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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Old family photo

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Old 08-31-2015, 08:25 AM
bvdwielen bvdwielen is offline
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Old family photo

The people on the photo are my grandparents on the left side and my grandfather's family to the right.
Unfortunately the picture is very low res and I'm struggeling quit a few problems with it. The most horrible one is ofcourse the lack of information due to the JPG compression and therefore it's showing little squares (no, not the squares-grid at 1200 % or so) when zooming in.

I'm not asking to do it for me (although I'm very curious what you can produce...), but in this thread I will post the progress to the final result.
Hopefully you are willing to give me some tips and tricks along the way and give me some advice if you think I'm doing something wrong or that I have to do differently.

I'm using a Win10 PC, Photoshop CC 2015, Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:23 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Old family photo

Well you go in pixel by pixel and basically dodge and burn it until it's perfect.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:45 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Old family photo

What I did was to look at all the individual channels. Then I applied levels to each individual channel and looked at them again. The red channel appeared to be the best one to use so I used the black and white adjustment layer and used a red filter. And then I worked on the resultant photo

Next I used spot healing brush tool to clean up some spots and finally I used "Define" a nik software noise reduction filter.
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File Type: jpg TheGroup.jpg (183.3 KB, 95 views)
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:40 AM
kmccormi kmccormi is offline
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Re: Old family photo

I used a similar approach at the beginning - levels adjustments per channel, and then a channel mixer adjustment layer set to monochome. Then I worked on the noise using Noiseware (blended layer). After that, I used the clone and spot healing brushes to get rid of the obvious tears, etc. I used a (very) low opacity brush in overlay mode to make the faded sections match up .

I did some overall sharpening to bring out various details, but I didn't like the results for faces, etc. so I applied a Guassian blur to a duplicate layer, in Darken mode, and then applied a mask so that the effect would be isolated to the faces and hands.

Last 2 steps were to add some grain and to apply a color fill to give it that 'vintage' look.


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File Type: jpg Old familypicture.jpg (95.7 KB, 63 views)
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:10 PM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Location: Colorado
Posts: 559
Re: Old family photo

One common step before doing a lot of post processing on a bad scan is to ask the question if you can get a better scan.

I have been in similar situations and it is worth the time to see if the original photo is some relatives hands, have it borrowed and get a 16 bit TIFF scan and/or a high resolution copy stand photo to avoid scanner reflections.

You always want to start with the best possible original.

Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:24 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Old family photo

Levels and curves, noise reduction, dust & scratch filter (all masked), sepia toned, noise added then blurred, dodged and burned to even things, cloned and patched
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File Type: jpg Old-family-picture_OlBaldy.jpg (192.9 KB, 59 views)
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:10 PM
MDWine MDWine is offline
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Location: Manassas Park, Va.
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Re: Old family photo

Amazing results all. What boggles my tiny little mind is how one arrives at this kind of solution.

How does one learn these techniques, as well as when and why to apply them?

Is it experience and time alone, or is there a path that one takes?

Fabulous work!
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