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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2008, 11:51 PM
Fridaydreamer Fridaydreamer is offline
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Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Hi everyone,
I am fascinated by the wonderful discussions here, and while I have seen some related restorations, I have been having a terrible time with this one. I am admittedly very new to restoration and am eager to learn. I am relatively familiar with Photoshop (using CS), but still have much to learn there too. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would be very grateful.

This is an old polaroid shot of my husband and two of his sisters--Due to an accident that destroyed almost all the family photos, this one, while less than great quality to begin with, would be quite a treasure to the family if we could salvage it. I know the original is very noisy, but anything that could bring out as much detail as there is and get rid of the red ink would be much-appreciated.

Thanks for looking.

Shaunie
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File Type: jpg Polaroid_RprTear_Crop.jpg (94.1 KB, 200 views)
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2008, 01:37 AM
BillFrey BillFrey is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Hi Fridaydreamer,

It's a difficult restore, but the color isn't the hardest part. Take a look at the red channel, the ink marks are more manageable there. You'll still have to colorize, but it won't be as much.

This restore isn't for beginners, imo, but if you're going to give it a try....

Start with a good scan, turning off all auto adjustments.
I would scan at least 600dpi at the size to be printed.

Go slow, clone with a small brush. There's a lot of damage and a large brush will just make the photo less realistic.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:52 AM
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sergio2263 sergio2263 is offline
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Smile Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

The photo is pretty blur as well. It's a hard job, being in this forum you are in good hands.


helen
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:04 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Shaunie, welcome to RetouchPRO

It looks to me as if the photo might have been in a protective sleeve or all the automatic denoising software in the scanner was turned on when scanned because even the cracks (which are generally sharp and well defined).. are blurry.. I agree with the others.. get the best scan possible.. Turn off all automatic scanner enhancement settings and anything that auto fixes. No sharpness, no levels, no tone or saturation adjustment, no brightness or contrast adjustment, no dust & scratch removal, no descreen or denoising or despeckle, no color adjustment, no auto anything. All of that can and should be taken care of in photoshop.

This also may help get a better scan.. Acquiring a second scan from a different direction will light the surface defects differently... So scanning from another direction and merging them together will 'cancel out' the unwanted crack shadows due to the different lighting.

Scan once as normal, then turn photo 180 degree and another scan (ensure straight scan edges etc.).
Drag the second scan image into the first scan image
Change top layer to difference mode
Use free transform to flip top layer 180 degrees
Push, prod and rotate until it goes black (it is now registered/lined up with the first scan), hit enter to keep transformation of transform
When aligned perfectly... change the layer mode from difference to lighten or darken mode, depending on the artifacts.
Combine/merge/flatten into one image/layer
(or post both scans here)

A larger version would also help a lot..

Attaching Files or Images to Threads or Posts

Size and quality for Attached Images!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:23 AM
Fridaydreamer Fridaydreamer is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Here is the photo at its actual size after rescanning it with all auto settings turned off and combining the 2 scans done at opposite directions--I haven't done anything else to it at all.

I couldn't figure out how to make it bigger and still meet the file size requirement, so if you need it bigger and can tell me how, I'd be glad to do that.

Thanks for your help!

Shaunie
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File Type: jpg Polaroid_2WayScan.jpg (99.7 KB, 120 views)
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2008, 04:47 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Shaunie, After you have posted your less than 100K version, you could also post a link to a site that is hosting your larger version, using any of these other host options or one of your own:
ImageVenue.com (3Meg max, free) or pixentral.com (2Meg max, free) or photobucket.com (1 Meg max free,... 5 Meg PRO) or Flickr.com (5Meg , free).

I used a copy of the red channel, colored and cloned .. I just did a quick job with this small version. I know the faces are bad and there is a lot of detail I missed but it may give you an idea of what is possible with a little practice and patience.. I am sure that others on the forum can do a much better job than what I have submitted here

You might even consider an artistic (Impressionist) version
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Polaroid_2WayScanAworking.jpg (200.0 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg Polaroid_Impressionist.jpg (198.9 KB, 125 views)
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2008, 06:26 PM
Fridaydreamer Fridaydreamer is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Thank you Bill--you've helped a lot. I didn't know about turning the auto adjustments off in the scan until you told me.

Shaunie
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:27 PM
Fridaydreamer Fridaydreamer is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Thanks Helen--hope I can put this good advice into practice!

Shaunie
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2008, 06:30 PM
Fridaydreamer Fridaydreamer is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Thank you for your help OlBaldy! Can you tell me more about copying the red channel and what you did to work on it? When you said you colored and cloned, can you elaborate a little bit on the steps and order of operations?

Shaunie

P.S. Here is a link to the larger file:

http://www.fridaydreaming.com/PhotoS...d_2WayScan.jpg
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2008, 10:01 PM
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hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
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Re: Red Ink on old polaroid--can it be saved?

Cloning, healing brush, painting, curves, etc. Still needs more work but I'm tired.
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File Type: jpg Polaroid_RprTear_Cropcopy.jpg (98.1 KB, 107 views)
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