Welcome to RP. Since you're a pro photographer, you know there is a copyright on the photo, and you need a release from the holder of the copyright to do anything with it.

Having said that, it looks like the biggest part of the cake, and the items on the table have no detail to save (although I didn't download the image to check that out). To get detail in the cake, you'll probably need to replace the cake with another one that has detail. If it's completely void of detail, there's no getting it back. The image could probably also use a contrast adjustment with a curves adjustment layer. Maybe use a gradient on a layer mask to even out the exposure on the left side of the pic.

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Old 04-06-2006, 08:45 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Amy, welcome to RP!!
The cake area is pretty blown out. You can repair it but one alternative is to deemphasize it and draw some focus to the bride & groom. I did that by isolating them and darkened the background while colorizing it. Then I adjusted the levels of the couple, used PS noise reduction to reduce the color noise and smooth the artifacts out. Did a bit of cloning on the uniform to get rid of some of the dust specs.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg AmyR Wedding Photo MMR1.jpg (83.6 KB, 75 views)

Last edited by mistermonday; 04-06-2006 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:21 AM
AmyR AmyR is offline
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There is no copyright on this photograph. It was done by a friend of the family's as a favor. As a photographer I would never violate the copyright. I tried to deemphasize the blown out areas of the cake with curves and number of other ways but I'm a novice at PS. Because the photographer did not use a fill flash there are some incredibly harsh shadows around the cake and a less harsh shadow around his hair that seems to keep getting in the way of anything I try. Is there a way I can get rid of those? I tried some of the methods I learned on here but they were pretty advanced and I had some trouble with some of the steps. I'd like to get rid of the shadows and add a fill flash effect so as bring out the whole photo. My friend has pretty traditonal tastes that differ from mine so she did ask that I try to maintain the overall character of the photo. I do like the selective coloring approach though. I appreciate the trouble. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:09 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i believe the first thing i'd do is offer a better crop. attached is just one possibility that keeps the image and character of the shot intact. this crop is in the aspect ratio of an 8x10, which is often what wedding photos end up as, but you'd also want to check that first with the client.

after that, you've a lot of options on how to proceed, but the crop will also eliminate a lot of the problems with the picture, or at least reduce them.

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Old 04-07-2006, 09:39 AM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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To re-texture the cake I used the healing tool to copy the texture from the edges of the cake into the burned out middle. Then created a 50% grey layer set to screen blending mode with a black mask and painted the white back.

Shadows were eliminated by creating a duplicate of the background layer and just roughly covering over the shadow areas with the clone brush and then applying a black mask. Using a soft white brush I then brushed out the shadows, correcting any mistakes by re-painting with black.

The rest was just a bit of colour correction and sharpening.
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File Type: jpg docu0351-600j.jpg (91.6 KB, 63 views)
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:32 AM
AmyR AmyR is offline
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Thanks everyone. I'm grateful for your help. I'm partial to verywired's version because she got rid of the shadows. I will eventually do a 8x10 crop on the photo. It's already been cropped once before I posted it here. For now, I'm printing out test shots and I'd doing it in 4x6 mode. I'll order the final in 8x10. The healing brush huh? I'll have to mess around with that. I tried some sharpening but the focus point is on the cake and so it was tough to even it out. The shadow healing is dead on accurate down to his hair cut. Brilliant.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:58 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Cutting the cake time..

Had to give it a try.
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