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Cleanup of old color photo

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  • Cleanup of old color photo

    I've run into this problem with many color photos dating back to the 60s/70s where there is a yellowing that shows up most in the blue channel. It would seem there would be an "easy" way to isolate this yellowing (mold?) and remove it, but I haven't found anything but cloning solutions which are very time consuming. Any thoughts??
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I tried to eliminate most of the color cast by balancing the numbers. I made the assumption that the woman's shirt is white and her skirt black. Of course I could be wrong but it's certainly plausible. White's need equal values of RG & B. Try between 230 and 240. Blacks, try a figure of around 30 for each color. Additonal adjustments for saturation and spot color correction are also going to be required.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Duv; 11-20-2004, 06:12 PM.


    • #3
      The easiest way would be to change the picture to black and white. If the staining mainly shows in the blue channel, you could use a channel mixer adjustment layer set to monochrome, using the cleanest channel (or a combination of the red and green channels).

      If it had to stay in colour, it may be possible to replace the blue channel with a combination of the other 2 cleaner channels, but it's complicated to get a good result, and isn't usually worth the time.

      In the past, I've found sometimes a hue/saturation adjustment layer set to reduce the yellow works quite well if you use a layer mask to then paint over just the stains.


      • #4
        One technique which might help is using the clone tool in color blending mode with "align" unchecked.

        Use an area of correct color as a source and brush over the yellowed area.

        However, this is probably just a starting point...


        • #5
          Cleanup of old color photo

          I had a quick go at this photo. To help out on the shirts and stains I used a Levels Adjustment Layer and the white eye dropper and sampled the woman's shirt, next I used a Color Balance Adjustment layer and corrected for the color cast. I also made selections of the greenery, the skin and used a Color Balence Adjustment layer. Curves and Brightness & Contrast Adjustment layers, Dust & Scratches filter, Luminosity Mask set to multiply.

          For the man's shirt I made a Luminosity Mask set to multiply, Selective Color Adjustment Layer to reduce the "yellow" staining. Used Clone Stamp and Healing Brush to add detail to the shirt and to cleanup the scratches and wrinkles.

          Use a empty layer set to Soft Light blending mode for touch up.

          If I was really ambitious I probably would try Ro's unclipping method on the blown out portions of the faces---but it's time for breakfast



          • #6
            Originally posted by Ken Fournelle
            If I was really ambitious I probably would try Ro's unclipping method on the blown out portions of the faces.....
            ...actually the tutorial also works fine as an Un-blotcher (as I said in another thread, maybe I'll have to change the name).

            First (as Dave said), take out the general color cast: I went the same way as Dave but, looking back, seems like the woman's blouse wasn't white and her skirt wasn't black - so at the end had to fix the colors again.
            As to the unblotching: If you work through the tutorial the blotches are very easy to identify and to remove and, of course, you can fix the blown out skin areas.

            Ken: I got your message with the questions about the tutorial. The reply I sent go returned and your RP e-mail is de-activated so I'll reply in the tutorial thread (which would be the right place anyway )

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Cleanup of old color photo

              Thanks Ro,

              I appreciate your response and fine tutorial(s) I'll fix my profile.



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