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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Restoration suggestions

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2007, 09:29 PM
swkmom swkmom is offline
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Restoration suggestions

Hi. I'm new here to the forums and thought someone out there could give me some suggestions on restoration. I scanned some old photos my parents gave me and wanted to learn how to restore them. I've been doing this as a hobby for about a year now, and just found out about this website.

The photo I've attached has the before on the left and where I have gotten it on the right. I would like to see more detail in the faces, without making the photo too dark. I'm unsure how to do this. I've tried a few different things, but the image either gets blown-out or it looks way too dark again.

I'm open to suggestions on how to fix this.
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File Type: jpg photo restoration.jpg (81.1 KB, 121 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2007, 05:59 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

The pictures you've posted are a little small for us to see any real detail, might be better if you posted the before and after pictures separately. You can post upto 5 pictures in any one post.

Flora has written some instructions on posting Images to the forums Here
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:19 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

swkmom, welcome to RP.

gary is right. the image is a bit small here. and that causes loss of detail all by itself. generally, it's better to lower the resolution of the image but increase the dimensions of the image when posting. actually, it's better if you dont have to lower the resolution at all, but if you have to pick one over the other, drop the resolution a bit.

also, get the best possible scan you can on the image. if you've got an older scanner that only gets about 100 dpi, you might want to look into a newer scanner or take the image to some place that do it in a higher resolution.

as to your specific concerns on this image, you dont mention how you did what you did, so it's hard to advise you on that. but, in general, to bring out detail in an image you want to do a bit of contrasting between the different ranges of lightness and darkness. tools for doing this are things like 'curves', 'brightness/contrast', 'levels', 'shadows/midtones/highlights', 'clarify', 'fade correction', 'histogram adjustment' and others. some of those may have other names in other programs or may not even exist in one program, but most decent programs will have at least the first four.

so, what program are you using for your work?
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:44 AM
swkmom swkmom is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

Here are the 2 photos.
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File Type: jpg before.jpg (55.2 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg after.jpg (61.6 KB, 54 views)
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2007, 12:19 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

SWKMOM,
Craig has pointed you in them right direction. If you want good results, you really need to hget a good quality scan. The image you uploaded is highly pixelated from being over-compressed. A good quality scan with no auto corrections made by the scanner should give you an excellent starting point.
Find the channel withthe best detail and tone, which I suspect may be the Blue channel. Use that to create a new working image (the original must have been B&W). Adjust the contrast to get a good grayscale image. From the you can give the final product a Sepia tone, or you can hand color it. The attachment is only a 60 second example where I took the blue channel and adjusted the contrast.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg SWKMOM Rev MM.jpg (76.9 KB, 41 views)
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2007, 12:49 PM
swkmom swkmom is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

OK, I've definitely proved that I'm new here. Here is what I did with the photo:
I scanned it in on an Epson 2480 scanner at 400dpi and saved it as a tif.
I have Photoshop CS and did the following...
I used the clone stamp to correct blemishes, then used levels to brighten some areas and darken others. From there, I duplicated the corrections and changed the blend mode so the after.jpg is where I'm at now. I can't seem to get more detail without making things look too dark. I haven't tried adjusting any particular channel, but that is an idea I haven't thought of. I'll try that.
Thanks.

Kari
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2007, 11:38 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

your scan at 400 dpi is probably a lot better than what's posted, due to the limits of posting here, but i'm guessing that what you're running into isnt a problem of bringing out the detail but rather one of no detail being there.

so, you've got two options, restore it as is, or add your own detail based on what is there. the latter is a reconstruction. the tools for this are a bit different. i use paintbrush, airbrush, and smudge. i work on blank layers with the 'use all layers' checked. you're basically creating an overlay.

airbrush or spraypaint, whatever you've got like this, is probably my favorite tool here for this. you vary the opacity and density and spray on the appropriate colors or shades and blend them in.

i also made new eyes for the woman using paint shop pro's 'red eye removal' tool.

attached is an example:
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File Type: jpg Before-2-k-1b-woman.jpg (87.2 KB, 26 views)
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2007, 03:11 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

Hi Kari,

had a play around with your original image.

Duplicated BG layer, then desaturated it (easier to deal with luminance in isolation).

Added levels adjustment layer and adjusted for best overall lighting and contrast.

Used a little dodge and burn to emphasise the small amount of detail on the woman's face (remember that when using either of these tools you can select them to operate on just the shadows, midtones, or highlights), I set the tools for about 5% opacity and built up slowly.

Finally created new layer, set to colour blend and dumped a colour sampled from the original. Reduced layer opacity to get best tone.

This was a V quick job, with a bit more time and the original sized scan I think you should be able to get it a bit better.
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File Type: jpg after 2.jpg (91.0 KB, 41 views)
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2007, 06:43 AM
zganie zganie is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

Hi swkmom as mentioned the photos are small,try this on your scanner 300,600,1200 look at all 3 scans you will see a difference in image detail,also in your scanner turn off auto everything.what i see in the photo is a strong sidelight which has eliminated details from the left side of there faces.So trying to get or put it back could be a problem
Zganie
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2007, 04:26 PM
swkmom swkmom is offline
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Re: Restoration suggestions

OK, I tried again. I used the blue channel to bring out some more detail. Did a little more clone stamping, then did some painting in the sides of the faces that are washed out. I also brightened up the eyes a bit. Thanks for everyone's suggestions in helping me out.

Kari
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File Type: jpg photo restored.jpg (45.9 KB, 29 views)
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