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Please Help Restore Photo of my dad!

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  • Please Help Restore Photo of my dad!

    Hi everyone,

    Tonight I have read a few posts of people who lurked for awhile and finally posted. Well, in that spirit, here's another lurker that is posting for the first time in the hopes of getting help from some of the pros.

    I scanned a photo of my dad that I told him could be restored with Photoshop. I have been playing around with PS for a few months now, and I like to think I've learned a lot. But I'm really having trouble restoring this picture.

    I have tried a few different techniques, such as using the decrack action, usm, the healing brush, but haven't been able to completely fix this picture.

    My dad is coming into town in a month, so I'm appealing to the group. I was hoping to have something that I could print out on some photo-quality paper for him as a kind of surprise. That, or course, brings up another question: when do I convert the image to cmyk? Before or after all the touch-ups?

    Here's a link to the image (larger size).

    Here 's a smaller version of the pic.

    If you try your hand at this, please let me know what techniques you used. Thanks all!

  • #2
    Try duping the layer, applying heavy dust and scratches filter, and setting blend mode to darken. This might help knock out some of the white bits. Actually, you're pretty lucky in that most of the specks are much whiter than anything in the picture.

    As for when to convert to CMYK, my own recommendation is "don't".
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      Hi mooker, Welcome to RetouchPRO! I'm glad you decided to come out of hiding!

      This is a really tough photo and certainly worthy of a spot as one of our challenges. So, don't feel bad that you're having trouble with it. I do want to try my hand at it, but my schedule won't allow me to try it for another couple of days. (I've got a few photos that look similar to this that I'm working towards a deadline on. So far, I haven't found a quick and easy way to repair them, or I'd be sharing it with you! )

      I'm sure there will be others who can give you some good advice in the meantime - and maybe I'll learn something that can help me along as well.



      • #4
        Wow, that's some pretty nasty damage, Mooker!

        Hopefully this will help you find a direction to start off in...

        All of this is in RGB. I don't ever work in or convert to CMYK unless I just need to check and see if there's a better channel there to work with.

        Ran decrack action - twice @ .3, once @ 1.5 and again at 4.0

        Did dust spotting via the method in the tutorial for using Dust & Scratches with the history brush. Settings @ R/6, T/20 EXCEPT, I did it backwards. Did the dust & scratches and pointed the history brush to my first snapshot to put the facial (and any other) detail back in and leave the rest of the image de-spotted.

        At this point, the red channel was looking pretty good so I deleted the other 2 channels and converted back to RGB by way of grayscale

        Duplicated layer and ran High Pass at 10, set blending mode to overlay

        Flattened image and duplicated layer. Added layer mask and used the gradient tool to fill the mask(black on the left and white on the right). Adjusted the levels on the background layer until image density evened out.

        I cloned out a few of the bigger remaining areas of damage and left it at that. You can get an idea from this about some possibilities to use, and from here it's just some finishing off work with the clone tool, etc.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Welcome to RetouchPro!

          I'll offer a few quick suggestions...and then I think I might try to tackle your photo!

          First, I would echo what the others said about converting to CMYK. Let your inkjet print driver do the work as it will probably do a much better job than Photoshop. Most consumer inkjets are designed with RGB images in mind, so the software usually does a pretty good conversion job on it's own. The only reason to convert to CMYK before printing is if you are sending it to an offset printer...and even then it's usually easier to let them handle the conversion.

          Second, I'm assuming the links you posted are the pre-restored photo? It might help to see how far you have come and then we could offer some suggestions...It seems like 9 times out of 10 people have already done an excellent job and just need a few tips and suggestions to complete the job.

          I'll give the image a try tonight and see what I can come up with.

          By the way, nice job Jak!


          • #6
            Hello Mooker,

            A fast and easy (and effective) way to remove a huge portion of the white flecks is to duplicate the background layer and then move this whole layer over a couple clicks with the arrows on your keyboard. The way to do this is, with the duplicate layer active, bring up the transform box, Ctrl+T on a pc, and then click the up arrow (in the case of this picture) a couple times, then change the blend mode to darken.
            I also ran the decrack action on this picture after doing this and that helped as well.

            Good luck,


            • #7
              Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions! I'll try some of them, and see what I come up with. If I'm still having trouble, I'll be sure to ask for more help, and I'll post my results.

              Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and this pic will become a restoration challenge.

              You all rule!


              • #8
                This is probably off topic a bit, but it does concern this photo, so here goes. I thought I had a fairly good comprehension on resolution and image dimensions concerning printing and on screen viewing...... til now
                I downloaded the image that this thread concerns and I had it looking pretty decent, but more pixelated than I thought it should be, so I looked at the dimensions of the file I downloaded, and it was the larger one...dimensions are as follows

                Pixels Width - 1210
                Height - 1600

                Doc Size Width - 1.008 inches
                Height - 1.333

                Resolution 1200

                My question.... Why when the resolution is so high and the pixel
                width and height being what they are, is the image so tiny??


                • #9
                  The image was probably scanned at 1200 dpi and has not been resized yet for printing. At 300 dpi the image is 4"x5.33"...still 1210x1600 pixels however.

                  The pixelation probably is just a result of heavy jpeg compression.


                  • #10

                    I'm afraid the best answer I can give you is "I'm not sure." Here's why:

                    I scanned the photo at 100% resolution at 1200 dpi on my scanner. My thinking was, I wanted to get the best scan that I could. The result is a 28.7 Mb PSD file. The one I posted was NOT the original, cuz I figured that nobody (even those with broadband), would feel like downloading such a large file if they didn't need to.

                    I apologize for the mixup, I tried to resize it, and that's what I got. I need to learn more about resolution and size, etc.

                    If you would like the HUGE original, I'd be happy to provide a link.



                    • #11
                      No need to apologize for anything Mooker, I'm just learning as I go... and finding out I don't know as much as I thought.
                      So, did you change the image size to about an inch square before posting it here?



                      • #12
                        I went to resize, and changed it until it was around 5 meg, which was the 1600 x1200 resolution or whatever it was I set it to


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