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Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

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  #1  
Old 06-13-2007, 05:17 PM
cdrw6622 cdrw6622 is offline
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Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

I've been using Photoshop Elements 4 to restore some old family photos and have gotten to the point that if I have a heavilly yellowed photo, or a 1970's Polaroid that has gone nearly black, or a photo that is sun bleached, I know what I need to do - the same technique will get me pretty close on most photos suffering the same type of damage. However, one category of photo is still puzzling me: photos that have developed a pinkish tint. I have never been able to develop a technique that I can repeat on different photos and get good results. I alwyas have to trial and error on each one. I wanted to ask y'all how you handle pink tinted photos. First off, is the reason they go pink is that the cyan and yellow inks have faded faster than the magenta ink? If that was the case, I was hoping by adding green (magentas complement), it would bring things back into balance but I haven't found that technique to work. I know that's oversimplifying it, but even just using it as a starting point I don't seem to get the colors any closer to where they should be. Using the idiot-proof "auto levels" and "auto color correction" tools also typically don't give good results. With those tools (or even hand correctoing the levels on each channel), I often end up with alien skin tones or purple lips or other weird results. Basically, I'm asking, if you are faced with a photo where the color has changed (not simply a yellowing of the paper), what recipe do you use? Attached are three examples I've run into that were problems. These are unretouched raw scans. I even left the borders of the photos on in case you needed to see the condition of the underlying paper (which I often use when removing a color cast caused by yellowed paper).

On Sample 1, unfortunately I do not know if the baby's dress should be white or light pink.

On Sample 2, all I know is the bed jacket should be turquoise. The only way I've been able to get turquioise is to do a complete hue shift but that seems kind of drastic. Is that a techinique you find yourself ever using, just move the hue slider back and forth?

On Sample 3, it seems to suffer more of an orange tint, but no matter what I do I end up with purple lips on the sleeping man and/or weird skin tone on the baby.

On all three, barring other specific color information (like the turquoise bed jacket), my target has been to get realistic skin and lip colors.

Any comments or help appreciated. Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sample 1.jpg (47.6 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg sample 2.jpg (64.0 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg sample 3.jpg (58.0 KB, 119 views)
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2007, 07:19 PM
lightwriter1 lightwriter1 is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

I think the damage is non-linear. Developing a recipe for fixing these photos would go best with an image with known colors. Probably though, the damage is so different from image to image that a you'll never nail down a consistent system. However, I'd love to be wrong, I have some photos like these. You may end up treating them as a hand colorizing jobs after the initial adjustment to reduce the red.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:24 PM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

I used the threshold and chose a spot that was black then reversed to the other side and chose a spot that was white on all three pictures. then used a levels command and used the black eyedropper to select the black point i set use the white eyedropper the select the white point i set then selected a spot that i thought should be grey and used the center eyedropper to select there. came up with these results. only took about 5 minutes total. I do not use elements so I am not sure but i believe those options should be there.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sample-11.jpg (100.0 KB, 131 views)
File Type: jpg sample-21.jpg (98.5 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg sample-31.jpg (98.8 KB, 100 views)
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2007, 08:32 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

Hi there

I just gave the first one a try... Removing the red is easy enough but bringing back the color was too hard.... I decided to use a combination of the green and blue channels for a grayscale starting point. Then I added color using fill layers.

Butch
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File Type: jpg tobesave1.jpg (91.1 KB, 139 views)
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:50 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

curves with black and white points set (shoe and stocking).

this brought back enough color that the dress seemed more pink to me, so i just airbrushed in some color on a blank layer, blurred it a bit and ok.

then i ran another curves and a hue/sat layer to balance things a bit more. added some saturation and corrected the reds/yellows a bit.

copy merge and paste as new layer, added clarify and touched up a bit more with airbrush.
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File Type: jpg sample%201-1-k-1.jpg (179.3 KB, 91 views)
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2007, 02:49 AM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

The results below is a one pass through the Kodak Digital Roc filter. This is about 30 seconds or less of work. Decided to try a second picture.

dc
Attached Images
File Type: jpg smilingBaby.jpg (192.1 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg DadBaby.jpg (192.1 KB, 86 views)
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2007, 04:19 AM
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saby saby is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

new adjustment layer of curves, color blended mode
set grey eyedropper to use (midtones)
get the grey of picture (i found it on shoe)
new softlight blended layer 50%op filled of black


saby
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sample.jpg (93.2 KB, 68 views)

Last edited by saby; 06-14-2007 at 04:36 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2007, 05:30 AM
zekeode zekeode is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

Sharpened.
Rough curves adjust.
Desaturated background, added blue filter to it.
Desaturated shirt a bit to so the skin tone would differ a little.
Saturated skin.
Removed red from eyes, and used hue/saturation to color (could have done better job with that)
Noise removal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sample 1_zekeode.jpg (88.2 KB, 93 views)
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2007, 06:43 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Bad Color

Well I usually look at the channels palette in RGB and CYMK. The Red Channel in RGB was the most affected and in CYMK the cyan and black channels were most involved.

I also used a levels adjustment layer which helped some but in addition I used selective color.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Baby1.jpg (83.1 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg Christmas1.jpg (81.7 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg Rocking1.jpg (65.9 KB, 52 views)
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  #10  
Old 06-15-2007, 04:58 PM
cdrw6622 cdrw6622 is offline
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Re: Help on technique for restoring photos that have gone pink

Thank you everybody for your comments, suggestions, and touchups on the photos. Attached are the final results of my retouches. The most difficult one was the middle one with the turquoise bed jacket (looked more lime green in the original). And I never was happy with the third photo - never got the baby's and man's skin tones to both be realistic at the same time. I've learned a lot from y'all. Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sample 1 retouch.jpg (52.1 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg sample 2 retouch.jpg (78.2 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg sample 3 retouch.jpg (69.5 KB, 54 views)
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