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  • Help needed with old image

    A friend of mine gave me this very old image to restore.

    I'm at somewhat of a loss as to how to begin with color and contrast correction.

    Can anyone offer some guidance?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Gee, don't know what to say Exclam. I auto-equalized the color and then decomposed the image. The red channel had quite a bit of information in it, so I overlayed that over the auto-equalized layer.

    Obviously there's a lot of work left to be done, but it's time for lunch. :-)

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Originally posted by ExclamPt to begin with color and contrast correction.
      1) First step - let's see what we've got to play with.
      Make a copy of the original, of course, and put in a levels adjustment layer.
      Adjust each channel individually moving the black/white point sliders while holding the <alt> key. Stop a little before the point where something important shows up. (The little tear on the right isn't important now).
      Now you can see that the red and green channels are OK, not great just OK. The blue channel isn't going to be of much help.
      2) With this we now have a 'game plan' - separate the color (R/G/B) and luminosity (R/G) work. (Wow, that's new! )
      3) For the colors (using the R/G/B image), find good white and black points and adjust the colors - auto-equalize will work fine (the 'pro' way gives the same result). Make a duplicate (merged) and save it.
      4) For the luminosity use a color mixer to combine just the Red and Green channels, maybe run NeatImage on them first.

      Well that's how to begin. Now do lots of work on the grayscale luminosity image. When that's fine, you'll probably have to colorize by hand using the saved color image as a guide.

      Good luck,



      • #4

        What Roland said ...

        To give you a visual here is a good place to start on the black and white to restore.

        The color image for sampling the little spots that have 'good' color was made by ...

        -Going to the channels pallete and selecting the blue channel,
        -Do menu Image>Apply Image with the blue channel as the source and blending mode set too screen (since the blu channel was too dark), I used 80%
        -Levels and curves adjustments

        Hope this helps,
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Hi everybody,

          Great tips!!!

          After duplicating the Background Layer, I started like Roland suggested, 'adjusting each channel individually' forllowed by:

          To improve the contrast:
          • Created a Luminosity Maks > Blending Multiply.
          • Duplicated the Luminosity Maks Layer, Blending > Soft Light.
          • Merged Visible.
          • Run Dust & Scratches.
          • Run Neat Image.
          • Used a Levels adjustment layer.
          • Used a Curves adjustment layer.

          To improve the Colours:
          • Created a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
          • Created a Selective Color adjustment layer.
          • Color Balance adjustment layer.
          • Created a new empty Layer > Blending Color and corrected the skin colours.

          To clean up and finish:
          • Used the Clone and Patch Tools.
          • Created new empty Layers Blendings: overlay, multiply, soft light, lighten, darken, color, Screen.
          • Smudge Tool on parts of the hair.
          • USM to Sharpen.

          The girl's dress had practically no details...

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Thanks to all. Your guidance has been invaluable. If I can ever provide help for any of you...I'll try.

            Now the work begins!



            • #7
              Originally posted by roger_ele
              What Roland said ...
              Thanks, Roger, sometimes I do get a bit carried away!

              Flora, once again.


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