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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Really, Really Bad Scan of tintype

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  #1  
Old 06-27-2010, 05:27 PM
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UncleDannie UncleDannie is offline
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Really Hard Photo to Restore

I have the 'ONLY' photo (scanned copy) of my Great-Great_Grandparents, taken in the 1880's. I have tried several techniques in Photoshop, using color channels, curve layers, various sharpening filters, all with very unsatisfactory results. I'm just not good enough.

So, I'm referring it to the experts, hoping someone will point me in the right direction. I'm pretty sure that edge detection and enhancement is a factor. You are my last hope, ObeWan, before I turn it over to a pro shop and just pay the fees.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:13 PM
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Re: Really Hard Phot to Restore

Your right. It is a hard photo to restore.

The blue channel seemed to be best so I used the channel mixer adjustment layer to select that channel as the one to work on.

Next I used a curves adjustment layer to increase the contrast in the middle part of the picture.

I used another curves adjustment layer and this time used the mask to increase the contrast just around the outer part of the image.

I used the neat image plug in to decrease the noise in the photo

The photo itself had severe blocking artifacts seen with JPEG compression.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:52 PM
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Re: Really Hard Phot to Restore

UncleDannie,

(Don't forget to use the Restoration forum for these images.... you'll get more responses.)

Agreed... a difficult one; especially in the upper right corner.

By using a combination of calculations and apply image with a gradient mask, you can pull out more data to work with. Then start with traditional restoration methods.

Attached is an example of a good starting point. It reveals more data you can use in the restore. There would still be much work to do. To get all the contrasts just right will take some time. But I think it's very do-able.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:30 PM
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Re: Really Hard Phot to Restore

UncleDannie - it sounds like no one knows just what these folks look like, so no one can look at your finished restoration and say it doesn't resemble him.

TommyO's work and recommendations give you a good start. I'm not good at restorations of faint photos because I'm not good at telling what is part of the person/background and what is part of the deterioration of the photo - eyesight or whatever. I think you can make out more of your great-great-grandfather's hair by adding some curve adjustment layers set to overlay blend mode. (Flora has posts here using this strategy - add a curves adjustment layer WITHOUT moving the curve - just add the adjustment layer and change the layer blending mode to see what might bring out some more detail. Also try working with Image->Adjustments->Shadows/Highlights.

The rest of the photo would take time and effort, but it's his hair that seems to be the big question. I'm not sure if the hair in my version is really there or is part of the distortion. You say you have the only existing copy and that it is a scan? If the original still existed, folks would recommend scanning several times, I believe, from different angles to see if any combination of versions could add up to seeing where the hair stops and the background begins.

Do some more work on it and then ask more questions when you get stuck.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:41 PM
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Re: Really Hard Photo to Restore

You are right, it's not an easy one, though it's not hopeless. The one I have attached was just a little experiment to see how much information was there, it is hard to tell with a low quality jpg, but from what i can see there is enough to restore the image. Though from the looks of it the faces may never be quality as sharp and detailed as one might hope, but you work with what you have. I did a simple color correction, setting the white , black and gray point. Added black and white adjustment layer, and two doge and burn layers. Depending on how much information you have in the faces on the original you might be able to sculpt in a little bit of the detail, enough to make the faces a little more recognizable. I didn't clean up th image any but it does have a good tonal width.

What type of original was it?
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:11 AM
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Re: Really Hard Photo to Restore

Thanks for all the assistance. I never got as good as a result as some of you did. I appreciate it, I really do. I'll take the advice of TommyO and repost it in the restoration Forum. However, to be truthful, I don't think I'll get any better results than I got from you folks.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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Really, Really Bad Scan of tintype

I originally posted this in the retouching Forum, and was informed that I should post it here. I have a scanned image if a 1880 tintype (?) that had darkened. I have tried all my skills (which are very rudimentary) but have failed to achieve any satisfactory results. This copy is all I have of my Great Great Grandparents.

Any assistance will be appreciated, but I would like to know which method was used. I have access to Photoshop CS5, so 'cleaning' up the image is not my problem, but getting an image out of the darkness is.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:23 AM
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UncleDannie UncleDannie is offline
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Really, Really Bad Scan of tintype

I originally posted this in the retouching Forum, and was informed that I should post it here. I have a scanned image if a 1880 tintype (?) that had darkened. I have tried all my skills (which are very rudimentary) but have failed to achieve any satisfactory results. This copy is all I have of my Great Great Grandparents.

Any assistance will be appreciated, but I would like to know which method was used. I have access to Photoshop CS5, so 'cleaning' up the image is not my problem, but getting an image out of the darkness is. The image is located at http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...tml#post269359
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:01 AM
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Re: Really, Really Bad Scan of tintype

Hey Uncle Dannie,

I posted in the other thread already. I had a feeling when I looked at it that it was a tintype (plus given the age). Most tintypes are fairly dark even in the light tones, and given there age the surface can hold a lot of damage. I just got through restoring and enlarging a small tintype myself so I know what you are going through: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ratpat/4727281786/

but from the title of your post is it just the tintype image that is bad or is it also the scann? If it's the scann they you may need to try scanning it better at higher resolution. We may be able to help you even more if you can link a better quality version.

Also I would check out this tutorial: http://www.onlyphotoshop.com/tutoria...adjustment/11/
on basic color correction and how to get the best tonal range in your image, even if it is meant to be black and white. Knowing how to get true black and white in your image bight help a lot.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:40 AM
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Re: Really, Really Bad Scan of tintype

My shot at your image...

curves layers using the accompanied masks
curves layers with a couple luminosity masks
a bit of cloning and healing
history brush using both lighten and darken modes
reduced red and yellow with a hue/Sat layer
slight noise removal using Imagenomic
slight sharpening
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