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  • New here, how do I?

    Hello all! I am new here and am working on restoring some family photos. Here is a photo of my father and his twin brother. I need help fixing the missing information on the face of my uncle. How do I fix this? As you can see there is some information left over but very faded. I am new at PhotoShop, but am able to get around in it pretty good. I just need to know what steps to take.
    I also would like to know how to get rid of the other fingerprints. Thanks for all help.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Rita,

    Welcome to Retouch Pro.

    Had a very quick go with your picture, so the end result is a bit rough. I did a rough selection round the boy's face using quick mask, then copied and pasted to another layer. Adjusted levels to get as close a match as possible, then cloned to blend edges.

    There's so many finger prints on the image that I don't think you'll be able to remove them all without spending a great deal of time. I removed the major ones with clone tool.

    Adjusted levels to up contrast (not sure that was a good idea as it increased the noise).
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Rita,

      OK, I'll try and give you a little more detail on what I did.

      I've re-worked the picture, and I'll post the new one below (not sure whether it's better/worse or than my last post, but technique used is likely to be similar).

      Sorry I couldn't e-mail this to you, but my ISP's e-mail server is playing up at the moment.

      The first thing I did was to duplicate the image to a new layer (I always do this so that I'm not working on the original).

      De-saturated the new layer as its easier to match lighting on a B&W image because you don't get color shift problems.

      Now using the quick mask tool I did a rough selection round the fingerprint on the boys face, then I copied and pasted it to a new layer, by clicking Edit > Copy then Edit > Paste.

      Made new paste layer active, and adjusted levels (as in attachment below) to match lighting as close as possible to the underlying image.

      De-activated Background (original image), and did a Merge Layers when I was satisfied with the match.

      Repeated this technique for other heavily fingerprinted areas to top left of picture.

      Now I created a new layer to clone on (always work on a seperate layer when cloning as it's easier to remove mistakes by just erasing with eraser tool).

      Most of the work now was just a matter of cloning out blemishes and hiding the "rough" edges of the patches done earlier.

      Mostly this is a matter of eye, and I can't tell you exactly what I did, but here's a few pointers when cloning.

      To hide the fingerprints, I used a soft clone brush set to about 10% opacity, switched off aligned, and selected an area close to the fingerprint, then slowly built up the clone to cover the fingerprint. I haven't totally removed them, as I found you lost the underlying detail if you overdid it.

      For the rest, vary the brush size and opacity of your clone tool for best results. Experiment to find what works best for the bit you're working on. As its on a seperate layer you can erase it if it doesn't look good, and try again.

      Once I'd got what I thought was a reasonable image, I created a new layer, set it to color mode. I sampled the color from the original, and used Paintbucket to color the layer, then I reduced layer opacity to about 65-70% as this gave me the best color.

      Lastly I made a levels adjustment layer, and adjusted it to increase the contrast a little.

      Hope this is useful to you, anything that needs clarifying, let me know and I'll see if I can explain it better.

      Good luck with your restore.

      Attached Files


      • #4
        hi rita

        welcome to RP.

        without actually doing the work on this one, the first thing i would do is adjust the image to bring out as much detail as possible. things like brightness/contrast adjustment layers, curves, or levels shld do the trick. you might also try a histogram adjustment or combinations of all of these. basically, you just want to see what's there better.

        after that it looks like a simple clone/heal type job. make a new layer above your exisiting image and turn 'use all layers' on. highlight this layer and pick the clone/heal tool. set this to medium to medium high opacity (the scale is normally 0 to 100, so 60 or so shld work to start). you sample a good area and with the clone tool you clone this area into a damaged area relacing the damaged area with a 'clone' of the good. this is fine for the non-critical areas of the image, like the rocks and dirt and so on. pick similar areas to what you want to fix. if you're fixing a rock area then pick another good rock area to clone from.

        as you get the non-critical areas done and move to the more critical areas like faces and so on, i tend to turn the opacity down on the clone and make the brush size smaller. you can then sort of build up a damaged area bit by bit without wrecking surrounding areas. and remember, you're doing all this cloning on a blank layer, never on the original layer.

        when you get things pretty good, i almost always then use a 'push' brush (heavy smudge brush in photoshop) set at about 40 to 60 opacity and at a very small size, like 2 to 10 pixels in size' to smooth out any cloning 'edges' where things didnt quite blend in precisely. you also do this 'push/smudge' on the blank layer or even on another, new blank layer above the clone layer.

        that method gives you a lot of control and is non-destructive. if something gets messed up, you either undo or simply erase that part of the layer.

        for missing information in an image you have a few choices. you can either borrow from the existing image with cloning, take a similar photograph and borrow from it or simply guess and reconstruct that way. in yours, i think simply taking data/parts of the existing and using those to fill in/reconstruct would work best here. all this again is done with cloning on a blank layer with 'use all layers' turned on.

        hope this helps



        • #5
          Re: New here, how do I?

          Hi Rita,

          This is a short tutorial on how I used Quick Mask to adjust the faded patch on the boys face.
          • Duplicated image to new layer.
          • Desaturated new layer. (It's easier to get a match if there's no color, we can add it back later). Pic 1
          • Click on Quick Mask button, then select area with a soft black brush. This will give a Rubylith (red) color over the area. Pic 2
          • Convert mask into a selection by clicking the Convert button. Pic 3
          • Copy/Paste your selection onto a new layer.
          • Adjust levels on this layer to darken the "patch" you've just made to get it to match the rest of the picture as best possible. Pic 4
          • Apply layer mask, and paint with a soft black brush (about 10-15% opacity) to blend the mask a little. Pic 5
          • Create a new layer, and clone out remaining visible edges.
          • Color is added back in by creating a new layer, setting blend mode to color, then sample color from your original picture and fill the color layer with that color.
          Attached Files


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