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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Intermediate Ps student needs help!

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  #11  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:35 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

Hi, Eloise -

The approach I used to get usable tone into your photograph is shown in the attached screen shot. I think all steps are within the range of an intermediate student.

First, to get detail into the washed-out portion, I duplicated the background layer and added a curves adjustment layer set to multiply blending mode but otherwise untouched, then duplicated that curves adjustment layer. That gave me a very dark image with a tinge of magenta, which I got rid of with a Black & White adjustment layer (default settings). Turned off visibility on the background layer and ran Layers>Merge Visible. Turned background layer visibility back on and selected the merged layer. Added a hide-all layer mask and with a really big, really soft brush set to 10% opacity, painted white back into the mask until the tone was pretty much uniform. Didn't really like how the most faded parts were working out, so . . .

Next was a crop that got rid of a lot of the problem area and focused more strongly on the subjects. Cropping is a dicey subject in restoration - some photos should not be cut down at all. In this case I didn't think cropping hurt the 'essence' of the image. I used a curves adjustment layer to set a dark and light point. Some fading still showed up in the lower right, so I added another empty curves adjustment layer set to multiply. Used a black to white gradient (took several tries to get it right) in the layer mask and lowered the layer's opacity until it looked right. Finished off with a soft light dodge and burn layer to tone down the flash-generated hot spots in the ladies' faces.

I did not tackle any of the heal and clone touchup, since you said that wouldn't be a problem for you.

Finally, yes you can colorize this photo, and you'll find it a lot of fun. This tutorial (http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161015) is a good start.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg NANAWITHDAUGHTERS.jpg (176.6 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg NanaWorkflow.jpg (27.2 KB, 29 views)
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2008, 04:11 PM
eloise eloise is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

Hi, lurch. Nice to "meet" all of you!
Amazing work! It looks really good and,yes, I was thinking I might need to sacrifice some of the picture in the end. And thank you for explaining everything so well. I've never done a curves adjustment, but this is a good time to learn! I will try everyone's suggestions so I can learn about these new tools, methods. This project is "extra," but I just felt I hadn't learned much new when I completed the assigned restoration project in one class session. It will be fun to experiment with all of these tools. Thank you, again! eloise
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2008, 12:14 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

ok, this is just about the perfect image for when i say "the first thing you have to do in restorations is, find the image!"! this image has some bad fading. it's difficult to restore if you dont bring out the original image as much as possible. when you do do that, you can then see what's really damaged and what really needs restore work (other than the fading). so, again, my first step is almost (never say always or never ), always "FIND THE IMAGE!".

now, this one was quite tricky to bring out. fading on a gradient has always been a bit difficult for me. i even took this one into filter forge to make a filter to correct the fading. after fumbling around with that for a while and getting not too far, i went back to Paint Shop Pro and took a different tact.

the first thing was to rebalance the lighting. so, a curves adjustment layer utilizing every channel.

after that, a brightness/contrast adjustment layer so i could see things better.

next, histogram adjustment. that step is important in this one. it tends to rebalance the gradient fading so it's not so much a gradient.

following that was a highlights/midtones/shadows adjustment, again, trying to rebalance the lighting.

then, a full strength clarify to bring things out more through clarify's special contrasting abilities.

now, here's a trick some may overlook, never be afraid to use the same tool more than once. in this case it was another brightness/contrast adjustment layer. it might seem odd, but it worked here.

during all this i had picked up a bit of odd coloration, mostly through the channels curves, so i added a hue/sat adjustment layer to desaturate it all.

another good tool in psp is the 'fade correction' tool. i ran this one full strength also, but, that tends to darken things, so i again yet another brightness/contrast adjustment layer. yup, the third one.

and, just because i was still missing some good clarity/contrast, i added yet another full strength clarify and that got me to where this image is now.

and where is the image? it's now ready to restore. sometimes you really have to work to 'find the image'. now, tools like clone, smudge, airbrush and others of this type can be used to fix the rest of the photo
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File Type: jpg nana-with-daughters-2-k-1rp.jpg (188.0 KB, 42 views)
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2008, 09:25 AM
eloise eloise is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

Hi, Craig:
I wrote a reply but it apparently disappeared into cyberspace. Thank you so much for "finding the image"! I can't believe the detail you found. Thanks for showing me how to think outside the box and keep working with the image. Now I can see their hair styles and is that a mural behind them? It will be fun to restore this photo! Thanks so much!
eloise
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  #15  
Old 06-10-2008, 09:29 AM
eloise eloise is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

I just want to thank everyone who helped with this project. I've learned so much from all of you! I've tried everything suggested except Craig's and will try to follow those suggestions in Photoshop at class tonight. Thanks to everyone's help, I feel like I've learned a lot about Photoshop and photo restoration from this project. I still have a lot to learn, but now I feel like I've found my "sea legs" and won't be afraid to think outside the box. Thanks, everyone! eloise
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2008, 06:42 PM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

One more process for you that I find works on faded photographs (particularly ones faded with a gradient).

Make a duplicate image, get your gradient tool from the tool bar. Then set its blend mode to multiply, and drag the line. Try to see the angle the gradient is and follow it.
In short, you are creating a dark to light gradient to counteract the light to dark gradient.
Mask the layer if necessary and use another gradient set to normal on the mask to make an even masking effect if the adjustment gradient went too far.
Finally, set the opacity of the layer until you are happy with it.

Make a new duplicate layer.

Grayscale the image (not merely desaturate). Don't flatten it. And go into Image > Adjustments and select Equalize.
Set the opacity of the layer as needed.

Merge it down when you are happy with it. Then convert the image back to RGB. (Doing that step in Grayscale helps to prevent the color artifacts from the blown luminosity).

It takes a little practice, and you might have to play with it a bit, but this usually works quite well for me on old photos with a fade.
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2008, 11:45 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

eloise, thank you for your gracious reply

i have photoshop CS2 and CS3, but i hardly use them. i mostly use paint shop pro for retouching and restorations. it's just simpler to use. but, because others use photoshop a lot, i'll try to translate a couple of those things. 'clarify' is a filter. it does some rather extreme contrasting...or can. therefore, it tends to act like the shadows/midtones/highlights filter in photoshop. at least, that's about as close as i can direct you. 'fade correction' is similar. in a faded image with a lot of whitish splotches/areas/streaking, it can rebalance things a bit and bring out more of the darks and reduce the whites/lights. i'm not real sure what that corresponds to in photoshop directly, but the idea is similar to brightness/contrast or a sort of grayscale curves. in fact, you might try a grayscales curves and see what it does.

the basic idea of what i did rests in contrasting. thus, you saw me use a lot of contrast/brightness adjustment layers, clarify, SMH (or HMS), fade correction and anything else i could think of to bring up the darks and contrast those to the lights. it's easy enough in theory, but the trick with yours was the graduation of the fading. some folks will use masks or selections and do the fade corrections on just parts of the image at one time, then move to the next area and do another mask. and that's perfectly fine. whatever works i find that by adding in a histogram adjustment i can sometimes rebalance the lighting/fading with that and save the hassle of masking/selections.

so, there ya go. i look forward to seeing what you do with the image
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  #18  
Old 06-13-2008, 08:42 AM
eloise eloise is offline
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Re: Intermediate Ps student needs help!

Thank you Kraellin and AFrazier - and, again, everyone else who made suggestions! While we are now off into the amazing world of abstract expressionism, I will take time to try your suggestions over the weekend because, in the not too distant future, I will inherit about 100 years worth of photo restoration projects from relatives who've passed away. I'm going to need everything that I'm learning with your suggestions - and then some, I'm sure! I will look and see how best to post what I finally ended up with & showed the instructor yesterday evening. He liked my projects! I couldn't have done it without you all - and told him so! eloise
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