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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Suggestions for restoring an old image

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  #1  
Old 10-03-2010, 01:57 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Suggestions for restoring an old image

I have an old photo from the 1930s of my mother that is in bad shape. It has a lot of fading from sun damage as well as a lot of dirt. I started trying to restore it, but have not done much photo restoration before so am looking for any suggestions for techniques. I looked at the channels and they all seem equally faded and none seems better than the others.

The retouch which is in progress has a slight application of the reduce noise filter and then some cloning, painting and healing which needs a lot more work. Above the cloning and painting layer, I put a darkening curve set to luminosity to darken the whole image. Then there is a black and white adjustment layer which is helping to darken the image and a gradient map layer for color. Finally there is a brightness contrast layer on top of the layer stack to further adjust the luminosity.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Last edited by Caravaggio; 07-08-2012 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:40 PM
chiragkhanna chiragkhanna is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

can i use this photo in my portfolio?
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:14 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

I am sorry, but you can't use this image for your portfolio. Both my mother and my aunt died a few years ago and it is still a little painful for me. I am restoring the photo as a private memorial for my family. Thank you for understanding.

Last edited by Caravaggio; 10-03-2010 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:57 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

caravaggio,

rather than darkening, if you have access to paint shop pro, try the 'fade correction' filter. it's perfect for this type of image as a first step. it brings back contrast without darkening the overall. it also shows up a lot of detail, including all the stains and other mars. i think some folks may shy away from this because they dont want to see all the stains but, i love em! when you 'find the image', you also have to find the problems. i dont know of any equivalent filter in photoshop that does as nice a job as this one in psp.

that's all i've done on this image, just the fade correction. i did it at full strength. feel free to use my image if you like.
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2010, 10:28 PM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

Thank you, Kraellin. What you did is really interesting and shows me how much detail and information is really there in the damaged original. I only have photoshop CS5. Perhaps I will find a way with a better curve adjustment to recover more info.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:52 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

For images which are faded as these are, it is very important to extract as much detail as possible and the to work on fixing dust, spots, cracks etc.
A good way to extract considerable detail in PS is to add a levels adj layer above the background and compress the histogram channel by channel. This will also usually shift the color back toward normal and restore contrast. If you prefer to have the color of your background, you can change the Blend Mode of the Level adj layer to Luminosity. You can get plenty of detail back before you start working on the dust spots. To continue the restore, it will help if you frequency separate the image where you can quickly heal and patch on the high frequency layer. Here is a few minutes of it, attached.
Good luck with the restore, you should be able to get a really nice image when you are done.
Regards, Murray
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:00 AM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

Thank you, Murray. I am going to start over and try to follow your technique. What number did you use for the gaussian blur on the low pass layer?
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:20 AM
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

If you want to work on those tiny spots, a Radius of 4 will allow you to use the spot healing tool on the HF layer where you can zoom through at warp9 getting rid of them. Even if you zap the most prominent / visible ones it will make a big difference to the image.
If you want to quickly eliminate the large deep blue blotches, a radius of 30 will allow you to use the patch toolvery rapidly to replace those medium and large blemishes with good texture.
Regards, Murray
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

caravaggio,

you're welcome.

you might also try the shadows/midtones/highlights tool in ps.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:29 AM
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Nezbitten Nezbitten is offline
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Re: Suggestions for restoring an old image

I have CS5 and used "auto tone" followed by convet to black and white and used the sliders to get a nice contrast. Then Dust and scratches set to "2" and "17" and then on a duplicate layer dust and scratches to "16" and "9" set a layer mask to hide all. I then painted back in all the areas of flat colur and the background. It was lighting quick and is a good starting point to finish it off with a few minutes tidying up.

Neil
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