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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Old damaged/stained photo

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:26 AM
Relli Relli is offline
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Newbie Old damaged/stained photo

Thank you mistermonday and lurch for advising me to re post my message from Salon (which is not for talking about retouching etc... sorry.)

Hi Everyone, I'm a newby from Aussie! A friend has given me Photoshop CS2 (an older version, I know...) and I have been playing around with it and tend to be leaning towards photo restorations.

I have been given an old photo from a family member and I just don't know how to remove the old stain or damage from the photo and would like some advice please. So far I have only converted whole photo to b&w done some dust removal etc., but sill not sure where to go next.

Can someone please point me in the right direction or give me some pointers?

Much appreciated and look forward to being more involved on this site.

I have attached the original photo and what I have done so far. This is only a hobby for me and obviously need to get myself into some classes, which I hope to do some time in the future.

Have a great day, Relli!
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File Type: jpg IMG 13.4.10 (Small).jpg (38.5 KB, 86 views)
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:36 AM
Relli Relli is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
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Newbie Re: Old damaged/stained photo

Hi again, this attachment is the original photo.........

Thanks Relli
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File Type: jpg IMG1 (Small).jpg (41.0 KB, 85 views)
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:27 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Location: NC, USA
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Re: Old damaged/stained photo

Originally Posted by Relli View Post
Can someone please point me in the right direction or give me some pointers?
Luckily, you already did step #1 correctly - scanning a b&w in color ! That is very helpful. We can often salvage an image by having the RGB channels in tact.

Step #2 is to examine the color channels to help us determine where there is good data and where there is bad. I've attached a composite of the RGB channels into a vertical stack, Red on top, Blue on bottom. You can see that the RED channel is quite good, green next, and blue is terrible. So, focus on pulling good image data from RED, and very little from the others.

The other good thing is you are only needing to steal information from good channels to recreate a b&w image, not a color image. That is much much easier. So, from this, you may already see where it can go for you. Essentially, use good channels to pull data from and build one good composite.

As far as tools go, while calc's and apply image offer some quick methods of merging channels into a composite, they can also be a lot of trial and error. I prefer to simply extract an entire channel this way, then blend it into other composite layers using traditional techniques, i.e. masking, blend modes, etc.

Also, since you'll have these channels available as layers, you can then use other tools, like the clone stamp in color blend mode, to seamlessly bring the right tonality into damaged areas. Yes.... don't clone stamp the entire chunk of data.... split out what you want by changing the blend mode of the tool. Many times you simply want to clone a color, or just the luminosity. This you can do very easy.

The two areas I've circled will be the most challenging, as there is missing information. You may have to come up with something creative there, like add in a porch rail.

Best of luck and let us see your results later.
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File Type: jpg img1 - RGB views.jpg (188.9 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg img1 - bad spots.jpg (109.1 KB, 51 views)
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:10 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Posts: 3,028
Re: Old damaged/stained photo

Relli, fixing the man on the far right may not be as challenging as it appears. Try the following:
Make a copy of the color image and convert it to LAB mode. Go to the channels palette and make a copy of the B channel as a new channel. Apply a Levels command (Ctrl L) to it to compress the histogram thereby increasing the contrast. Now click of the L channel and go Image>Apply Image and select the B Copy channel. If you cycle through the blend modes you will find a couple that restore the man's lower body with little or no grunge. You can copy that section and paste it into your working RGB master.
Regards, Murray
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:08 AM
Relli Relli is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 5
Smile Re: Old damaged/stained photo

Thank you TommyO and mistermonday for your feedback.

Today, I actually went in and compared the channels and agree that "red" is the clearer one. I am going to take all information and give it another go, will let you know how I go.

Again, many thanks guys

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