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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

New member, help with restoration

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2007, 06:05 PM
dolce_man dolce_man is offline
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New member, help with restoration

Hi all, I've been poking around here for a while but I haven't posted until now. I have to say that the work in here is amazing and quite humbling to say the least, and I clearly have a lot to learn.

I've been using Photoshop CS to do a handful of retouches, restorations and colorizations over the last few years, but most of what I do involves meticulous use of the Clone tool and not too much else. A few of them can be seen here: http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/99066347nBrosq

However the reason I'm posting is another restoration that I've been struggling with for a while, one I was hoping I could get some pointers on. It's a portrait of my great-grandparents from the early 1900s. The original is fairly large, I had to (very carefully) make four separate scans of it and then combine the pieces in Photoshop before I could work with it. I've gotten rid of most of the spots and tried to even out the effects of what looks like water damage, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not very good at smoothing out grainy images while still keeping enough detail, plus I'm not sure how to address the damage at the bottom of the image. I'd eventually like to get this to a point where I could colorize it but at the moment I'm stuck. Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks,
John
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File Type: jpg great_grandparents.jpg (59.9 KB, 135 views)
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2007, 06:24 PM
dolce_man dolce_man is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Sorry, I forgot to attach my progress with it so far...here's a link, the file is over 100K: http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h2...ndparents1.jpg
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2007, 07:14 PM
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CathyH CathyH is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Is this a photo? It looks like a drawing?
The stuff on your web site is very nice.
I'm not real good at the restoration, I think you would just have to do a lot of cloning. and you might try neat image to smooth out the grain. Although I like some grain in the photos, I think that is what make them look old.
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:45 PM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Hi John,

I am not a restorationist (I just fiddle) and hopefully someone who is more skilled can give you pointers on what to do. My effort is attached. For starters I duplicated the layer and set it to multiply. You can always adjust the layer opacity if it is too dark. I used the dodge tool and burn tool along with the blur tool. Very little cloning. Used shadow and highlights to adjust the picture a little. On the shirt I used the blur tool and went back with the dodge tool to lighten it. The burn tool to darken the suit and add shadows.

Enjoyed your web site.

dc
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File Type: jpg Man_suit_web.jpg (156.1 KB, 99 views)
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2007, 10:10 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Hi Dolce_man. I guess it really depends on how you want to proceed with this photo. Looking at your original, I do believe that this started out as a photo, which at this point if very faded and yellow. If I was starting from the original, I would begin by using the channel mixer, with the monochrome box set, and setting the red to 114%, Green to -144%, and Blue to +170%. This keeps the best information from the red and blue channels and discards the green channel, which appears to keep the best of the information. I would then start adjusting to enhance from there since you can now can see most of the important details. I would discard the background completely on this photo, as there is no important information their. You can generate a new back ground for this later when you are done. Your image that you have worked on so far does look more like a drawing than a photo. If this is the look that you want, then you have a good start. I would still adjust the contrast by using a channel mixer layer to get the best data from the red and blue channels, and increase the contrast. Again, be sure to click the monochrome box. This is a black and white picture, so you don't need the color information for color. If you want to add color, you can do that later with a hue adjustment set to colorize. To fix the bottom, your choices are to recreate the missing information, or get rid of it. You could put an oval around the subjects to fade the edges out or just crop it off. If you want to repair it, you will need to get a little creative, but you can pretty much just follow the existing lines on down the page.

I looked at you samples and I must say that you have some really nice work there. I really like the way that you changed the church background in the wedding. One thing that I would add to that though, is a very slight shadow around the edge of the dress on the floor. That will make the dress look like it is part of the picture. Other than that though, it looks really good.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:44 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

welcome to RP, dolce man.

the problem with your current work is that it looks like you didnt 'find the image' first. on faded images like this i find it best to bring out as much detail as possible and do a little luminance balancing/correcting.

i'm posting an example of what i'm talking about here. on this image i first ran a brightness/contrast adjustment layer of about +5 brightness, +50 contrast. that's just to bring out more detail.

i next put a hue/sat adjustment layer over that last one and desaturated the image and adjusted the lightness down just a touch.

then, i did a copy merge and paste as new layer.

to that i ran the 'clarify' filter, which is sort of a specialized shadows/midtones/highlights filter.

and that's it for a start. that gives you much more detail to work with. the down side is that is also highlights some of the damage, but i find that good in most ways, as i want to really see what's there.

oh, and to handle the damage at the bottom, that's going to be clone, mostly.
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2007, 11:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

ya know what, forget what i just said. i must have been looking at the wrong piece. your progress looks very good. lol. sometimes i just go stupid-blind.

you could try some airbrushing, low density, soft brush, low opacity... very low and do this on a blank layer to allow for cleanup and corrections. for example, on the man's coat, on the dark, you could sample the part that is good and color/airbrush the part with the white stains. do this a little at a time. dont try for all in one pass.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2007, 06:44 PM
dolce_man dolce_man is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Wow, thanks to everyone for the feedback thus far, itís very much appreciated.

Cathy, I believe it was a photograph, but it looks and feels like a cloth material, so I donít know. Itís in such bad shape now itís hard to tell. Iíve never used Neat Image but Iíve seen it mentioned in here enough, I think Iíll download the trial version and check it out. Thank you for the comment on my other work.

DC, what you did looks great. Iím not very experienced with the Dodge and Burn tools. I tried dodging the spots out but that didnít work so well - did you get rid of them by a combination of blurring and cloning? I do like how the hair and moustache looked after I burned them a bit. Definitely need to spend more time with these tools. Also, how did you get the image so light after duplicating the layer and setting it to Multiply? Thank you for looking at my other work.

Dave, I messed around with the channel mixer. Channels is another area Iím not as familiar with as I probably should be. Just curious, how did you determine that the green channel had the least useful information? I ask because, well, they all looked like crap to me I do agree about replacing the background altogether though, and I like the oval idea. Thanks for your comments on my other work, that one with the altered church background was a tough one. Iíve been meaning to revisit it for a while now to fix a couple things, good call on the lack of shadow around the edge of the dress. By the way, the groom in that pic is the son of the folks in the image I originally posted about

Craig, I really like the difference your suggestions make as far as bringing out more detail. I canít believe Iíve worked with Photoshop as much as I have over the last few years and yet Iíve not really utilized so many of the most basic functions. This is making me want to go back and tweak a lot of stuff to see how I can improve it Question, do you know if thereís anything in Photoshop similar to the Clarify filter you used?

Thanks again to all for the feedback, I will put it to use and see what I come up with and then post the results. I work slowly though, so bear with meÖ.

John
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:27 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

The best way to use the channel mixer, is experiment with the sliders. What you are looking for at while doing this is the combination that keeps the most useful information, and discards the least useful information. In your case, I was looking for the best contrast that I could get. Sometimes it is getting rid of noise, that can sometimes be isolated more to one channel than others. After you do a few, you will start to see what you are looking for, and can get it with less fiddling.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2007, 08:49 PM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: New member, help with restoration

Hi John,

As I said I made a duplicate layer and set it to multiply. You can adjust the layer opacity. On your picture I used the pen tool to select the person and then inverted the selection and used the dodge tool to lighten the background and I used the burn tool on the suit. CS3 has a new selection tool that I used on their Beta version--haven't purchased CS3 yet--that would make the selection very easy. Since I worked on it in parts I started with the dodge tool; however, I probably would have been easier and quicker if I had selected the man at one time and just filled the area with white or whatever I wanted for a background. On the hair, flower, eyebrows, I did use the burn tool. Remember, in PS if you use a tool and the result is too much you can go to IMAGE>Fade and reduce the effect; however, you have do this as your next step or you will lose this choice.
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