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Poley Family 1908 Fading-stains-streaks

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  • Poley Family 1908 Fading-stains-streaks

    I just recieved about 10 very old pictures that belonged to my recently deceased father. These were in some file and not in albums. This one was one of the worst.

    I am posting the original sepia photo and my first stage of work in a B&W photo. I started about 3 times and won't mind starting again if you think my method is wrong.

    I am working in elements 2- with the added tools from Richard Lynch's book Hidden Tools. I rescanned the original at 600, my first try was 300 didn't give me much detail around the eyes and mouth and one face, top right, is severely damaged.

    I split the image into channels, and as Jeanie suggested to me I chose the green channel to work on. Tried a few methods to get a better contrast and settled on one that I did with curves... which I am not an expert.

    Then I made a copy, and used the filter Dust and scraches and with a lblack ayer mask I started to paint over some of the smaller blemishes... I am still in this process. The image is huge and I am working in zoom 300 slowly going over the image... trying to be systmatic....

    The main issue is the green staining that shows up as black blothes.... also some red stains around a few mouthes. It seems that I will have to almost reconstuct those ties. I have also started reconstuction on the top right hand face..

    There is a sever streaking problem among all the other blemishes...

    Would really appreciate any tips and advise...

    Attached Files

  • #2

    I didn't want to do too much, as I'm not familiar with Elements, and what it's capabilities are. But I know it offers curves adjustments, so here's what I did:

    First, I duplicated the layer, set the blending mode to screen, made a layer mask, and filled with black. Then I painted white where the dark streaks were on the woman on the bottom left, and the gentleman behind her, to lighten and blend the streaks. This is by no means done, but it's a little better. Flattened image.

    Made a curves adjustment layer, and made the adjustment on the dress of the woman in back. Used a foreground/background gradient, and dragged it from bottom to top, to bring everything closer in evening out the tones from front to back. Before using the gradient, the bottom portion of the image was very dark. Flattened.

    Another curves adjustment layer, targeting the areas indicated, and made the adjustments as seen on the curves portion of the attachment. After making the first three corrections, I had lost some detail in the woman's hair on the upper left, so I made another adjustment point close to the dark hair point on the curves graph, and raised it slightly. I'm not sure if you can see the detail in the attachment, but it will print nicely.

    This is just a start on your image, but at least it's a start. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. If I don't answer, someone else will.

    Note: the adjustment for the blouse could have been raised more, but there is a lot of junk on the image, and I wanted to be relatively certain the detail in the blouse would print. If the dirt, or whatever it is, was not present, the point would be higher on the graph.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Ed_L; 01-22-2004, 05:30 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks for the advise... I am very new to curves but will try it out.

      I also read recently in the forum of NeatImage filter and downloaded and tried it on the original, before what ever I did and it really did a good job of cleaning especially the faces... I have to really check it out as there is a detail on my gr-grandmother's blouse, middle row, of a watch chain. I will also use your advise on that file as well....

      Thanks again... will keep you updated...



      • #4
        curve layer + gradient

        Made a curves adjustment layer, and made the adjustment on the dress of the woman in back. Used a foreground/background gradient, and dragged it from bottom to top, to bring everything closer in evening out the tones from front to back. Before using the gradient, the bottom portion of the image was very dark. Flattened.
        I am not sure that I can do this or I don't really understand it. In elements I have an action that allows me to make a curve layer. When I do this I can put in a point and move it but don't see any option to do a gradient on the mask... see attached image. I can not edit a curve leval after I made a point on it...

        Attached Files


        • #5
          If Elements is like Photoshop, which I expect it is, you should be able to drag a gradient across the image while the curves layer is active. If that doesn't work, someone more familiar with Elements will surely help.



          • #6

            Its NOT exactly like photoshop... its the POOR cousin from accross the tracks

            While the curve is open I can't do anything else but put a mark on the graph and move it...
            When I close on the layer pallette I can click on the white mask and make a gradient... it shows but doesn't change the image

            I will ask in the section for elements.... Thanks



            • #7
              There's always more than one way to do something. Can you make a duplicate layer of the background, then run a curves adjustment on it? If you can do that, and you can make a layer mask, you should be able to paint with black on the mask in the areas where it is too dark. This should lighten up the part you paint on. You should use a large, soft brush at a low opacity (if you can do that). If it gets too light, simply paint with white to darken it again. Paint with a soft brush at low opacity if possible. Layer masks are something I couldn't live without! They're very forgiving of human error, and that's why I *need* them.



              • #8


                Yes I have no trouble with layer masks... that part I can do... although I have to adjust the opacity when I paint white...

                its the curves + gradients the I can't do... I think what you wanted was that the upper part get darker with out the bottom part getting darker... Does that make any sense?//
                I'll sleep on it and maybe think of some way to overcome the obstacle...

                Thanks for the support



                • #9
                  Well.... what I want to do is not important. It's what *you* want to do. But yes, that's what I think needs to be done, and it can be done using a layer mask. Just play around with it. It's usually better to lower the opacity quite a bit when you paint.



                  • #10
                    Carol - I use the same set up (Elements plus Hidden powers tools). While you can't edit the curves adjustment layer once it's in place, you can edit the associated layer mask. To do what Ed is suggesting you have to close the curves dialogue box first - do the curves adjustment layer, hit OK. Then on the layer palette, the curves adjustment layer should show up with the little white button on, which indicates the layer mask is active. Do the gradient as Ed describes on the image window and it will show up in the layer mask...Hope that's a bit clearer.

                    Susan S.


                    • #11
                      Thanks Ed & Susan,

                      Well.... what I want to do is not important. It's what *you* want to do.
                      I realize that but I have to see what you did in order to decide...

                      I will try again with Susan's suggestion... I am a pretty perserverant...stubborn.....



                      • #12
                        Just for fun I had a go myself using Elements - mainly concentrating on trying to even up the tone - I didn't really have a go at the damage repair - it really needs a larger and less compressed file to do that I think. Bear in mind that this is probably only my second or third go at restoration - I mainly use Elements for photoediting.

                        I started with the Green layer as Carol did, then did something similar to Ed to adjust the streaking - I used a levels adjustment layer, increased the brightness with the middle slider and then masked the whole lot out by filling the adjustment layer's layer mask with black. I then painted in on the layer mask using a soft airbrush at 50 per cent opacity and white the darker streaked areas to bring them up. I then merged all visible layers onto one new layer. I did a similar - but rather more radical curves adjustment layer than Ed to incease the contrast and at the same time set sensible black and white points - I masked this with a gradient mask and also modified the mask with a large radius soft airbrush.
                        I then merged all the visible layers onto one layer again and then above this on a new layer cloned some of the worst damage out. By this stage the jpeg compression artefacts were becoming very visible at 100 per cent gave up and just gave the end result a quick sharpen, added a new layer set to color blending mode and filled with a sepia tone borrowed from the original image.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          As an alternative you could try working in LAB mode. Throw out your color channels. The B&W channel is quite light but shows a lot of detail. As most of the banding shows up in the clothes, you can get good results just from careful use of the Patch Tool. Once your work is complete, then adjust with Curves.

                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Duv -We don't have LAB mode in Elements (altho the Hidden Powers stuff has a workaround that brings you close). We don't have the patch tool either!


                            • #15
                              Well now. I feel silly. I thought Elements was much closer to big brother. I actually have Elements software and should load it up to find out what it's all about. Thank you Susan!



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