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advice on battered photo
It's in terrible shape. I've worked on it some, but would appreciate advice from the forum folks who have more experience than I do with this sort of thing.
Michele, welcome to RP!
To start with I would convert the image to B&W using the Channel Mixer till you get the best contrast. You will still find the shadows very weak, so I would duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to multiply with a reduced opacity to increase the image density.
The image appears to have been shot through a window because of the glare and reflections. Also the backgroung is distracting and has no real compelling elements So you may want to just crop it. The clone stamp will take care of a lot of the grunge and the cracks. I would then apply a curve to try to balance the contrast. I took a just a few minutes to do some course adjustments to see what it looked like heading in that direction. I found that a Duotone looked better than a plain B&W result. You can experiment.
Just a quick go. As Murray says, the BG doesn't really add much to the picture, but I've kept it in so you can see what it looks like.
This is only a rush job, with a bit of care and time it could be better.
Basically I duplicated the pic, then worked on that.
Desaturated it, adjusted levels. New layer set to soft light blend and filled with 50% grey. Used soft black/white brush at 10% to darken/lighten areas to even things out a little.
new layer to clone out cracks etc.
New layer colour mode, fill with colour taken from original.
Flatten and sharpen a little.
Thanks to both of you. I've had some experience with retouching, but this job was beyond me. It's amazing, what you guys did. Now I know how to proceed.
I got as far as cropping, and I did convert the best of the channels to BW, but I guess I need to hone my cloning skills, because I could not get rid of the big splotches. How on earth did you do that??
It's too bad this photo is so badly out-of-focus, but as I said, it's the only one I know of that features both my grandparents. For that matter, there are precious few photos of either of them.
I am going to a mini-family reunion for Easter. With luck, thanks to both of you, I will be able to deliver a reasonable print of this old, battered photo to interested parties.
Thanks again. This site is the greatest. I hope that I will be able to contribute at some point when my skills are more developed.
What I did to equalise the tone was as follows.(Bit more detail than first post).
1. Desaturate (its easier to match a greyscale as there's no colour shift problems).
2. Selected dark areas (I used quick mask), then lightened them to match surrounding areas. Fine tuned using the soft light layer I described in first post.
3. NOW I adjusted levels for the whole image to give better contrast.
4. Cloned out any cracks and blemishes. (Vary brush hardness and opacity for best results).
5. Added original colour back by means of a color blend layer. (sample from original). Adjust layer opacity to get color depth you want. (You can pull the color a little using color balance if needed.
Hope this helps a little.
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