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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Is this a painting or a photo??

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2016, 08:26 PM
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Pixelshaw Pixelshaw is offline
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Is this a painting or a photo??

My customer would like this restoration to be 'more like a photograph' she thinks it looks more like a painting. This has been hand coloured as the original colour channels were too much of a mess and very faded.
Any help or opinions??
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:35 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

It technically IS a painting, since the original data was lost.

I can't paint worth anything, so I decline work of this type. You did a good job, but it is obviously not a photograph. Perhaps dial back on the contrast of the eyes and lips to match the hands.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:26 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

Well there is no variety in color, so it does look pretty colorized. Apart from that, client needs to realize that photoshop restoration is more or less digital painting, so of course it's going to look illustrative.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:21 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

I don't think you've done a bad job at all, so take this in the context of your client's concerns and your posted question.

For comparison, I brought the original into a contrast range I might begin with and converted yours to B&W to compare.

I'd say your shading is more exaggerated, the lips treatment is too strong (you've lost the delicacy of her smile, and possibly a hint of lower tooth). Perhaps most of all, it looks like you've diminished the appearance of the length of her hair in the side, and under estimated her hair length up top, making her forehead and haircut look rather mannish.

In short, backing off on the heavy lips treatment and adding some length of hair up top and across her forehead would go a long way. Might offer the client a B&W variant as well.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:14 AM
Caravaggio Caravaggio is offline
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Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

I'm not an expert photo restorer but some things look definitely wrong to me. The lips are too dark, too heavy and look too much like lipstick for a baby. The intense pink pepto-bysmal color of the baby's gown looks too technicolor for the period (very early 1900s?) and the color itself has associations for me with nausea.

I think the baby's skin color looks good and has a delicacy that is missing from the rest of your restoration. I think you did a nice job on the missing hair but it looks too thick and mature for the sparse growth of a baby. Maybe lighten it up a little so it is not so heavy and introduce some wisps on the top where it meets the forehead so it doesn't look like the baby has a crewcut as a baby of that age probably has not yet visited a barber. The eyes are too intense, dark and focused looking for the 'dumb' gaze of a baby and make her look like she is cognizant of how she is self-presenting to the photographer.

The edges of the baby's gown should be softened up a little so they are not so hard-edged and the baby doesn't look cutout although I realize that they are also hard-edged in the original.

One thing that is wrong is that the image is too contrasty for photography from that period, particularly if the subject is a baby and the color is supposed to look like it was hand painted by an artist from that era. I also think that all the colorizing on each separate part of the baby and the background is too distinct from each other and looks like it was done without considering how the image would look as a whole. In general the work you have done calls too much attention to itself and when restoring photos, it should look like you weren't there. Try backing off the intensity of all the color work and retouching that you did, except the skin, by maybe lowering the opacity and see if your client is happier.

One thing that I think would be helpful to you is to look at hand colored photos from that era so you can get a better idea of how the originally black and white photograph looked after it was colorized by artists or retouchers from that time.

Last edited by Caravaggio; 05-08-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:52 PM
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Pixelshaw Pixelshaw is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

Thanks for all the feedcback, very valuable. Back to work after the weekend and I have revisited the job.
Doug i dialed back on the density in these areas and changed the eye colour(customer request)
Quote:
dial back on the contrast of the eyes and lips
Skoobey I added more colours to the flesh area
Quote:
there is no variety in color,
Flashtones I did steal some hair from the clients other photos and that is working much better i think.
Quote:
backing off on the heavy lips treatment and adding some length of hair up top and across her forehead
Caravaggio I have turned down the contrast of the baby and also reduced the sharpening with i think has brought back some smoothness to the skin tones along with the extra variety of colours. This is a 80's studio portrait not an early 1900's hand colored portrait so I'm afraid the pink has to stay.
Quote:
the image is too contrasty for photography
I think the more delicate hair and the lower contrast in the skin area less sharpening and additional skin tones make this more photographic. But yes it is a digitally painted restoration. The new background which is a photo of a background rather than the 'coloured cloud filter' one i made originally i think has also made a big improvement.

Thoughts and opinions welcome. Thanks
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2016, 01:03 PM
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Cupcake Cupcake is offline
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Re: Is this a painting or a photo??

Fix the darkness on the finger tips & the mark on the wrist.
Inside the ear also.
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