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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

First Time at Restoration

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:15 AM
disgo55 disgo55 is offline
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First Time at Restoration

My friend has asked me to try & clean & repair this photo of his grandparents.
I know how to use the patch & clone tools.but he would like it to stand out as much as poss.. there are also fingerprints on the photo.
Can someone please help me? or give me a recipe to follow on how to do it.
Thank you
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File Type: jpg Alans Grandparents.jpg (81.6 KB, 143 views)
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:43 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: First Time at Restoration

Disgo, you left you image at a large size and compressed it at the lowest quality (0). Next time you might try downsizing a copy of the orig to approz 6 x 8 @72 DPI and saving at a higher quality jpg setting (between 8 and 10).
This image is exceptionally pixelated.
First get the best scan of the photo at a high resolution. Convert the image to Black and White. Apply a curves adjustment to add contrast and bring back some detail. You can make a feathered selection an area of the gentleman's trouser (which are in really bad shape in the blue channel) and do Image>Apply Image and choose the Green channel and this will clean up a section. For the rest of the damage you pretty well need patience and the clone tools. I just adjusted the contrast but did not do any cloning.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:03 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: First Time at Restoration

Everything Murray said with emphasis on get a higher resolution!!
Should be a simple fix then
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:08 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: First Time at Restoration

the secret to this one, for me, was to use some masking. i set a duplicate background image into a show all mask and within that group i added a brightness/contrast adjustment layer. the point here was to get some better definition and balance between the background above the fenceline and the rest of the picture. then, i simply adjusted the mask to a gradient where needed and adjusted the brightness/contrast to fit as well.

after that, it was mostly my standard fare, clone, push, and airbrush.

i did take the sepia tone down a bit, but not all the way to black and white. sepia has a certain charm and shows age, which some tend to like, so i took it down some but not all the way.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:31 AM
disgo55 disgo55 is offline
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Re: First Time at Restoration

Thanks very much
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:22 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: First Time at Restoration

You had also asked for recipe. Most follow some tried and true steps when working with an older photo that has good detail and is not ripped to shreds, but lacks contrast.

First, always scan in color, even if it is a b&w print. There is usefull color information in b&w prints that can be used to improve tonality later. Do not convert to b&w later; retain the color data. You can always use the monochrome feature of the channel mixer to make it look b&w later, then add some color for the sepia tone.

1. Work on tonality first; save repairs for later so that you are repairing layers with good data.
1.a. Always duplicate your background layer.
1.b. Inspect the separate RGB channels to see which provides the most useful information. You will use that channel later, and possibly all by itself.
1.c. While in RGB, start with a simple levels adjustment layer. Try moving the black and white point sliders to see if you get the results you want. Otherwise, try using the white point eyedropper to select a point you know should be white. Quite often the results are good.
1.d. You can add a curves adjustment layer to fine tune some of the lighter or darker areas.

These are the very basics. There are numerous additional techniques to further the process. But, you should memorize these few and make them a standard part of your process for this type of photo.

Later, you can try blending modes, multiply, channel mixers, etc, which all have their place. Once you get the tonality corrected, then begin the process of repairing the image.

If you follow these simple rules of thumb, you will increase your speed and improve your overall results. You will also develop a consistent work flow that you prefer, which reduces the stress and makes it more fun. It should be fun !
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:58 PM
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Re: First Time at Restoration

Sorry, but later I thought it would be nice to show you the variations between the color channels, as well as the basic levels-white point-curves techniques. So, I quickly threw together a sample. These are low resolution images but should give you a feel for what those tools do.

The first image shows the red, green, blue channel information (respectively). Notice that red provides little useful information, green contains the most, and blue is rather dark but does provide useful information for the top of the image.

The second image shows a quick levels adjustment, white point adjustment, then a curves adjustment. Notice they are similar, but using either brings out more contrast and snap for the image. You eventually can get finer adjustments with the curves.

The third image was just a sample of where I might have been satisfied with the tonality from top to bottom - a little darker at the top, and light enough at the bottom to reveal their legs and pants. There is always room for improvement and adjustment for personal preference. But from somewhere close to this point is where I would start the process of healing, cloning, etc.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by TommyO; 07-25-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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