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Challenging faded photo

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2015, 02:07 PM
Bristolpaul1 Bristolpaul1 is offline
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Challenging faded photo

Hi All,
I have an old faded photo taken in Florida many years ago,when my son was shorter than me,i thought repairing faded photos was suppose to be one of the easier things to do in photo restoration,but i am getting nowhere with this no matter what i try,i have tried a levels adjustment,resetting black and white points,using a threshold layer,i have tried curves,saturation and hue,nothing seems to improve it,am wondering if i will have to recolour individual parts,any pointers would be much appreciated.
Many Thanks,
Paul.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:16 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Actually, it's quite a bit more complex than that, and requires a lot of digital painting. But, professionals have the advantage of using top notch scanners, so they can pull the most out of each channel before even going into actual restoration.

This image actually has a lot of detail still in it, an I think that even if you find you can't do the job yourself, the image is still far from gone, so it can be brought back by a pro.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:01 AM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Hi Paul

It is hard to tell how much color information is left in your image. I agree with skoobey that the best possible scan is real important.

Do you have a 16 bit scan to TIFF you could share or link.

The image that is uploaded to Retouch Pro is JPEG and either it is quite compressed and/or your original is quite compressed. Recovery colors with this compression would be quite difficult.

The following image might make that clear. It is just the hue component of your image. As you can see the JPEG compression did a really good job in the lower saturated areas and the hue component is quite pixelated (via the compression algorithm).

http://jkwphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i...-qHJ678f-L.jpg

Your original may not be that bad yet what you uploaded directly to this site would make recovery very difficult without using painting technques.

Hope this provides some insight.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:01 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

I think you have a great chance of restoring this if your original is not as pixelated as the compressed version

Yep.... painting ... and another version with noise reduction and a curves adjustment added
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File Type: jpg img007-A.jpg (195.8 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg img007-B.jpg (162.8 KB, 82 views)

Last edited by 0lBaldy; 02-12-2015 at 09:29 AM. Reason: added pic with noiseware and curves added
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:03 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

If that's a Manchester United football shirt on the boy it should be a punchy red colour!
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:08 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Well the colors seem to be mostly lost. For laughs and giggles I googled Mickey Mouse and Disney world and found a photo that seemed to be taken at the same location. That gave me a clue as to what colors to use.
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File Type: jpg mickeymouse.jpg (34.9 KB, 46 views)
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:29 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Thanks for the "Giggles" Phil.... my updated version thanks to you..
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:42 PM
Bristolpaul1 Bristolpaul1 is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Thanks all for your helpful replies and for taking the trouble to improve the image,i have a scanner which will scan 16bit Tiff,it has ice technology which i haven't yet mastered,i was just wondering if there are any techniques that i could use without having to hand paint the entire image,thanks again for your help,oh....by the way,that is a Man U. shirt,the version by OlBadly is very close to the original colours.
Paul.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:12 PM
Bristolpaul1 Bristolpaul1 is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

OlBadly,
I appreciate that you have shown that this photo can be restored but how did you do it,i have been looking on the internet but can find nothing on faded colour photographs,did you make selections and select colours or did you paint each piece freehand?
If you or anybody else can give me an idea on workflow that would be great.
Many thanks,
Paul.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:26 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: Challenging faded photo

Usually the first step I take is to try and restore the faded colors and correct contrast. I use levels in each of the RGB channels to increase contrast and hopefully restore some color. In this case it did not work. The colors were not true. So I needed to colorize the entire photo.

So again in the channels I selected the red channel by using a black and white adjustment layer and used a the red filter preset. I then stamped the collection and started again. To colorize areas of the image you need to have the black and white luminosity about right. In my previous post I did not do that so Mickey's red did not have deep enough color. So I darkened the image some.

What Colors? I found a photo taken at the same location. big help.

So then I colorized the various areas on separate layers.

It did take a while
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