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My first retouching attempt

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  • My first retouching attempt

    I've been inspired by Katrin Eismann's book and all the images on this web site!

    I'm planning to restore several family photos. Here is the first one. It was the one with the least amount of problems (start simple!). I'm pretty happy with my results, except I probably need to sharpen before printing - my first print looked a little fuzzy.

    Basic steps (Photoshop 6):

    1. Convert to grayscale: New Adjustment Layer->Channel Mixer... Check "Monochrome". 50% red channel, 50% green channel. I picked these values pretty much at random - definitely didn't want the blue channel because it was really spotty.
    2. Contrast correction: New Adjustment Layer->Levels... Adjust black and white values.
    3. Clean up background: Merge layers to a new layer. Use the lasso tool to select the woman. Save the selection. Load the selection, feather, select inverse. Create new layer via copy (layer contains background only, no woman). Apply "Dust & Scratches" filter..
    4. Cloning clean up: Create new layer, use clone tool to clean up spots on woman's hair, skin, dress.
    5. Accentuate eyes: Merge layers to a new layer. Use dodge/burn technique to accentuate eyes.
    6. Re-apply sepia tone: Using variations, create sepia tone by adding red and yellow.
    7. Final crop: Crop excess to bring more attention to face.

    What would you have done differently?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Attached Files


    • #3
      An excellent job. I would have tried to save the original background a bit more...the blurry one looks a little too smooth to be genuine. And the angle of your curve in the highlight area is a bit steeper than I'd use, making for a very bright-looking forehead.

      But it's great as-is. Any client would be happy with it. Good work, and keep on restoring.
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning


      • #4
        Nice job Leigh Anne! The only thing I would do different is what Doug said about the forehead. you may want to go back to your Levels adjustment layer (step 2) and set your white point at a lower value. My guess would be you are using (RGB)255, 255, 255. Try to lower that a bit so you do not get areas that burn out.

        Other than that I think it's fantastic job and I'm sure your family will be very pleased!


        • #5
          Very nice Leigh Anne. I think you are off to an excellent start on retouching. Doug and Greg are correct in that the recipients will love it. What they both suggest are good points to enhance what is already a fantastic job in restoration. Keep going, you have alot of talent. Your family will be quite pleased.


          • #6
            Wonderful Job! I love the sepia tone and soft touch to the background and how it blends smoothly with the foreground. Also, I like the way you kept texture on the skin. I honestly cant think of any suggestions except to post more of your work and descriptions of how you did it! Good work.....Tom


            • #7
              Wow! Huge difference. Great job! The only thing I notice is the "too" white whites (i.e. the hot spot of the flower). Keep 'em coming.



              • #8

                You said this was a family album? What a beautiful woman. Is it your grandmother? I can see why you like this picture. It's really elegant.



                • #9

                  Thanks for all the suggestions and nice comments! I'm going to work on the background and the "too white" whites.

                  G. Couch (Greg): I noticed from your profile that we have a few things in common: our birthday (May 27, although I'm a few years older - not telling how many :-), and Wolfpack basketball (I'm an alum - looking forward to the ACC tournament this weekend!)

                  Sharon: The woman is my boyfriend's grandmother. Unfortunately she died young and he didn't know her.


                  • #10
                    Alright! Same birthday and Wolfpack fan! I actually went to Appalachian State (if they had a fine art degree at N.C. State, I would have gone there!). Been a Wolfpack fan since we moved to Raleigh in 1981 and my older brother is an alum. I guess I know what you will be watching or listening to on Thursday!


                    • #11
                      So glad to here there are other Wolf Packers here. I graduated in 83 (back when we played good basketball).


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