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Help touching up a very old, cracked photo

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  • Help touching up a very old, cracked photo

    Hi everyone. I'm new to this board and I'm astonished by everyone's work! I'm a complete novice to Photoshop also.
    I have a very old photo that I would like to restore for my Mother (it's of her great grandmother)as a surprise to her. This photo has many cracks in it, so I tried my hand at the de-crack tutorial and I have no clue how to use it. Do I duplicate the original layer and then run the high-pass? Or do I run the high-pass on the original layer? I am so confused.

    I have attached the picture in question, if anyone could give me any tips on what I am doing wrong, or if someone could possibly take a stab at it.

    Thanks for your help.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Polaroid Dust and Scratch remover (google it)

    I duplicate the layer and set the sliders very high. Then add a black mask and paint out the dust and scratches. Took a couple of minutes to do the kids. I used the healing tool in a couple of areas.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Jason, Welcome to RP. Just a quick and superficial go with your image.

      Didn't find de-crack filters of too much use on this one, so just cloned out the cracks. I always clone on a new layer, as its easier to erase cloning mistakes.

      Now, used dust & scratch filter. Adjust radius until blemishes removed, then adjust threshold until some of texture re-appears, then apply hide all mask by Alt clicking on mask symbol at bottom of layers palette. Now using soft white brush, paint over areas where you want to remove blemishes.

      Lastly sharpened image a little, and applied levels to up contrast a little.

      Hope this helps you.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Retouch Mom

        Hi there. Most of the work was done with the Healing Brush, Patch, and Clone tools. Then a levels to increase the contrast. I used the median distort filter on some areas. I.e. copied the layer used the filter added a black mask and painted in with white.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Hi Phil and Gary: Nice work. I am going to look stupid here but wanted to know something Phil. When did you do what? Did you use the healing and clone tools first and then apply the other functions? I would like to know a step by step process to try this picture myself. I feel I can learn more that way. I am a new user of photoshop and have CS2. If it takes dumb questions to learn this program I am going to ask! Thanks Neb
          What the heck a good laugh at my learning habits just might make someone's day!!


          • #6
            heres mine
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Retouch steps

              Well you asked a good question. And the steps I used here may not be the official method. I copied the photo. Doubled the resolution using a resize action to give me a little more slack on the retouch. I looked at the channels and there was no real difference. I Copied the layer and on top of the copy I put a blank layer. On the blank Layer I started with the healing brush tool which at times did not work. Then I used the clone tool. And in a few cases a paint brush around the right ear. For spots I used the spot healing brush tool (That has to be used on the copied layer and not the blank one).

              The next step was I used the Neat Image Reduce noise filter which helped.

              I flattened the layers after making a copy and started over. I copied the layer and used a median filter on a darken layer blending mode since most of the defects were white and the filter will just work on the white spots.

              I used the levels adjustment layer very carefully to make sure I didn't blow out the whites. The baby in the middle seemed to be on the verge of being too white so I copied the layer using multiply blending mode. That darkened everything. I applied a black layer mask and painted the baby with white. Still too dark so I lowered the opacity of the multiply layer till it seemed ok. To smooth the edges of the mask I blurred the layer mask. I then downsized the resolution to the original 744 x 583 pixels and used the save for web format.

              So Neb Granny I think thats what I did. This is an excellent photo to play with since its fixable. Incidentally I am going to be off line for several days. I"ve seen your frequent posts and I think you ask excellent questions.


              • #8
                Thank you Phil for the quick response. I am grateful I caught you before you left. I appreciate the compliment about the questions asked. Sometimes I feel like I sound dumb, but I am a very persistant person with her mind made up to learn this great program. I feel lucky about finding this forum, although sometimes it has been so frustrating to see the wonderful work being shown on this forum...I say..WOW, now how did they do that!! A lot of the functions posted I am unfamiliar with and that is what is the hardest part for me, but I just keep returning and returning , to try and learn more and more!! Have a safe and happy trip. Neb

                PS: I am going to try and follow your steps. Look for a post when you get up and running again ok?


                • #9
                  Thank You!!

                  Thank you all!! What amazing results! I will take all of your tips to heart and try my hand at it this evening. You guys make it sound so simple, I guess I just need to practice some more. Thanks everyone.


                  • #10
                    My steps:

                    1. Duplicated the background layer
                    2. Levels Adjustment Layer
                    3. Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer, check monochrome set RGB 50/25/25
                    4. Merged Visible keeping the layers
                    5. Patch Tool, Healing Brush, Clone Stamp Tool
                    6. Empty Layer set to Softlight Blending mode and painted with a soft black and white brush at about 20% opacity.
                    7. Neat Image for Mac with 40% strength.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Do you still have access to the original image so you can scan it again? If you do, try this.

                      Scan it, and then turn it 90° on the scanner bed and scan it again and then turn it 90° again and scan it again and then another 90°.

                      You'll end up with 4 scans.

                      Now open one of them - I usually start with the upright one. Now open another one, select it all and copy it into a new layer in the first image, set the blending mode to Overlay, and reduce the opacity so you can see the layer below and move it so you can match it up - you may need to rotate etc until you get it matched up.

                      Try with the different scans until you find good results.

                      I'm attaching three images. This picture is very badly cracked so I scanned it several times laying it in different directions on the scanner bed. The first two images are the two I combined to give the result in the third image.

                      Hope this helps, Margaret
                      Attached Files


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