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Emulsion Breakdown Correction Help

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  • Emulsion Breakdown Correction Help

    Hi: the attached (this is my first post with an attachment so we will see how it goes) shows a 23 year old photo of a family member. The red fade is obvious as is the thousands of red "dots" (also shown in the magnified section).

    I have been somewhat successful in eliminating the red cast and have brightened the picture. But I am sitting for hours patiently cloning out the red dots and while I will get this photo corrected ok soon, I have dozens of other photos from the same period with the same red dots. I am assuming this is a breakdown in the film of the 80s, but the cause is not so important. Is there any automatic or semiautomatic way to eliminate these buggers instead of one by one??!!

    Any coaching will surely be appreciated.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Ken,

    I can see the problem you're describing, but it would help us give better feedback if you could upload a JPEG version of your image rather than GIF. GIF limits you to just 256 colors and makes it difficult for us to determine what is actual damage to the photo vs. artifacts caused by the GIF compression. In general, you'll want to save your photos in JPEG format. GIF is usually best for "graphic-type" images (i.e., images with solid colors).



    • #3
      Jeanie: whoops...sorry about that mistake. Here is a compressed JPEG of the original scanned image (scanned at 300 dpi I believe) from original degraded photo.


      [Edit: hmmm that shows the dots pretty well.]
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hi Ken,

        Don't worry about making mistakes - that's how we all learn! Actually, the fact that you were able to include an attachment on your first try is great! Many of us had to try a few times before we got anything to show up at all!

        Wow - this looks like a real challenge to restore! In some cases like this you will find that one color channel has the majority of the damage and simply replace it. Unfortunately, the damage (i.e., the dots) appears in all three color channels and I haven't yet discovered a quick fix in a case like this.

        Do not lose hope though! One thing that might work for you in the non-detail areas (sky, sand, water) is to duplicate the layer, then run the Dust & Scratches filter. (If I remember correctly, you run PSP and I'm not sure that there is an equivalent - there doesn't seem to be in my PSP7 version.) Essentially what you want to do is blur the image until the spots disappear, but keep the grain of the photo. Dust & Scratches in PS allows you to do this by setting the radius at a value where the spots disappear, but also setting a threshold value fairly high which maintains the grain in the photo.

        In this case, the D&S filter pretty much obliterates any detail in the image though, so you'll want to add a layer mask to the blurred layer and paint on it so that only the non-detail areas of the photo are affected. (Are you familiar with layer masks?)

        Hopefully that will help out with large areas of the photo so that the task of patiently cloning out the spots in the detail areas won't seem so daunting.



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