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Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:03 AM
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dearley dearley is offline
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Red face Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Hi everyone, I have a big problem with scanning and digitally correcting for significant silver mirroring on this old photo from 1950:

Attachment 74330

I tried scanning from different angles, scanning through vellum, and still get the reflection from the silver that has migrated to the surface of the paper. I've encountered it in photos before, but have been able to manage it, but this is the heaviest that I've had to deal with over a significant area of the image, and I'm not quite sure how to bring out the details without dealing with the severe gray-blue metallic haze. This one happens to be a personal one of my favorite uncle who died, and I'd really love to bring this up to a solid quality.

Could anyone give me some tips on how to tackle this?

Thanks! Donna
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:32 AM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Hello dearley.
I can see no photo attached to the link. just a thought maybe take a digital photograph with out a flash of the pic you want to scan.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:33 AM
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Ok, let me try this again. The attachment didn't seem to work. Here's a link to the pic that I've been trying to work with:

http://picasaweb.google.com/Pendfami...eat=directlink

At this point, I am happy to tackle it digitally, though I seem to be falling down on the steps in working with the layers somewhere. Since this is the only surviving image of him during this time and has special significance to his children, I'm trying to get as close as I can to something presentable that can be replicated. I'd appreciate any pointers.

Thanks, Donna
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:02 AM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Donna, I did the attached with one click using this plug in: http://home.planet.nl/~ber03728/4N6s...lugin/main.htm
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Collages11.jpg (194.9 KB, 170 views)
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:14 AM
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Wow, thanks for that example using this plug-in. I think that while I recognize logically that the gray-blue haze coming off the silver's reflection are also just colors, and I am probably allowing the "metallic" look of the reflection distract and cloud my perspective on the digital correction. In looking at the description of what the plug-in is designed to address, would the metallic reflection from the silver fall under "obscuring color in the foreground"?

Thank you so much for your input!
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:20 AM
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dearley dearley is offline
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Unimatrix, thanks for the suggestion on taking it w/out flash. Something is weird with my digital camera at the moment and it's skewing the images on one side, so I'm confined to digital fixes in the short term, but when I get my camera back I will also try it that way, too, and compare.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:21 AM
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Welcome, I used the blue-grey as the undesired color and the brown of the uniforms collar for the desired color, left backgroung color as is (black). didn't do any other corrections though. As mentioned just one click :-)
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:25 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

That's great, thanks very much!!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:08 AM
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

I learned this method from 'Lurch' as posted here

Make a mask using calculations. 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.

To make the mask, add a hue/saturation adjustment layer (temporarily) and increase blue saturation until the silvering is pretty obvious. Between +60 and +100. 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.

Go to Image>Calculations, apply the inverted red channel to the blue channel with the blending mode 'add' and send the output to a channel. the value in the scale box (2) you end up with a new channel that is mostly gray with light areas where there's silvering. To make the new channel a little smoother, apply a Gaussian blur - in this case about 1.5 pixels. For a mask you want the gray to be black, so increase the contrast with your method of choice. I use curves. (Any time after you generate the new channel you can trash the hypersaturated layer. Or at least uncheck the eyeball on that layer)

Once you have the new channel dark enough, load it as a selection and make a new 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.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:35 PM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: Old Photo: Silver Mirroring..help?

Another thing you might try is using the eyedropper tool and selecting a color near the center of his hat that doesnt have any of the silvering in it, then choose the brush tool and set the blend mode to color and paint away the silvering it does a pretty good job.
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