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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

What is this stuff?

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  #1  
Old 06-29-2007, 05:16 PM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Unhappy What is this stuff?

I'm trying to work on fixing up old family photos and am learning a lot through RP, but the problem that presents itself in this particular photo has me stumped. What is all of the white stuff from? I'm afraid that other pictures my family has will have these white spots too and I want to learn how to fix them. I'll try to post the original and my attempt at fixing it (far cry from being fixed).

Thanks in advance for any help.

P.S. Had to crop the whole picture, some of these people don't want their faces on the web .
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File Type: jpg whitespots.jpg (93.4 KB, 149 views)

Last edited by lcramer53; 12-20-2008 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:12 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: What is this stuff?

I am not sure what is causing this. There are several techniques that you can use to repair it. Since there are so many spots, I think I would probably the method I would probably use is to use the clone tool, with the brush mode set to darken. This will cause the brush tool to only darken the white spots. Be sure to clone from an area with the same color/texture, though. I tried the heal tool, but I think the spots are too numerous and close together to use that. Be sure to make your repairs to a new layer, and check the "sample all layers" box.

Another method is to duplicate and move the layer, where you would duplicate the layer, and move it a couple of pixels vertical and horizontal. Then set the new layer mode to darken You would then add a black layer mask, and paint on the mask to darken the white spots.

In this case I think the first method would work better though, since a lot of the spots are a little larger than the 2px.

Kind of a rush job using the first method that I posted for you.
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File Type: jpg whitespots-r.jpg (70.3 KB, 86 views)

Last edited by Dave.Cox; 06-29-2007 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Add Photo
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:11 PM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Re: What is this stuff?

Hi Dave, thanks for your quick response. Did you achieve your results just from the clone method? Was it very time consuming? I forgot to mention in my original post that the method I used to achieve my 2nd version was the one where I did duplicate the layer, moved it several pixels to the left and downward and tried the black mask (had found someone's previous suggestion on RP for this method). I guess that I'll have to use several techniques to keep the background. I was hoping that there was some quicker way of achieving this, but maybe 'time' is the nature of the restoration beast?

Thans again for your input! I'll try more on Monday.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:07 PM
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Re: What is this stuff?

Yes, I used the cloned method that I mentioned up above. For this problem it was much faster. I spent about 15 minutes on this photo. By setting the brush mode to darken, you really don't have to be that careful about "over spraying" the white spots. You also don't have to be that careful about your sample picking up on white spots, since they will not darken the area you are repairing. The only thing that you really have to be careful of is not to have your sample darker than your repair area. Where your sample has a lot of the white spots, you may have to go over your repair area more than once, to complete the darkening, but you can move pretty fast. Even when I use the other method, I usually use this method to finish up. The advantage of the other method, is when you have a fairly complicated pattern, it you don't have to work so hard to match the pattern, since you have it in the adjacent layer.

You may have noticed that I also adjusted the levels and colors. I posted a method for somewhere else here, (although I'm not sure where), but if you want it I can post it again for you.

Last edited by Dave.Cox; 06-29-2007 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:42 AM
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Re: What is this stuff?

Polaroid Dust and Scratch filter set to Light Dust will get rid of a great deal of the white dots in your picture, making it easier to work on what's left.

Work on a separate layer and mask the areas you don't want to be affected.

Took me longer to write this than it did to remove the dots.

Long way from complete, but does give you a start point to work from.
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Old 06-30-2007, 05:37 AM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: What is this stuff?

I duplicated the background layer three times
second layer moved to the right 2 pixels and up 1 pixel
third layer moved left 2 pixels and down 1
turned off visibility on original layer and merged visible
added layer mask and masked out the girls face
came up with this
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:37 PM
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Re: What is this stuff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcramer53 View Post
What is all of the white stuff from? I'm afraid that other pictures my family has will have these white spots too and I want to learn how to fix them.
Are these photos printed on the pebbled type paper that was used in the 1970s and 1980s? If so, the "white stuff" is light reflecting from the texture in the paper. I don't know if the old trick of scanning in two directions would help, but could be worth a try.

Janice
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:13 PM
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Re: What is this stuff?

Hi Janice,

This doesn't look like the effect from the textured papers to me. The textured papers tended to have a regular pattern. If that was the case, the FFT filter would have probably been able to remove it.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:23 PM
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Re: What is this stuff?

Hi Dave,

Thanks for answering. I did have some old photos that had just that effect - the darker parts of the picture had white spots just like the ones in this thread. The paper was unusual in this instance. I was surprised at the scanned results.
As far as the FFT filter goes, I have used it, and still do, but have had less than stellar results. Depends on the subject matter, for me anyway.
On another note, I recently did a studio portrait baby photo from the early 1960s with textured paper. Using NeatImage worked wonders, but had to run it through several times. Then used High Pass and Unsharpen Mask and it was perfect. I was happily surprised with the results!

Cheers, Janice
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:52 PM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Re: What is this stuff?

Dave – Thanks again for your help! I really like the method of duplicating the layer and moving it, I can see where this can come in quite handy for a quick touch-up. Also, I found your posts regarding levels adjustments and actually applied a levels and curve adjustment to my ‘fixed’ version of this problem picture.

Gary - I never knew about the free Polaroid dust removal plug-in until now! You weren’t kidding about how quickly it works! Thanks for the tip!
Unimatrix- After seeing your results, I did the same thing with mine and found that adding that extra layer made quite a difference. Thanks for the heads-up.

Janice- Nope, wasn’t textured paper, just damaged from time. I’m anxious to try the reverse scanning procedure. I don’t think it will help in this case but I’ve got a lot of other photos to go through.

For this try, I duplicated the layer and moved left a few pixels and upward, duplicated layer again and moved right and downward, repeated for a 3rd layer set at ‘darken’, created mask for girl’s face to wipe out smudging from those layers; did a levels and/or curves adjustment. This is good for a start. Thanks again!

Last edited by lcramer53; 12-20-2008 at 07:44 AM.
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