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  • opinions please

    I have been asked to restore this photo. It's very bad but the job is important to me as it could lead to a lot of work. The lady who owns it is the president of the local historical society so I would like to imppress her. There are no other photos of this little boy. It has been through a flood and is very adly damaged. Do you think there is a way to do a good job of it or is it beyond repair?

  • #2
    You definately have your hands full with this one. If ever there were a beyond repair, this one might be it. I'm not sure what to tell you on this one. You may be able to make it better than it was but I doubt you will be able to work a miracle and that's what this one needs. Maybe you could locate the worst channel and try replacing it. Hopefully someone else can step in and help you better than me. Good luck.


    • #3

      I'm afraid what you'd end up with here would be more of a painting than a restoration. Which is not to say it couldn't look great, but I couldn't do it (I can't paint).
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning


      • #4
        Wow! That's a tough one. No suggestions from me except that maybe Tom could add something to the comments. He works with historical images and he doesn't try to make them look as if they were made yesterday. That certainly doesn't mean his work is no good -- it's just the opposite! If this is for a historical society, Tom's approach might be just the ticket (provided he has some answers).



        • #5
          Wow - this definitely looks like a "miracle" is needed!

          That being said, I took the liberty of downloading it and looking at it in the various modes. I think you might be pleasantly surprised if you change the photo into CMYK mode and then look at the C channel only. If it were me, I would start from there! (You can copy just that channel into a "new" photo - or probably use the channel mixer to achieve the same results (I'm not too clear on that, but I think so.))

          Good luck - this seems like a doozy. Please let us know if you decide to work on it and how it turns out!



          • #6
            Neat photo. The chances of restoring it to pristine original are, at this time, pretty dismal. However, try this;
            (1)Convert to CMYK. Make C channel active, select it ( CTRL or CMD A) copy to clip board ( CTRL or CMD C).
            (2) Convert to LAB mode, make L channel active, select it and paste the C channel into it.
            (3)Convert to RGB and duplicate the background.Set blending mode to Luminosity. The canvas should still be selected( marching ants--you know) pressShift-Ctrl/Cmd-V .
            (4) set the blending mode of the new layer to mulyiply.
            (5)Flatten-use clone to clean up the grossest white blotches and basically forget the background. Use curves to adjust to taste.
            (6) Use hi-pass filter to sharpen ( be warned- sometimes it is best to skip sharpening or restrict it to a very gentle application as sharpening will bring out the damage as well as the detail)- duplicate layer apply high pass filter under "Filter>Other" with a setting of around 3.2 to 4 then change blending mode to overlay and flatten.
            On a damaged photo like this, I generally try to catch as much of the main object of attention as possible but for historical photos I avoid any substantial clone tool work etc. which in any way would further distort or blur the image. Just my rambling and generally semi-disoriented musings--Good luck Tom

            I attached a lo-res example of the results--hope you dont mind my presumptive action of down loading your photo. I mean no disrespect. I didnt do any clone work, etc. on the example. Tom
            Last edited by thomasgeorge; 10-30-2001, 10:21 PM.


            • #7
              No offence taken re the dowloading, I'm grateful for all the help. I have been wondering where I should start with this one and you have given me invaulable assistance.

              Everybody else
              thanks for your opinions this photo is a nighmare but I so want to try to restore it. The lady says there are only two photos of this boy/man. This one and one when he was 75 so she would love to have this restored. Thanks again for your suggestions atleast now I have somewhere to start.


              • #8
                I felt kind of bad about my "abandon all hope" post, so I played around with it a bit. I feel with a higher-rez version and sufficient motivation (guilt only goes so far) something more could be done with this.

                Quite honestly, I never intended to post this so I didn't keep track of the steps (yeah, Doug, where have we heard that one before?).

                I do know I first split the channels and worked exclusively on the red channel.

                First I adjusted levels.

                Then I knocked out the white spots by duping the layer, running threshold, inverting, blending in 'darken' mode, and turning the opacity way down until they disappeared, then flattened.

                I then duplicated the layer and ran the 'dust and scratches' filter on it with the threshold pretty high and used "darken" mode.

                Then I erased (using low opacity eraser) the important bits like the eyes, outlines, toes, fingers, etc., letting the original details show through.

                Finally, I flattened, adjusted curves, and ran the Photoshop "sepiatone" action on it.

                I know I forgot some stuff, and probably inverted a couple of things. I'm a bad example for you all
                Attached Files
                Learn by teaching
                Take responsibility for learning


                • #9
                  I too followed the thread and thought that the photo was almost beyond hope. Though I kinda' agree that guilt can only get you so far, (But mom won't believe that) sometimes on a project like this, a little artistic freedom is a warrented. What I would do in such a situation is to go ahead and get it up to the point where you are satisfied with the results, (Great instructions Doug/Thom!) save it, and continue the restoration to the best of your ability (i.e. probably painting). That way you have two options to give the customer.

                  Good luck and let us know what's going to happen to this pic.



                  • #10
                    I knew if you were going to get some good help, this was the place to come. They're a great group arn't they? Sounds like some pretty good advice too. Wish I could have been more help. I couldn't even download it to play around with because I'm still using another computer til mine's fixed.
                    I think any improvement you do is still better than the way it was. And I'm sure they knew it was pretty far gone to expect miracles so don't feel like you're letting them down. With some of the techniques these guys have laid out and your own natual talent, you'll do great. Trust me I never lie.
                    Don't forget to fill us in on the results. Good luck.


                    • #11
                      yes they are great. Thank you all for your help. Being a stubborn Aussie I am going to attempt the restoration, the only thing is I have to learn when enough is enough. I have the tendancy to spend far too much time on restorations making them unprofitable, but that's me the customer only gets it when I'm happy with it. I'll post the results when I'm finished just to let you see how it turned out.
                      Thanks again for all your great ideas and help.


                      • #12

                        Don't forget to attach your final result here
                        Learn by teaching
                        Take responsibility for learning


                        • #13
                          This was quite a wild mess, so I tried playing with it and I ended up throwing out everything but the cyan channel, then did a levels adjustment, followed by some blurring with darken mode and some filters in the background. However I think Doug is on to something better when he says to select the whites and using threshold, inverting, etc. I tried it briefly and it has possibilities for something like this.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Good job Mig. Looks like you all may just puzzle this one out. I'm curious to see what the final outcome is.


                            • #15
                              Excellent job Mig. I envy your talent! Tom


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