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  • Removing large stain

    Hi, I'm new here and need some help (found this site VIA google). I work at a One Hour photo and when management got wind that I had basic photoshop knowledge they decided to offer "professional restoration" services. Now I have learned some great tricks and techniques while doing it but most of my work IMO looks amateur-ish (I flat out tell customers that I have no training and all my knowledge is self taught so while I can do minor stuff well, the more extreme restorations might not be the best). So far no one has brought in anything too difficult but my buddy/co-worker brought in a photo to see if I could restore it. It has a huge dark stain on it and while I had removed stains in the past I cannot figure out how to remove one so large that covers such a "busy" spot. So far I have messed with the red channel to make it a bit more transparent and then used the clone stamp and healing brush to edit the house paneling. The window and face is where I am having the most trouble. I have attached the original and what I have done so far.

    EDIT: Also I am using Photoshop CS2 (we only have Win2k here at my work) so please exclude any tips using tools added after CS2
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Mitch2025; 10-27-2010, 10:28 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Removing large stain

    Mitch,

    Here's an approach you might try. It will leave you with a lot of cloning to do, but at least you'll be able to see what you're doing. I'd start by making a black and white layer with whatever tools CS2 has available. [Then merge visible to a new layer (alt shift control E). Then Select>Color Range to get a selection of the stain. Create a layer mask from the selection and blur that mask to smooth it. On the masked, merged layer use Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast to make the selection match the background more or less.] Repeat the steps in brackets until you've got a result you can work with. Don't try to get it all at once; it will take at least two passes to get the whole thing manageable. Then clean up the grayscale layer to make a good clean black and white photo.

    When all that's done, change the blending mode of your last grayscale layer to luminosity and turn the intermediate layers off. Add a color mode layer and on it paint the stains away with good color sampled from a nearby area.

    Here are screen shots of the process. I just took it through two passes of select/brighten for purposes of illustration. Didn't do any cleanup or color work.

    I did all this with Photoshop CS5, but everything should be available in CS2. And if you're going to have to do many restorations at work, make your employer upgrade your operating system and Photoshop version. I've used PS7 to do good restorations, but CS5 is easier and faster.

    PS: Is there someone standing in the window on our right behind the grad?
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    • #3
      Re: Removing large stain

      You could duplicate the background and do Image>Apply Image, selecting the Red channel. Then set that layer's blend mode to Luminosity. That will bring detail back and will somewhat even out the brightness of the stain. I would then use a curve adj layer on top to dodge the stained area to where its brightness matches the rest of the image which will allow you to paint good color on a new layer set to color blend mode. You can use the clone and patch tools to replace sections of the sidings and windows which will be faster than dodging everything. Here is the first 5 mins in that direction.
      Good luck with the restoration.
      Regards, Murray
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