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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Impossible restoration

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Old 05-20-2004, 02:54 PM
cedwar's Avatar
cedwar cedwar is offline
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Location: Liverpool, NY
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OK Flora, lets get this out of the way... that's fantastic!

Now can you explain a little how you did it? I thought I might have an idea when I tried it... I only worked on the face, like you did. I blurred the image, then took a snapshot of it and undid the blur. Then using the history brush after selecting the blurred snapshot as the source, I brushed in the blur and made the face look pretty good.

However, Im wondering how you did it, and how you get the edges so clear and smooth, especially the lips, eyes and hair!

Any explaination you can give will be golden.

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Old 05-27-2004, 03:49 PM
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Hankster65 Hankster65 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 53
I apologize for not responding here sooner. I got called out of town unexpectantly to house sit.

Flora, you have long amazed me, but, I've never been more amazed than when I saw your results on this one. I am totally in awe. I have absolutely no idea how you did that. Its a beautiful piece of work...I do know that.

This started as a little side job to pick up a few bucks. I can't do it justice, so I'm just going to print the best I've got and give it to the little old lady gratis. Then she can go on dreaming about the young man who got away all those many years ago!

Thanks to all who responded.

And once again, Flora, I'm absolutely in awe.
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:05 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi everybody!

Sorry for getting back to this so late ... but I was busy moving ..... ... Still can't find anything at the first try, but my computer is up and running, finally got my DSL connection back ... in other words I've started feeling 'at home!'

Wow ... thank you all for your great comments and kindness!!!!!

What I did with this picture is the following:

  • Duplicated the Background Layer
  • Created a Levels Adjustment Layer and increased the shadows' contrast (Input Levels: 6 - 0.86 - 255).
  • Merged visible. (remember the tip about merging without losing the underlying Layers?)
  • Duplicated the Layer, desaturated it (Ctrl+Shift+U), inverted it (Ctrl+I) and set the blending to Overlay (Opacity 100%).
  • Merged visible.
  • Run Adjustment>Replace Color and, with the 'Add to Picker' selected the darkesr streaks in the young man's face ... played with (increased) Lightness and Fuzziness until I got an acceptable result.
The cracks had faded but the whole image was kind of darkish 'flat' ... to make it come alive I
  • Clicked on the 'Channels' Tab, selected and duplicated the Red Channel, run the levels on the duplicate to increase the contrast and, keeping the Ctrl key pressed, I clicked on the adjusted, duplicated Red Channel to select its 'luminosity'.
  • With the selection still active, I clicked back to the composite view and the layers Palette.
  • Ctrl+J pasted the selection on its own Layer changing the Blending to 'Linear Dodge'.
  • Duplicated the 'Selection Layer' changing the Blending to 'Soft Light'.
  • Merged visible.
Now the image was brighter... I had a nice contrast and could start with the restoration.
  • Duplicated the Layer, run Gaussian blur until the 'cracks had become 'darkish spots', added some noise, added a Layer mask (Hide All) and with a fuzzy white brush (Opacity 80 - 20% (around eyes, nose and mouth)), painted over the young man face and neck.
From this point onwards I created several new empty Layers (Blendings: Lighten, Darken, Screen, Soft Light, Overlay) to correct, minimize and enhance different parts of the picture individually.


For the hair, I didn't do anything else than creating a new empty Layer on top of all the others and 'combing' it with the 'Smudge Tool' using a 'dotty' brush ... Slightly blurred and played with the Opacity of the Smudge Layer...

Hope this helps....

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Old 05-28-2004, 01:34 PM
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cedwar cedwar is offline
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Location: Liverpool, NY
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Holy Macarol!

I have a suggestion for a new Forum, it's called...

Professor Flora's Photoshop Techniques

You could have lessons that range from beginner to professional+++
You could have weekly quizzes and tests each month.
Required reading would be every post she has ever posted.

Whaddya think everyone?

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Old 05-28-2004, 01:48 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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After looking at the image above, I'll subscribe for some lessons, but I suspect that I'm going to be trampled in the stampede.
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:33 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Location: Grand Junction CO USA
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When I look at your final product and the orginal that Tim posted, your appears much softer, to me too soft. Is this a result of the small file size or ???

Could you have run some sort of sharpen to overcome that in a high rez file or does the problem exist in a high rez file?

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Old 05-28-2004, 03:32 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Thanks again to everybody!!!!


You are right, the image is soft ... the reasons for this are:

1) I didn't sharpen it at all... (somehow I liked it soft).

2) I cropped the image keeping the 'Front Image' (size) checked so, automatically, the image got larger and softer.

3) The process of minimizing the cracks made it already softer than the original... the blurring to eliminate the cracks made it, selectively, even softer .... so I had to balance the rest of the image with the necessary softer parts ....

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Old 05-28-2004, 08:13 PM
W. Rose W. Rose is offline
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Location: Manteca, Ca
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Where do i sign up

Yes i do agree she is remarkable. I already try to follow all of her examples. Maybe someday we can all be somewhat like her (Flora). I hope you (Flora) are finished moving (we need you here).
I think most of us all will agree that there is nobody on the entire net that is so giving and helpful. I am looking at my desk in front of me and i can count about 12 photoshop books, but i think i only need one by "Flora". Thank you so very much Flora, i am very grateful for what you have provided here for me and all others to fullfill our desire to learn more about photoshop. Also i must add my thanks to all the other people who so willing give their time and engery for the success of this wonderful site.

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Old 07-12-2004, 06:03 PM
mlatham mlatham is offline
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Flora's Impossible restore

I have a number of pictures in the same kind of condition. I am going to try these steps and see what I get. However I am wondering if Flora could record an action of these steps that could be used to repeat the process. I don't have the "full" version of photoshop just elements, so I can't try it myself.
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:54 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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so sorry for my very, very slow reaction .... I'm not at home at the moment and a bit 'handicapped' on the computer front!!!


... Thank you so much for your kindness and great feedbacks!!!


Welcome to RP!!

...As soon as I'm home, (any time after the 21st of July) I'll go through the restoration steps I used for this picture and try to record whatever is recordable in an action .... alas, for many of the steps it might not be possible because, if I remember right, 'brush strokes' are not recordable....

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