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Can you fix my mom?

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  • Can you fix my mom?

    I'm usually taking pictures ( ) not fixing them. I use photoshop everyday to adjust curves, levels, etc. but I want to get better at fixing old photos. I got this one from my mom and decided to try and fix it. I opened it in PS and just stared at it. I have no idea where to start! Can someone do their magic and explain what steps they took? What's the first thing you fix? THANKS!!!!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Royce, first thing I did was straighten and crop. Maybe it's just me, but I can't stand to work on something that doesn't appear straight!

    Then here are the basic steps I took -- I know the colors aren't quite right -- hopefully I can learn how others work on the colors.

    - use the white dropper in levels to determine the white point -- click on the paper border -- I assumed that is white. That removed most of the yellow cast
    - inspect the color channels -- blue looks the worst, and has the yellow stain
    - replace the blue channel as described in Jak's tutorial here
    - adjust hue and saturation to get the colors how you want
    - patch and clone
    - select the background, run filter/noise/median to even out the cloning and remaining cracks; add slight bit of noise back in to match the original
    - final contrast adjustment

    Attached Files
    Last edited by sdubose99; 05-08-2003, 01:51 AM.


    • #3
      Royce -- let's start with a noticeable correction, and rotate the picture to its proper axis. Good! Now we feel better, and we've accomplished something. My goodness -- what a lovely child, and look at those big blue eyes!!

      You can start most retouch/restore jobs by checking the Channels to see whether one or more show less damage than others. The Red channel is too light, but the damage appears to be the same in each channel (although harder to see in the light Red channel).

      Doing a Levels or Curves Layer adjustment is one step you want to do early in your assessment -- if you see any unwanted color cast or density problems. This photo has a defiinite yellow cast, and will be enhanced by a Levels or Curves adjustment. (Whichever technique you can most easily handle -- or you can use Image->Variations if you aren't ready yet to try either.) After an adjustment -- her eyes are even more blue, and you get a better idea of the colors in her clothing -- which will need to be fixed in those areas where the cracks have broken off some of the actual photo emulsion.

      Some cracks and discoloration are in the backdrop, and these won't be much of a problem because you can simply replace those areas without losing any image detail. There is some damage in the facial area and the hair -- this will take some careful work to make it look like it was never touched.

      What version of PShop do you have? If you have V7, then learning to use the Healing tool will work on much of the image damage. If you have an earlier version, you can practice cloning, and /or Dust and Scratches with the History brush. Look at the Tutorials section --

      If you're interested in learning, practice is the only way. There's a good deal of work needed here to eliminate the colored spots, cracks, etc., but even a bit of work on your part will make you a hero to your mom when you show her the work you've done.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hi Royce,

        I also corrected the angle and I cropped the picture. I used Hue/Saturation to make an overall color correction, but then went into selected areas and individually altered the color further. I removed the tears and missing elements with either the history brush or simply using the rubber stamp tool.

        Hope it helps.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Thanks guys. Ya, I have PS7 and am familiar with most of the tools. This definately gives me a start. The inconsistant yellow areas is what was really bothering me. Now why are the yellow areas in the blue channel?


          • #6
            Well, here's my first attempt. What do you guys think?
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Royce, good job, definitely much improved. Couple of nitpicks -- still a little yellow cast around her eyes, the catchlight in her eyes shouldn't be blue, any way to soften the transition between her and the background, and her bottom lip could be improved.

              Good job!

              So what are the main things you learned in doing this exercise?



              • #8
                How do I get rid of that yellow cast? I couldn't figure it out.


                • #9
                  This photo wasn't too badly damaged. It was fun to work with! I like the ones where I can see instant results.

                  Here are my steps, more or less in order:

                  1. crop and rotate
                  2. color/auto adjust
                  3. healing brush to get rid of most large cracks. clone tool to get rid of more detailed cracks.
                  4. duplicated layer, set to overlay mode. dropped opacity.
                  5. same as above with mulitply mode.
                  6. duplicated layer, ran gaussian blur on it. applied layer mask and painted in at low opacity. I did this to fight the jpg artifacts that were all over the place.
                  7. added a bit of noise to take away the ultra smooth cast that the layer mask left behind.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    The inconsistant yellow areas is what was really bothering me. Now why are the yellow areas in the blue channel?

                    The yellow is in the blue color channel because the blue channel is opposite of what we print as yellow. In the wonderful world of print (CMY + K) versus a monitor (RBG), you have to think differently. Just like a TV, a presence of all color equals white. In print, an absence of all colors equals white.

                    Draw a circle with RBG spaced equally around the outside. Between, "R" and "G" place "Y". Between "G" and "B" place "C". And finally, between "B" amd "R" place "M". It should look something like this (hope it looks right):


                    (I had to use the periods to get it to space out correctly.)

                    Here's a website I found that might help you understand color theory. I could go on forever about it, but I think it will be easier for you to read and see it.

                    I hope this helps you.


                    • #11
                      Hi everybody!

                      What a stunning little girl!

                      CJ, "..those big blue eyes..." are really incredibly beautiful, aren't they?


                      Big improvement! And to what Scott has already pointed out, I'd add the flatness of a 'one colour only' background which is also a bit too smooth in comparison with the rest of the image.... You could try a Gradient and add a bit of Noise

                      What I did here is the following:

                      **1) Duplicated the image twice.

                      2) Changed one of the duplicates into CMYK and looked at the channels.

                      3) Working on the CMYK Duplicate, I highlighted the Black Channel and run Image->Apply Image, selecting the Cyan Channel as source and setting the blending mode to Multiply. (This added consistency to the image).

                      4) I dragged the 'fixed CMYK Layer' on top of the background of my RGB duplicate.**

                      5) I used Clone Tool and Healing Brush to remove scratches and clean up.

                      6) I corrected the colours using Selective Color, Hue&Saturation and a soft Airbrush (Mode->Color, Opacity 10-30%).

                      7) Created a new Layer, blending->Overlay, and with a soft black or white Airbrush (Opacity 5-10%), I selectively enhanced different parts of the image.

                      8) I replaced the original background with a Radial Gradient.

                      I finally sharpened the image a bit using the High Pass Filter.

                      As for removing a colour cast from part of an image, there are many ways ... After loosely selecting the damaged part, I usually go for either Selective Color or Replace Color .... I might have found an easier way to do it ... If it works well, I'll post it as a Tip.

                      **(I've been asked why I do this...well, fact is:
                      1) I prefer working on RGB images and I read somewhere that changing back and forth between LAB, CMYK and RGB leads to loss of details therefore I change the second duplicate into whatever Mode suits me best, taking (copying) from it what I need..
                      2) I like to keep a duplicate of the original picture as my Background Layer for immediate comparison or correction of the changes I've done, without having to keep an extra window opened in my limited workspace!)
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Flora -- that's a beautiful job! Makes me cringe seeing my pitiful effort -- but then again I was working at close to midnight last night, only to demonstrate some quick techniques.

                        I think I need to work in the CMYK world to see what advantages that provides...



                        • #13
                          Wow, that's all I can say. Very well done.


                          • #14
                            Here is my rendition. Hope you like it.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Flora, that's stunning work!



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