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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

In Over My Head - need a starting point

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  #1  
Old 06-24-2006, 12:46 AM
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In Over My Head - need a starting point

Hi everyone. I've been lurking in the shadows, reading your posts for some time, adding a rare suggestion when I thought I could contribute. I've been doing volunteer work for Operation Photo Rescue. I got cocky and asked for a difficult image to work on. Well, this one is way out of my league. I'm not asking for someone else to do this, just for suggestions as to where to start. OPR has a few basic rules - do not over-restore - don't add anything that wasn't already there.

My basic thought is to merely dig in and sketch the whole thing, ie - make as realistic a drawing out of it as possible, rather than actually trying to restore it. I just don't think there's enough detail to even think of cloning.

Any thoughts or suggestions would leave me heartily grateful.
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Old 06-24-2006, 04:38 AM
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Hi Jason,

I feel a bit baffled....I know exactly how difficult that picture is to restore!!!

It was one of several (and not the worst one) I got from OPR, and restored, last February...

Of course I wrote them that if there was anything they wanted changed or dealt with in a different way they only needed to let me know...Becky closed her mail to me this way:

Quote:
..... Again, GREAT job!
Becky
...

Just wanted to let you know...

Attached a B&A of my restoration...
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:26 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Jason, I don't think sketching the image will do, as that is not "restoration". My guess is they will reject your submission if you turn in a sketch, and you will have done all that hard work for nothing.

This image is difficult because the arm and hand are missing/badly damaged, but I don't think that is the most important part. The facial features are. Distorting the face in any way will make the restoration useless, as it will no longer look like the individual.

Flora, although you've done a fine job on the majority of this image, he doesn't look like the same person, and that may be why they've sent it out to others to restore again. Your image also has a lot of contrast. I would suggest fixing the damage to the image, as is, without contrast adjustments. Fixing the damage will restore the image to the state the owner will remember and appreciate. Trying to make a "better" image, by contrast adjustments, etc., probably isn't what they're looking for.

The image is fixable, it's just a matter of careful, tedious work.
I did a little work on it.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:48 AM
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Hi Vikki,

yes, I might have overdone it a bit on this one ... but as I said, it was one of several in tragic conditions ... Last February, when they sent me the picture to restore/retouch, the only instructions given were the following:

Quote:
All are cropped and sized, just need to be retouched.
We'll put the final color correction on here based
on our printers. Just send them back to .... in the highest jpeg quality.
... They really sounded so overwhelmed with all the requests for help they had, I would have thought strange they would 'reject' something unless really unacceptable... It's fine with me if they didn't like my version, but since we had quite a regular exchange of e-mails, in that case, they could have asked me to correct my restoration ... as I had always offered to do...

But what really puzzles me is seeing the picture up for restoration again long after, according to what I was told back then (last February), the restored pictures had already been mailed back to the owners ... and I've been contacted again by OPR nearly a month ago ...
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:28 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Flora, yes I see your point. It is puzzling. If I were you, I would certainly contact them about this.
Not sure if you are aware of this, but they have a blog/forum here:
http://www.oprworkshop.org/forum/index.php

They are in the process of setting up a gallery of works done.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:43 PM
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I think the project is a work I progress. I would not be surprised if some work was not lost in their reorganization.

It seems to me that the instructions are very limiting. I do understand the reasoning behind them but maybe some changes would get better results.

For instance maybe give the photo owners a checklist of choices in the degree of restoration. I’ll bet many would be very happy to have missing or destroyed areas restored by the many talented volunteers.

I know what I would try and do with the submitted photo, …. If I had the talent…lol…
but I am sure it would be rejected under the requirements.


Butch
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:48 PM
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Vikki,

thank you so much for the link...

I knew their blog .... but hadn't seen their Forum yet ...

Yes, I will get in touch and ask ... even though after visiting their Forum it seems to me that their new trend is opening some of the pictures (which have already ben restored) as testing grounds for retouchers .... Surely very interesting and educative for the retouchers ...
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:58 PM
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I want to thank everyone for their help here - I'm glad that this was done - I was sweating it! I was looking over the picture with the intent of a full restoration, and that was overwhelming, to say the least. I guess I need to be a little more careful with the way I look at these things and instead just try to save what's most important, rather than the whole thing. It's just that when I get the work from OPR, I can't help but thinking what these people went through, if I'm working on a picture that's just damaged, or the last picture taken of someone who didn't survive the storm, and I want to make it perfect for them.

One of the e-mails I received from OPR might explain why so many of us have worked on the same image: Becky Sell and her volunteers will be approaching it as a free-for- all where the volunteers can go in and download whatever file they want. If multiple people work the same image, the best result gets used. Once this test run is completed, we'll reevaluate which process worked best.


Again, thank you all for your help! Now I know better for next time!
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Old 06-24-2006, 02:29 PM
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You are welcome Jason!

I have just answered your email...

Thank you so much for helping me understand better what is happening at OPR ...

Quote:
One of the e-mails I received from OPR might explain why so many of us have worked on the same image: Becky Sell and her volunteers will be approaching it as a free-for- all where the volunteers can go in and download whatever file they want.
... I think it's a great idea and the best way to do it!

Quote:
If multiple people work the same image, the best result gets used...
This is even a better idea ...Those unfortunate people really deserve the best they can get ... But what about the pictures restored months ago? .... Will the better versions be also printed and sent to the owners or will they simply serve as exercise for the retouchers?
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