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  • Need suggestions on how to work on this

    A client has given me a photo that's about 30 years old and that has been displayed without protection from the light for all those years. It was a color photo at one time, but the faded area looks closer to black and white now. That would be workable if it weren't for the large area that was behind a mat that is NOT faded and which I don't really want to just crop off. I've attached a couple of examples of the "line" between the faded and non-faded areas.

    Does anyone have any great ideas on how to restore the faded area to match and blend smoothly with the non-faded area?

    Thanks for any ideas!

    Jeanie
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Jeanie,

    This is way - way out of my league, and you're more competent than I. But if you could get the colors pretty close, I wonder if you could duplicate the layer using the proper blending mode, then using a layer mask, use a combination of painting with both white and black to blend the colors? Maybe trying that more than once would help, and you could play with the layer opacity? It might not work at all, but that's what I think I would try. Good luck on it. That's pretty severe fading. No doubt, you'll get a better suggestion before it's all said and done.

    Ed

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Ed. After working with the photo for a while, I decided I would have to make it B&W then colorize it. The faded area was so faded it was just about B&W anyway. Plus, there are two people in the photo and it is so faded that there is barely any features left, so I had to duplicate the blue channel (only place there was any definition) a couple of times. So, I now have a decent B&W that I now need to color. Phew! -Jeanie

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      • #4
        You're welcome Jeanie. I sure thought you'd get more responses to your call for help. Like I said, it's over my head, but I thought if I replied, it might spark a new thought for *you*. Sorry I couldn't have been more help.

        Ed

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        • #5
          The problem is, once data is gone, it's gone. Any solution that involves making the faded section match the non-faded section is going to require adding non-existent data (read: painting).

          An alternative might be to fade the non-faded section to match, then fix the entire image. Here's about 45 seconds worth of fiddling with the levels of the separate color channels.

          If I were to experiment further, it might involve duplicating the layer and using multiply blend mode, or adding a black layer (again in multiply mode) and turning down the opacity.

          Just an idea
          Attached Files
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning

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          • #6
            Jeaniesa, I took the liberty of downloading and playing with the example you posted and with a bit of playing found that by masking out the original color, duplicating the layer and using screen blending mode along with a bit of cloning and saturation /hue adj, the areas could be matched fairly well...just a thought. Good luck Tom

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            • #7
              Doug & Tom, Thanks for taking the time to look at this. I'd pretty much decided that the only way to work on it was to fade the non-faded area to match the faded one. I was able to draw a little more detail and color out by multiplying the faded area, but as Doug said, once the information gone, there's no way to recover it but to paint it back in - which is what I'm working on now. Wish I could show you the whole photo (it would be such a great challenge!!), but my client specifically asked that her photos not go up on the web. -Jeanie

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