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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Where to start?

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2008, 11:02 PM
Tzaia Tzaia is offline
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Where to start?

Hi,
I'm new to this forum, and relatively new to Photoshop (CS3), although I've used PSP since version 3. I have done some minor retouching of photographs and am now looking to restore a photo of my dad that has seen better days . It is so damaged that I don't even know where to start. I have scanned it in at 600 and 2400 DPI (which is a 3.5G file) and done some minor cleanup on it. I've attached a small JPG, but the 600 DPI file is here (it's about 209 mg).

I have been playing with AKVIS Retoucher, but I am at a loss as to how to approach the areas that have turned blue due to the damage.

Warmly,
Tzaia
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File Type: jpg vlgriffincopy.jpg (81.3 KB, 92 views)
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:34 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Where to start?

Tzaia, welcome to RetouchPRO! Nice to have you aboard and hope you enjoy your time here. Look around, try different things, learn, share, exchange ideas and opinions... Most of all feel at home!

I don't think you are gaining that much detail by scanning much higher than 300DPI.... try scanning @ 300 DPI in color with everything automatic turned off (corrections will be made in Photoshop)... then turn 180 degrees and scan again... then combine in Photoshop.. (This may help with some of the cracks and reflections)

These links may help you post a much larger but still less than 100K picture in the Forum

Attaching Files or Images to Threads or Posts

Size and quality for Attached Images!!
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2008, 07:29 AM
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nicklawless nicklawless is offline
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Re: Where to start?

Tzaia,

I'm new to RetouchPRO myself and trying out some of the challenges they have here, which have some amzing feedback. the amount i've learned on comments alone is huge Only advice I could give is to maybe take a glance at relevant restorations and attempt the solutions on your own. trust me, the easiest way to learn is to do. And to make mistakes without mistakes, ya don't learn anything

best of Luck

Nick
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:34 AM
Tzaia Tzaia is offline
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Re: Where to start?

The actual photo exceeds the length and width of the scanner bed by an inch each direction. Is that an issue? And I'm also assuming you are talking about rotating and then laying one image over the other as a layer?
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:02 AM
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nicklawless nicklawless is offline
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Re: Where to start?

you could do that without much difficulty. you could centre the pic with main focus on the subject and leave it cropped if you have most of it in there. but just scan the missing piece and slot it in there
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:14 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Where to start?

yes to laying one over the other as a layer

If you need the whole picture without a crop for the scanner bed size then I would assume it would take multiple scans to get the entire picture in one direction ... so to turn it 180 degrees would mean more scans to be pieced together in Photoshop.. you might get away with 2 or three scans by putting it on the scanner sideways one direction move it to the other half then do it again... then do the same for the other direction

or just shoot it with a digital camera in a darkened room with lights at 45 degrees on both sides and the camera lens plumb, level and centered with the picture
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:08 PM
Tzaia Tzaia is offline
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Re: Where to start?

I've been playing with the photograph a bit more. It has always been rolled up - ever since I can remember. It was the unrolling of the picture that caused the cracking. A couple of years ago I tried wetting it down to flatten it and remove the newspaper that had become stuck to it. That's where the flaking occurred. Today, after doing some research, I found where some had sandwiched curling photos between glass. All I have is some amber glass, but I thought I would try steaming the back of the photo onto that glass with a garment steamer. Not only have some of the cracks become smaller, but the damp also took away almost all of the blue splotchy spots. I just ordered some glass to be cut so I can sandwich the picture and really flatten it out for the scanner.

Any other tidbits?
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:14 PM
mightymungo mightymungo is offline
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Re: Where to start?

Tzaia
looks like you have already made some progress on your own!

I am very much an amateur, but am in the process of restoring older photos but not ones in such a poor condition as yours.

After scanning and saving, make a copy and work from that.

I would leave in RGB mode and then painstakingly use the patch and clone tools, along with the spot healing brush. I work at high magnification - sometimes at individual pixel depth - and often make corrections on a new layer with 'sample all layers' turned on. Also take frequent 'snapshots' via the History palette.

Remember that if you select a portion of the photo with the lasso tool or similar and feather slightly depending on magnification level, anything you copy using the above tools will be restricted to the selected part of the image. I have found this technique extremely useful.

It is obviously a labour of love and it will take a long time. Not too many shortcuts that I know about. Interestingly, working with images of people at such close quarters has given me a feel for their personalities and an increased feeling of intimacy with them.

Cheers.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:51 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Where to start?

I usually use several techniques and combine them. Start by examining the image and determining which are better scanned and which are better photographed. As OlBaldy said, a higher resolution scan often does not produce any better results. In fact, it often reveals unprintable flaws that simply slow down the restoration. It's Ok to keep a high res for future technologies, but today it's simply unusable for most printers.

In this image, I would photograph and then piece together parts from both that photo and the scan. The cracks should look very diminished after photographing. The rest of the image has plenty of detail and should come around very quickly with a little cloning/healing.
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