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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Restoring copy of photo with silvering

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2008, 09:03 PM
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Restoring copy of photo with silvering

I have a scan of a photo of my great uncle and his family, the original was approx. 100 yrs old. The original belonged to a relative who has since passed away. Therefore there is no way to rescan or photograph the original to eliminate the silvering. All I have is the digital copy. I have tried to get an acceptable result without success. Any help would be greatly appreciated
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File Type: jpg william gamel5.jpg (61.1 KB, 412 views)
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:38 PM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Here's a paraphrase of a method for getting rid of silvering that's included in Ctein's book 'Restoration from Start to Finish'. It's quick and easy.

You've already observed that the silvering in this case is blue-ish. With that knowledge, add a hue/saturation adjustment layer (temporarily) and increase blue saturation until the silvering is pretty obvious. I used about +60. Note that sometimes silvering is more green than blue - in that case you up the green saturation instead. While the saturation-increase layer is visible, check the individual channels. In this image the red channel has a decent version of the image, while the blue is noticeably lighter where the silvering occurs. You want to make that lightness more pronounced so you can make a mask for the silvering.

So now you have blue channel with silvering showing. And you have a red channel with little if any silvering showing. You want to subtract the red channel (image info) from the blue one (image info + silvering info) to get a channel with just the silvering info, more or less. Remember this is all with the hypersaturated layer visible. I use calculations, where I apply the inverted red channel to the blue channel with the blending mode 'add' and send the output to a channel. After a little fiddling with the values in the offset and scale boxes you end up with a new channel that is mostly gray with light areas where there's silvering. Any time after you generate the new channel you can trash the hypersaturated layer. To make the new channel a little smoother, I apply a Gaussian blur - in this case about 2 pixels. For a mask you want the gray to be black, so increase the contrast with your method of choice. I use curves. My mask is the third attachment.

Takes about two minutes to make that mask after a little practice. Certainly way less than it takes to describe the process. Once you have the mask, load it as a selection and make a curves adjustment layer. The resulting layer mask will limit your curves action to the silvered areas. In this image, darkening the blue channel makes the silvering haze go away. In other images you might have to tweak the green also, and maybe the RGB.
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File Type: jpg william-gamel5orig.jpg (155.2 KB, 521 views)
File Type: jpg william-gamel5.jpg (159.1 KB, 530 views)
File Type: jpg mask.jpg (97.7 KB, 521 views)
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:17 PM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Excellent write up Lurch
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:42 AM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Thank you Dave!
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:27 AM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

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Originally Posted by Dave.Cox View Post
Excellent write up Lurch
Second that!
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:27 AM
Gary Gary is offline
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnston33 View Post
I have a scan of a photo of my great uncle and his family, the original was approx. 100 yrs old. The original belonged to a relative who has since passed away. Therefore there is no way to rescan or photograph the original to eliminate the silvering. All I have is the digital copy. I have tried to get an acceptable result without success. Any help would be greatly appreciated
Another way is to desaturate completely, lighten with curves and levels adjustment layers, denoise and add a color tint.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:47 AM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Thanks Lurch.. worked like you said..
Because the girl on the right was darker and sort of sepia, I decided to lighten her and apply a sepia like tone.

A little cloning and healing and it should look pretty good
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File Type: jpg william_gamel5A.jpg (197.8 KB, 226 views)
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:38 PM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Thanks a million Lurch. I never dreamed that you could get a result like you did, and so fast! I had been fighting with this problem for several days and my results looked worse than the original.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:12 PM
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

Lurch - just read this many months after your post, and have to thank you for posting a technique that works so well.
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2011, 08:17 AM
LynetteW LynetteW is offline
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Re: Restoring copy of photo with silvering

This thread has been inactive for awhile, but I want to thank everyone who contributed--it really helped with the attached photo.

I'm a rank amateur, so a lot of the technical stuff went right over my head. What I ended up doing was changing the mode from RGB to CMYK . The yellow channel was by far the worst, while cyan showed virtually no silvering. I discarded all but the cyan channel, then copied and pasted the image into another Photoshop doc that had the color info intact, and then manually added the sepia tint. The person I was doing it for was adamant that the tint be just the same, so it's a bit brighter than I would have otherwise done it.

Thanks again--I couldn't have done it without you!
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File Type: jpg sbsorig1.jpg (86.0 KB, 199 views)
File Type: jpg sbsfinal1.jpg (89.3 KB, 209 views)

Last edited by LynetteW; 09-04-2011 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Oops, the photo was too big ... I had to drop the resolution a lot so it looks kind of crummy
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