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  • Old, badly damaged photo

    Been an avid viewer of this site for sometime and have tried many of the tutorials and hints but have never posted before, (which for a newbie is quite nerve racking). Hoping some-one may be able give me some advice on repairing/cleaning up the attached. My sister recently found this photograph of herself (which she didn't know existed) in our mums papers after she died. Looks like the badly damaged original was photographed, the original now lost. I have tried to replace damaged leg & arm without sucess, as you will see it also is badly discoloured w/deep scratches, dirt & I think mold. Do you think there is any hope for it or am I flogging a dead horse? I hope I have posted to the correct forum and have the attached file size right. Thank you for your patience, any help will greatly appreciated
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Old, badly damaged photo

    hi kathy, and welcome to RP.

    yes, it can be fixed. i'll work on it a bit. in the meantime, you can brighten it up first... levels, curves, brightness/contrast adjustment layers shld help.

    what program are you using?

    for the missing parts and scratches, clone is going to be your biggest help (or clone type tools). just 'borrow' from other parts to fill in the missing pieces.

    the staining can be a bit tricky. you might clone. you might airbrush, or you might try replacing type tools. there's lots of ways to approach it.

    i'd start with getting the luminance in better shape first. that will make it easier to do the rest. next, i'd do some or all of the cloning and then tackle the stain/mold.

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    • #3
      Re: Old, badly damaged photo

      this is a quick first stage. i used a brightness/contrast adjustment layer set to 45 bright/ 37 contrast.

      one other thing you might do before you start cloning is, double the image size. this can make cloning and other tasks easier and helps to avoid jagged edges (the jaggies).
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Old, badly damaged photo

        Hi Craig

        many thanks for your suggestions, I am using PS7. Look forward to any help you are able to give me. Thanks again

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Old, badly damaged photo

          I gave this a try. Would be better with a high res scan. i did 2 version of the photo. i did not fix the arm entirely just filled in the torn edges. hope you like
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Old, badly damaged photo

            Replaced the background. Used the pen tool to outline where I thought some of the missing parts should be and then cloned them in. I often go over cloned areas with the healing brush to improve the texture. Used the spot healing brush on some of the fine lines. Did a degrunge (tutorial on this site) to smooth the skin. There is more that can be done to refine your picture, but this will give you somewhat of an idea what your picture might look like restored.

            dc
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Re: Old, badly damaged photo

              ok, this is stage 2, rough cloning. there's still lots to do and i havent done any of the fine fix around the hair and mouth yet and a few other places. i did take out a tiny bit of the stain on the dress. i filled in the right hand fingers, roughly, the arm and the leg...again, roughly.

              this was all clone done on several blank layers, each on top of the next. i use several blank layers as sort of mini-save points. i get to a point where i like what i've done so far and actually save the file and then add a new blank layer and start from there.

              you'll notice that i also doubled the image size. so, the resolution on posting this is going to suffer a bit, but i wanted you to be able to see things a bit closer up.

              it also helps to listen to music while doing this. a bit of the 1812 overture and some jimmy hendrix, the Yes, rod stewart and some other oldies
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                "Here's you old photograph with a little help from Photoshop CS tools such as the clone tool and a lot of layers. Hope you like the result!"
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                  Originally posted by Wiz
                  "Here's you old photograph with a little help from Photoshop CS tools such as the clone tool and a lot of layers. Hope you like the result!"
                  I think the child is holding on to the arm of a chair with her right hand. I also think an adult is holding on to her left hand, the fingers seem to come from the opposite direction. I'm guessing that's why the picture was cut out. Whoever did this, didn't want the person holding her, to be seen.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                    alright, here's the next stage. this is still rough, but i've fixed the hair, mouth and leg somewhat. i also used an adaptation of byRo's degrunge method (you can find that in the tutorial section). my adaptation ran it the normal way except on the last i put the previous good layer over the degrunge layer, set it to 50% opacity and changed the blend mode to 'color'. the settings on the degrunge were 21 high pass and 7 gausian. i basically wanted to take some of the 'grunge' out of the dress and clean up some of the grain on the skin. this also reduced the image to almost full black and white, but not quite.

                    the hair was fixed with airbrushing. the leg with some very light opacity cloning. the mouth was airbrush and push, mostly. all of this was done on blank layers over the original.

                    oh, and to reduce my computer memory needed, i made a new image from yesterday's work. there was no reason to have all those layers from yesterday on the work today.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                      Many thanks to all who showed me what could be done with this photograph,
                      especially Craig who gave me virtually step by step. Thank you seems a little inadequate but its meant. Going to try incorporate what what I have seen done here, music in the background of course, (Like your suggestions Craig but right now its Jimmy Nail - hope someone else knows who he is). Thanks again to everyone, you have made a couple of people very happy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                        I am new to this site, I really love to try restoring old photos. I hope you don't mind me playing around with the one you posted.

                        Here's my shot at it so far. It is getting late and no matter how much I want to keep going, I have to go to bed.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                          Hi Nomi - guess we are in the same boat here. Everyone on this site is so helpful, and really know what they are doing. I like what you have done so far, especially the legs and mouth, could you tell me how you fixed the mouth? Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                            you're welcome, kathy.

                            i look forward to seeing your work. be brave; we all started somewhere. it's just not all of us were brave enough to make it public

                            jimmy nail, huh. hmm, not familiar with him.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Old, badly damaged photo

                              ok, this is pretty much complete on the restore. you could do more with faking in a background or even replacing the existing one, such that it was. you could also colorize this if you wanted.

                              there's lots of little touches here, too numerous to list them all. it's mostly push (smudge) to clean up edges, some airbrushing, a gamma correction to brighten things up, a fair amount of airbrush on the dress to remove/cover the stain, another small clarify filter on the whole to add back some contrast and so on. just lots of little touches. the gamma correction could be done less if you didnt want it this light.

                              bear in mind that i also had to compress this 36% to post at this size.
                              Attached Files

                              Comment

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