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Help with first go at restoration?


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  • Help with first go at restoration?

    I've been around this site for a bit but never posted and now have a really cool first project ot help me practice the skills...

    Heres the image:

    The pic has been through quite a bit and my gramps would like it restored as its one of the only pics we have of his parents... Any advice? Tips? Am I crazy?


    Wont have time to do much work till the weekend. (girlfriends bday tomorrow) But i will post my result when i have done a bit. Not asking to have it done for me but just things i may want to try etc...

  • #2
    That's very restorable as I see it at first glance. I'm about to hit it for the night but I'll give it a go tomorrow. It's mainly just a matter of getting it back to black and white, and using the healing tools and clone stamp. Those cracks are pretty large but definitely doable. The corner can be repaired with a copy from another part of the wall and then blended in with the rest of it. It's not as bad as it looks. At least I don't think.


    • #3
      Hi therookie,
      as imann08 said it's a case of back to b&w, i used channel mixer, then healing brush and cloning. The image is a bit pixelated so you might be able to scan it at a higher res to maybe get better result. I also used a bit of dodge and burn on a 50% gray layer to bring out some of the detail otherwise it's should be quite straight forward to repair. I did the cloning and healing quite quickly so you should be able to do a better job than I have done.
      Hope that helps a little,
      Attached Files


      • #4
        In my opinion (which is in no way a professional one ... )

        The first thing I would do if I were you would be to get a better resolution of this picture. The resolution it's at right now will only continue to be pixelated, no matter how much you fiddle with it.

        Second, I like to work with the original colour of the photo. I never change to greyscale unless the photo is incredibly damaged.

        I only had a couple of minutes to spend on this photo, but just by using the heal and clone tools in Photoshop and doing a bit of highlight painting, I was able to remove the most noticeable creases and some of the noise.

        I think this is a great photo to use as your first try. Make sure you post when you're done, I'd really like to see it!

        Attached Files


        • #5
          Hi: I agree with Heather on keeping a photo at the original color. Just seems like it should be that way if at all possible, not to say DaveS your restoration does not deserve merit as it looks very good. I am looking forward to seeing Inman08's work on it. I myself used the healing tool and did some clone as well. My problem is getting a better background and also getting the baby face features to come out more. How did you do that Heather? This is really a simple restore but did not like what I accomplished .So if anyone has any suggestions on how to do the two areas I was stumped on please post the how to and I will try and then post my results. Thanks Neb


          • #6
            Had a go with this one, as has already been said, a better resolution image will give better results.

            Mostly cloned this one to remove cracks, then tweaked levels a bit.

            Finally new layer set to soft light, fill with 50% grey, then use 10% soft black brush to selectively darken areas.
            Attached Files


            • #7

              welcome to RP.

              as others have already stated, yes, this is very restorable. and, as you've already seen, there is some question or preference in how the final shld look. do you leave the sepia or make it straight black and white. so, you might want to consult with your gramps as to his preferences. and, even if you work on it in black and white, which tends to be easier (NOT grayscale), you can always make it sepia as a final step, if that's what gramps wants.

              the first thing i did was 'scratch removal', just to get the major scratches out of there first.

              the next thing was a bit of balancing in the whites and darks. this was a bit involved. i used a 32 band gray map plugin, curves, black and white points, and brightness/contrast for the most part.

              the next was cleanup. remove most of the remainder of the scratches and some of the jpg artifacts. for this i used a bit of clone, push and 'digital camera noise removal'.

              the baby had to be treated separately. the top of his head was blown out white. so, i made a new blank raster layer and airbrushed in some shadow/hair on the top part to define it. then gausian blurred it very lightly and erased any little errant bits.

              the man's hair i treated similarlyto the baby's head. blank layer, airbrush and then 'rake' with the push brush. again, a bit of gausian blur and erasing.

              somewhere in all that i also added a bit of the 'clarify' filter to give a bit more definition here and there. i also had a curves in there that added back a bit of sepia.

              for the final, i copy merged all to a new layer, set that layer to 'luminance' and turned on the original background layer. this brought back a fair amount of the original tone to the image (from having taken it to black and white).

              i also cleaned up the one edge a bit. and somewhere in the clone/push stage, i had to remove a bit of the background as it was quite distracting to the woman's face.

              from what little was left, i think the background was one of those painted landscapae backdrops.

              oh, and i also resized to something a little more viewable.

              Attached Files


              • #8

                A couple of observations:
                the man's smile is gone after your restoration...
                image's dimensions are no longer proportional as in the original. The subjects appear to be "squashed"...

                Originally posted by Kraellin
                as others have already stated, yes, this is very restorable. and, as you've craig
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Frank Lopes; 04-07-2006, 09:35 PM.


                • #9

                  you're right about the smile and i know exactly when i messed that up and shld be easy enough to fix. but the proportions are exactly the same, so not sure what you're seeing there.



                  • #10
                    Then it has to be my monitor :-)
                    which is not a good thing :-(

                    Originally posted by Kraellin
                    you're right about the smile and i know exactly when i messed that up and shld be easy enough to fix. but the proportions are exactly the same, so not sure what you're seeing there.


                    • #11
                      Wow all the posts! took me awhile to find this thread again... sorry about that. And thanks for all the attempts and info on how you did it.

                      i think i may be stuck with the resolution that i scanned the photo at... :$ Think that is all that our little scanner can do unfortunately... We have an HP PSC 1210 (

                      Any tips on squeezing extra resolution out of it?!

                      I will definately give it a go and post my result when i get it done. It may not be tonight or for awhile as i am heading out of town and had other projects go long today...

                      think it would be cheating to get rid of the background? there is nothing left to it!


                      • #12
                        Try scanning it more darkly--it's possible the baby's head can still be discerned from the background if you do. Try turning off the auto-exposure setting for the scanner.



                        • #13
                          I think i may need to buy a better scanner as mine only scans at: 600 x 2400 dpi.

                          Even something like this would be an improvement:



                          • #14
                            if the scanner is a true optical 600 then that shld be sufficient for most things. if it's one of those 'digital' 600's, which are basically only doing a digital zoom to simulate the true optical, then you might want a different scanner.

                            i had another go at this. lots of clone and push (heavy smudge), a bit of lighten/darken, brightness/contrast adjustment layer, and a little 'aged newspaper' to give it a bit of character.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              So i took all of your advice and bought a new scanner... (may take it back as it may be more than i need) and scanned this photo in on the highest settings as it may be easier to edit...

                              What do you think of the dif?


                              With new scanner:

                              I scanned it on on the highest settings so it was about 6288 x 3816 in size at 70 megs as a TIF, so i lowered the size and saved it at max (12) as a jpg. Now its 1.5 megs...

                              Maybe i need to scan it in lower so there isnt any interpolation... (?)

                              New Scanner: