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Looking for some advice

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  • Looking for some advice

    I've enjoyed reading all the posts and watching the talented members of this board work their magic for a few months now. I've done some small projects on photoshop, but no real "restorations" until now...

    I found a few old photos of my grandmother and I wanted to know if I'm on the right track with what I'm doing.

    What I've done to this one so far:
    1. Working on blue channel only
    2. Adjusted levels and curves
    3. Copied all and pasted into new layer - nudged a few pixels to clean up dust and scratches
    4. Ran neatimage
    5. Copied all to new layer and ran high pass/soft light filter to sharpen it back up a bit.

    Any words of wisdom on how I can improve on this any more?

    Once I have the picture pretty well cleaned up in black and white, I will work on restoring color, because I've been told it was originally a color photo that completely faded away - although I wouldn't be able to tell from looking at the original scan!

    Thanks in advance!
    - Icarus
    Attached Files

  • #2

    Well After looking at your original image it looks like the Highlights of the baby are close to being "Blown Out" because they are so bright. I took your photo and used a channel mixture mixing the blue and green. Then I used two levels adjustment layers one for the mother and another for the child using the mask to isolate one from the other. That sort of evened out the tone between the two subjects.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thanks Phil!

      Yours definitely looks better - I wasn't sure how to deal with the "blown out" baby.

      Can you clarify what you mean exactly by:
      used a channel mixture mixing the blue and green
      Do you mean you used a channel mixture adjustment layer and only worked on the blue and green channels?

      - Icarus


      • #4
        Channel Mixer

        Well using the channel mixer adjustment layer was the first step. After examining the channels, the blue and green channels seemed to preserve the baby's facial detail best. So I started with a channel mixer adjustment layer. The Output Channel was Gray and R-40; G+78; and Blue+80.

        The next step I did was use a levels adjustment layer focusing on the babies face and ignoring the rest of the picture. When that seemed good I used the mask. All black except for the baby. I then made another adjustment layer and worked on the mother and again used a mask to eliminate everything else.

        On a new layer I used Layer Merge Visible (On the Mac thats Command+Shift+Option+E) to put all of the below on a layer.

        I then copied that Layer and used a High Pass Filter and Overlay blending mode to sharpen the image.

        There still are numerous Jpeg artifacts on the image.

        I've enclosed a screen dump of the first Channel Mixer Step.
        Attached Files


        • #5

          One other thing you may try if possible is to re-scan your image. I say this without knowing what the original photo looks like. I always try to do as much density and color correcting in the scan process. That way you have less manipulation and more information to work with in Photoshop. A lot of times you will find that your color is really not as "lost" as you think it is.


          • #6
            Thanks, I'll try this technique out when I get home!

            The .jpg of the original looks very close to the actual photo, so I don't think re-scanning would do much good. The original itself is pretty small (2.5" x 3.5") and faded - but I see Phil has made some good progress with it, so I'm optimistic I can end up with a good result!


            • #7
              Well, here is where I am at so far...

              I welcome any comments or critiques!

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Much Improved

                Way to go. It seems that these projects never end. They also don't seem to be 100% right. I would suggest copying the layer and use multiply blending mode with a layer mask and paint in the baby's face to darken it some. Perhaps sharpening mother's facial features some. Also mother's right leg around the ankle may need to be "healed" with the healing brush.

                But you have really done a great job on a tough and small photo
                Attached Files