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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2009, 07:16 AM
dreamer09 dreamer09 is offline
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Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Hi everyone,

Just discovered this wonderful site a week ago. I'm fairly new to photo restoration and have been learning some good techniques here. I have photoshop CS3 and my knowledge of that ranges between basic and average depending on what I'm doing.

I have an old photo that is a bit of a challenge. I see two major problems with it. It is badly faded with the face losing definition and there are lots of blotches. I'm more worried about the ones on the face than the background. After following some tutorials I can improve the faded look by using multiply or using curves. The photo definitely looks better in black and white too. However when I do any of the preceding all the blotches are even worse. So then I tried tackling the blotches on the face first using the clone tool but of course I ended up with a very plastic and flat looking face.

So how do I tackle this? Do I remove the blotches first? What is the best way of doing this so I don't end up with a "plastic face"? I understand how to use the black mask with a layer now. Do I go that route to remove the blotches? What settings are suggested? And then when the blotches are gone do I try to darken the pic then?

A less compressed pic is here and is about 303kb.

It would be wonderful if I could improve this photo. It is the only one of this young man that I am aware of.
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File Type: jpg faded_henry_photo2.jpg (99.8 KB, 190 views)

Last edited by dreamer09; 01-06-2009 at 08:11 AM. Reason: changing URL address
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2009, 10:38 AM
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winu winu is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

here a short time attempt from me for the picture..
first i converted in Black and white then i used dodge and burn
very good video tutoria is here...l
http://imaginara.tumblr.com/post/559...l-about-how-to

and after that i colorized the picture again...
i know it's not finished but i haven't much time
greetings winu
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File Type: jpg Unbenannt-1.jpg (84.1 KB, 133 views)

Last edited by winu; 01-06-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2009, 02:05 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Here is another approach you can take. Invert a copy of the image and add contrast and invert it to make a mask of it such as I did below. Then apply the mask to two copies of the background both set set to multiply. Effectively you add density to area other than the stained areas because they are masked off. You can then take the resulting image which is still weak but largely cleaned up and rebuild contrast by blending it with itself and using the history brush to apply some of the detail from the orig image.
I only had time to do the destaining and only did a 2 minute job at that. If you play with it you can probably make a more accurate mask.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Dreamer09 Stain Mask.jpg (183.6 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg Dreamer09 Destained .jpg (156.4 KB, 102 views)
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2009, 03:04 AM
Ronnel Cuison Ronnel Cuison is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Hi here's my approach.

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/o...son/Oldman.jpg


www.ronnelcuison.com
www.flickr.com/photos/pixelpro
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:44 AM
dreamer09 dreamer09 is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Winu, thank you for your reply and the link to the tutorial. I will watch it shortly. It looks most interesting. I don't know a lot about the dodge and burn so this will most most useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

Murray thanks very much for running through the procedure. I understand what you have done theoretically, its my basic photoshop skills that have me a little stumped. I inverted the copy and then added contrast. I did this with the curves. Now I come undone with the mask bit : ) As I understand it, I invert again? How exactly do I turn that into a mask. Is that all on a new layer. Sorry to be such a pain. I think its excellent how you got rid of all the blotches so I would really like to learn that technique.

Ronnel, thank you for having a go at the photo. It's great to see what others come up with and hopefully I will learn. I think the way you have done the skin is excellent. The cheeks, nose, forehead etc doesn't look at all like the plastic face I ended up with LOL! How did you get the highlights / 3D type effect on the skin?

Fran
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:17 AM
Ronnel Cuison Ronnel Cuison is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Fran, i painted over the dirty parts and did some dodge and burn. Then I just added some noise to hide the smooth pixels.

Ron
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2009, 05:51 AM
dreamer09 dreamer09 is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Thanks for that Ron. I will experiment!

Fran
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2009, 09:22 PM
kyo kyo is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

This should get you going in the right direction.. I managed to find most of the detail but obviously it still needs a lot of work.

http://kyostoys.com/faded_henry_photo_edit.jpg

The one I worked on is here if you want to see how it was done..

http://www.kyostoys.com/faded_henry_photo2.psd

Kyle
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2009, 08:45 PM
dreamer09 dreamer09 is offline
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Re: Very faded and blotchy photo from 1880's

Hi Kyle,

My apologies for such a late reply. Life got in the way

Thanks so much for working on this for me. Your efforts are much appreciated. Thanks too for the .psd file.

I just had an amazing stroke of luck. I found a duplicate of this photo in an archive, on the otherside of the country and it is in very good condition. I was actually making an enquiry relating to the young man in the photo and the archivist said to me "By the way, I have a much better copy of your photo." Unbelievable. Am I lucky or what?!

Anyway, because of the shocking condition of the first photo I discovered this wonderful site so I am happy all around.

Thanks again for everyone who helped me.
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