RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Restoration
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-19-2007, 12:17 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

attached is an image of Walt Whitman. it was taken from the united states government archive site: http://www.archives.gov/research/civ...il-war-137.jpg and seemed like a good challenge pic for anyone to try their hand at. it's in fairly good shape, but does have some damage.

photographs are a form of communication. the photographer was trying to convey something, say something or show something. we've all heard the saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. so, i'd like all of us doing the work here to say something back, both to the original photographer and to each other. i'd like to start a bit of dialogue amongst ourselves here, more so than usual.

in particular, what do you see wrong with the posted image and what's right with it relative to restoration. we're not so much interested in how well the photographer did but rather what work is needed now to bring it back to a pristine level.

i'd also like to see some cross examination and critiques of the works posted. be fair, be polite, and dont just say what's wrong. i want to also hear what's right as much or more than what's wrong with any given rendition.

and with that in mind, there is only one other requirement to posting your own rendition. you MUST comment on at least one other piece posted here or your post and rendition will be deleted. the first person posting may simply comment on the original to fulfill their requirement. for those that dont speak english very well or at all, i really dont know what to tell you... or that i even can. post in your own language and hopefully someone will translate.

oh, and i'm going to make one other requirement as well. you must post here in the forum, not on imageshack or some other posting site. i want these renditions to be here permanently and other site links sometimes get deleted. so, linked postings will be deleted also.

those that can post at 200k are free to do so (patrons, moderators and admins).

and whereas this isnt specifically a colorizing challenge, feel free to do that as well.

there is no prize with this challenge other than what learning you may receive or impart and the enjoyment of doing the work and so on.

also, the challenge here is RESTORATION. that means bring it back to its original state. that you may enhance it over and above that is fine as well. that you may wish to show its age through sepia toning or some other method is also fine. i know some restorers prefer to do this on older images.

ok, so as danny says in the art forum, have fun! keep it civil and let's see some restorations
Attached Images
File Type: jpg civil-war-137.jpg (198.2 KB, 88 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 08-19-2007, 02:08 AM
DCobb's Avatar
DCobb DCobb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 557
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

To the photographer I would say that his picture conveys an accurate portrayal of a man who grew up in an era when America first became a nation. A man who was from working class home and largely self-educated, but went on to become one of America's greatest poets.

As far as restoration there is a need of the removal of numerous white areas from the background and the picture. Some smoothing of the skin and several areas on the coat that need have the texture restored--lower left hand corner.

I am submitting a colorized version and one that is supposed to be a sepia tone.

dc
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Walt_W_web1.jpg (186.0 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg Walt_W_web2.jpg (179.4 KB, 55 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 08-19-2007, 04:46 AM
Alison's Avatar
Alison Alison is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sanctuary Point, N.S.W Australia
Posts: 314
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

I get the idea that the photographer was trying to convey the sense of a casual pose, as opposed to the very stiff pictures that seem to be from that era.

I did as little work on this one as possible, to keep with the integrity of the era.

Hi DC,

I like the colourised version of the image, the only thing that spoiled it a little for me were the overly blue eyes ..... well, they appear overly blue on my monitor
Attached Images
File Type: jpg civil-war-137-copy.jpg (91.0 KB, 47 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 08-19-2007, 05:15 PM
Oh_Heck Oh_Heck is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 56
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

Well, this is my first touchup done for this forum, and my first message. So i'ld like to say hello to everyone. This forum is a terrific resource for this type of work. I've already learned a couple new techniques just from browsing the posts.

Oh boy, thats what I get for not reading the entire first message. So, let me add a bit to this post .

The original picture, thankfully, had a good deal of detail intact. So it pretty much required some adjustment to faded areas and their contrast. Also some noise fixes within the entire image, small white spots which may have been small physical deterioration of this old image. I decided to cut him out and put in a new background, with some artificial noise artifacts to match it somewhat with the foreground image.

As far as critiquing prior work in this thread.....only suggestion i can think of for Allison(hello!), is to touch up some of the fading and artifacts at the very bottom of the picture. Another thing, is the bright tones behind his head, almost giving him a 'saintly' appearance. I did this initially myself, then my wife said, "well, he looks like a saint or something"...so naturally I had to adjust that a bit, and tone it down somewhat to avoid that.

Dcobb may want to look at the fading and artifacts at the bottom of his image as well. Burn tool works great for bringing out the needed shading.

Other then those notes, I think the work is great thus far.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Oldtimer800.jpg (82.2 KB, 45 views)

Last edited by Oh_Heck; 08-19-2007 at 05:41 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 08-19-2007, 09:36 PM
lurch's Avatar
lurch lurch is offline
Senior Member
Patron
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 574
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

This is a GOOD challenge, Craig. I for one really welcome the opportunity for thoughtful discourse not only on our restoration efforts but also on the image we're working on.

To the photographer - this image grabbed me. It appears you were trying to convey the impression of someone of supreme confidence, relaxed, direct, and unpretentious. Whitman's gaze holds a challenge to the viewer. Can't figure out whether the challenge is for the viewer to be/do something, or if it's an expression of "This is who I am. Want to make something of it?" That enigma is at least part of the photo's appeal.

To DC - Nice job, but I have a couple of nits. In your colorized version, I don't see a burgundy jacket as being consistent with what appears to me to be a no-nonsense kind of guy. I'd expect more old navy corduroy or something more work-y. And his beard and mouth should have some kind of color. My husband has had a grey beard for many years now, but there are still signs of the old brown (or last night's dinner?).

To Alison - I too didn't do much beyond fixing dust and scratches. Tried to retain the grain, slightly soft focus, and limited dynamic range characteristic of the era. And since the original was obviously black and white I left it that way, though I do like the look of a real sepia tone.

To Oh Heck - welcome. You did an excellent job on the damage. (Wait 'til you see what some of the other restorations look like!) My only carp would be the wide dynamic range, but only from a historical perspective.

And thanks, Craig, for the challenge. I do hope future submitters don't feel they have to address every post as I did. I only had three to talk to, after all.

<C>
Attached Images
File Type: jpg walt.jpg (98.9 KB, 43 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 08-20-2007, 03:41 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

lurch (god, i always think of the adam's family butler when i see that name ),

thank you

yes, 'thoughtful discourse' is exactly what i'd like to see here. so, i'm encouraged at how this is progressing. one of the best discussions i ever had on RP was with nancyj about a picture of mine in the art forum. now, anyone that knows nancyj knows that she's got a great eye, a good talent and a very frank style of discourse. that makes for a very powerful teacher. and i needed some learnin'.

and nancyj was very specific with me. because she has the eye and the talent, she could point out EXACTLY what needed to be done, or in some cases, undone. generalities are rarely helpful. 'that's crap' doesnt help a bit and is invalidative. nobody learns anything from a statement like that. but nancyj pointed out my oversharpening and some other details and i was able to not only correct the image, but actually impress her a bit, which is no small accomplishment. and that's what i'd like to accomplish with a thread like this.

so, if you see an image that's better than yours, ask the author what he/she did. if you see something that needs more work, point it out, but point it out so that the person can see what you're saying and see that you're right. or, if you just see a different way of doing something or a different style you'd like to impart, that's fine too.

and, if you just want to kibbutz but not enter the challenge, that's ok as well. ask questions, make comments. i want us to talk! i see references to tutorial this, and book that and this link and that link and so on and so forth, but the greatest resource here is ourselves! make use of all those 'selves'! tap the wealth! communicate, grow, make mistakes, have fun... YOU are the power. YOU are the community. YOU are what makes RP such a great site! splurge!
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 08-20-2007, 04:29 PM
lcramer53's Avatar
lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 237
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

Photographer - I wonder if you had a conversation with Walt during his sitting, I wonder if you only took this one photo or several and if you took several, I wonder what differences there may have been to "poses" or lighting or background.

DC - I think that you did an especially terrific job of restoring the lower portions of the jacket although I'm not quite sure how you did it.

Alison - Great rendition. I don't know what else to say.

Oh Heck - Your choice of background works very well with this photo, very nicely done.

Lurch - Another nice restoration. I don't know what else to say, I think that everyone did really nice work.

What I saw wrong with the original photo and what I did to fix it:

Specks, damage and scratches on the lower portion of the picture. I used clone, spot healing, and patch. When I was satisfied with the b&w version, I created hue/saturation layers set to overlay for adding colors. New gradient layer for background, masked out Walt, added clouds and another overlay or screen layer visible at 25% with color for the background. This was fun!
Attaching the colorized one.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg minichlngcivlwar.jpg (198.2 KB, 58 views)

Last edited by lcramer53; 08-20-2007 at 04:50 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 08-20-2007, 11:16 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Posts: 75
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

I enjoyed this challenge because the photograph was (thankfully) only lightly damaged and Walt Whitman is one of my favorite poets. I deliberately didn't look at anyone else's work until I'd finished and I am delighted by the different interpretations. That's one of the things I love about restoration - it's a skill but it also requires thoughtfulness, an eye for detail, infinite patience and a thousand decisions that impact the outcome. There are no definite rules and everyone approaches a problem differently. Maybe that's why I hated math so much in school - it's ALL rules

At the time this photograph was done Wat was already famous. I wonder if the photographer was intimidated? I pictured him chatting with his subject - maybe a bit stiffly at first - to suss out his personality as he got him situated and the equipment ready to go. Walt looks to be a straightforward person. I hope he put the photographer at ease. BTW, is this a Brady picture? I couldn't decide.

I studied the original and decided that the photographer was highlighting the face and Mr. Whitman's expression. I've restored a half a dozen or so studio pictures from this time period and they all have two things in common: Murk and exaggerated shadows. The photographs lose their range of tone and become very flat. Things that started as nice shadows get darker and darker with age and don't stop until they are forced to at 0-0-0 black. With that in mind I did an overall curves adjustment to bring back some of what I thought was lost. I also did a little lightening under the hat to bring out his eyes. I added a bit of gradient to the top and bottom of the background to highlight his face.

After that it was a general tidy of the bits of damage. I evened out the tone in his jacket and hat as I thought they were less blotchy back in the day. I left his face pretty much alone. Walt Whitman was headed towards 50 when he sat for this photograph and I didn't want him to end up looking like a GQ cover model When I thought I was finished I went back and added back the texture in the jacket and a bit of overall noise. He was far too polished for such an earthy man.

Lurch I liked your minimalist approach! I've learned something from you tonight. It IS possible to restore without sticking in one's own ideas. You did that with great success and next time I'll remember that and try to resist the urge to butt in on a composition. LCramer I'm a bit unnerved by your colorized version. It's a matter of taste, but for old photos I'd much rather see a gentle tint - a sort of imitation of the hand tinting done then. Oh Heck a very nice public debut!!

Cheers,
MJ
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CivilWar-Finished-C.jpg (197.1 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by Charlene5; 08-24-2007 at 12:57 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 08-21-2007, 08:34 AM
lcramer53's Avatar
lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 237
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

Hi Charlene, I really like your restoration, especially the attention to detail and bringing back the texture to his coat. Sorry that my colorized version unnerved you, didn't mean to offend anyone. I don't know if I will ever be able to tame my wild colorizing urges.. .. before computers and even Atari, one of my favorite rainy day pass times with the children was to drag out the coloring books and bucket of crayons. I love coloring! However, I appreciate and agree with your observation and hopefully next time I open up my box of crayons (the digital ones) I'll pay more attention to achieving a more realistic outcome of the time period.
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 08-21-2007, 11:48 AM
Oh_Heck Oh_Heck is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 56
Re: Restoration Mini-Challenge 1

Charlene, i'm curious what technique you used to texture the background. Very nice texture there. Almost looks like a light canvas and gives it a much more authentic look then just using noise.
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Restoration


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Three Things to Do Today - Mini Challenge Fun Swampy Photo Art Mini-Challenges 18 07-30-2009 09:10 AM
Mini Challenge klassylady25 Photo Art Mini-Challenges 27 02-02-2007 02:54 AM
Restoration Challenge - Jill JGeddes Photo Restoration 10 02-14-2006 09:18 AM
Restoration Challenge. Broads Photo Restoration 1 11-20-2005 08:53 AM
How about a montage Mini Challenge? OhThatGirl2001 Photo-Based Art 60 11-26-2002 07:48 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved