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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

OPR Restoration - Navy

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  #21  
Old 08-17-2006, 01:50 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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candy,

that's a huge improvement on the face. and yes, i think that's the cap insignia. but, if you look real closely i think you'll see that there are two down on his collar/lapel. they are badly damaged and i figured if i were doing this fully i would just those up and just clone in new ones.

i particularly like the eyes. i did up another stage and added eyes also, but frankly, i like yours better. so if i go any further with this i'm going to go back and redo mine.

here's another little tip: while working in clone layers (blank layers you clone into), 'flip' the layers on and off so that you can see the original showing. this gives you the before and after and tells you pretty obviously if you're 'staying within the lines'. just click on the 'eye' on the layer and turn it rapidly on and off to see the before and after.

and you'll notice from my posting dates that i stop every once in while. take a break. walk away from it. it's very easy to get 'work blind' on this stuff. that's what i call when you get so interiorized into the work that you sort of lose track of objectivity and perspective and so on. this is a very common thing in retouching and restoring. you zoom in and build up so many mental image pictures that the whole thing sort of blurs as to where you started, where you are and where you're going. so, walk away once in a while. take a walk and look at the daisys or go play in the snow or something along those lines. and it's best, truly, if you can get outdoors in wide open spaces and realize the world isnt all sitting on a small monitor

i'm going to let you do this for a while on your own now. please, keep posting. i can already see big improvements and that just does my old heart good; makes me proud of myself and of you and that's a win-win situation

craig
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  #22  
Old 08-17-2006, 04:21 PM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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You do a gals heart good.

I agree about walking away from the puzzle. That's what I've been doing and as you can see I see new things - evidentally not the insignias. Could you be so kind as to point an arrow and I'll do the rest.

I think I'll work a little now while cooling down from work.
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  #23  
Old 08-17-2006, 11:42 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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candy,

in all honesty i'm not real sure about the other insignia. it might be buttons too. way down at the bottom of the picture, camera right of the tie, in the black area... looks like a round button or patch with something in it. damage is pretty steep there, so again, not real sure. if you've got a full blown uniform that shld tell you what is or isnt there.

craig
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  #24  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:19 AM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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Button

I spotted that and according to other pics, that is a button. Under the circumstances and the damage, if it was an insignia the damage is to great to start guessing now.

Also, attached is the next step of the project. Let me know what you see.

Last edited by klassylady25; 08-19-2006 at 12:05 PM.
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2006, 11:13 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, it's a bit rough around the edges yet and you've done something to the face. i liked the last version better...seemed closer to true in the face. i do like the collar. the irises and pupils seem ok. that camera left ear is a bit rough. what i did on that ear is to make a copy of the other ear, lighten it and mirror it and then paste it back in. a little clone, push and/or airbrush to blend it in better.

the overall face seems a bit over cloned. think of the clone tool as a paint brush. that's really what it is. and then think 'fine art'. when i start getting into more critical areas that's exactly how i treat this, as if i'm painting. i use all sorts of strokes. sometimes i hold the mouse down and paint a whole line, especially along edges to clean them up. sometimes i airbrush on one layer and then clone the airbrushing around. sometimes i use a sort of nibbling stroke where i set my clone mark and then move the cursor half way out of that mark, but still half way in too. that gives you an almost exact copy of something very near to the area you're working on and, as you move along in dabs or nibbles you are picking up a smaller percentage of the original each time you dab. you lay down a dab with clone at 60% and then as you move the mouse cursor a tiny bit, you pick up part of what you just laid down but since you're still at 60% you're basically picking up 60% of 60% and this gives you a gradient fade out of where you original set your mark. this is great for transitioning from one shade value to another. if you also set your mark in different locations around your target area from time to time, you can then blend with this dabbing technique quite effectively, keeping proper shading transitions and color transitions.

cloning is an art. and reconstruction and restoration is probably the hardest area of graphics work there is. high fashion is a breeze compared to rebuilding a flood damaged, time worn, sunlight faded, poorly taken photograph. it's probably also the hardest on the artist. you want to make it 'look like new' or to 'look like a photograph' again and often, it's just not possible within a given time frame or financially feasible and that's hard on the artist that's striving for something really good. so, you have to find your own level of acceptance on these. when is good, good enough? i'm saying all this because i'm particularly demanding of myself in this regard. i doubt i could charge what is really invested. nobody would pay it so, you have to set your own standards here.

i was watching 'the antiques roadshow' on tv tonight and they had a woman on that had an original illustration art piece from an old cover of the 'saturday evening post'. she paid $1000 to have it cleaned and restored. the painting was appraised on the show for something like $3000. i'll guarantee that you'll put just as much care and time in on some photos as that restorer did but you wont make $1000 off it

anyways, keep at it and dont be afraid to throw out what you dont like and start again. stay true to yourself. and keeping things on layers will help in that regard

craig
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  #26  
Old 08-22-2006, 08:33 PM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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Throw away

If I had a waste paper basket it would have been full many times over. I've closed the book for a day or two to think and clear my head before starting again......

You're a sweety Craig and such an encouragement.
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2006, 02:46 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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yes, digital trash cans are very useful

and thank you trust me, i know how frustrating this stuff can be. i'm still not where i want to be on restoring either and i have a bruised forehead to prove it

here's another tip you might want to explore. before cloning or other actions like that, try enhancing detail on the overall image. thngs like contrast/brightness, curves, levels, clarify, shadows/midtones/highlights and so on can often help bring out more detail which in turn can make it easier to clone/push/smudge/airbrush.

and here's another tip, though i dont use this one often. instead of the normal procedure for cloning, turn off all layers except one blank layer on top and the original background layer. turn OFF 'use all layers'. highlight the background layer. set your clone mark/set point on a location on the background layer you wish to start from, but, before actually cloning, highlight the blank layer and set your clone cursor EXACTLY over your set mark. then, set your clone brush opacity at 100%, hardness around 60 to 80 and hold down your left button and clone an entire area onto the black layer in one pass. this shld put an exact copy of that area on the blank layer. this is sort of a quick way to select out specific areas to work on. it shld put that copy of that area exactly in the right spot. turn off the background layer so that only your new area copy is showing and work only on that area. from time to time, check how you're doing by turning on the background layer again and turning off the top layer. just toggle the top layer on and off to see before and after. this is a pretty good way to remove a LOT of distraction in a hurry and gives you a good way to check before and after and isolates one area to work on in case of mistakes.

as you finish one area, simply repeat the process for another area and clean that one up. so, you might have one layer that is the background, one that is the cap, one the face/neck, one the uniform and so on. this also lets you go back and work on an earlier layer without damaging anything else.

there's lots of little things like this to try. you might try the last tip but only set your clone to 50% and try a blending mode after fixing things up. because this image is primarily black and white, a blend of luninance might work.

you might also try that last tip but only clone in the best areas, the least damaged and then use that to fill the damaged areas you didnt clone in.

clone is a very versatile and very powerful tool.

craig
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2006, 11:19 PM
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klassylady25 klassylady25 is offline
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Copied and Pasted

I've taken time to copy and paste your words. When I need them next, which will be soon, I will read them over again and again.

Tonight I have finished the picture that started this thread and will soon send it on to Operation Photo Rescue. I've worked very hard on it and at this point feel that it's satisfactory to return.

Don't go far Craig, because you never know when I'll need you again. More than that, I'd miss you if you did go far.

Thank you and all for your suggestions...
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  #29  
Old 08-24-2006, 02:25 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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okie dokie. good job

i'll be here and you're welcome

craig
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  #30  
Old 08-24-2006, 02:59 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Candy.

You seem to be doing just fine with this.But I am not sure OPR will welcome the change of background. From what I remember of their rules this is not allowed.

I hope you don’t mind but I had a go at it. I will post the method if you want it But you seem to be getting along just fine.

Enjoy the Popcorn.

Ken.
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