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Advice on mildew damage et al

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  • Advice on mildew damage et al

    I'm getting ready to restore this old 1950's photo that is covered in mildew (or mold?). I've tried a few things, like desaturating the photo and using the pattern stamp to clean up the intense noise, but I'm wondering if I'm headed in the right direction. It's a big job and I could use advice on which Photoshop tools you would use to restore this photo. THANK YOU!
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  • #2
    Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

    Well, that is a tough one. Fortunately, most of the damage is on the ceiling, wall and curtains, preserving the mother/child pretty well. It would not be too difficult to replace the bad ceiling, wall and curtains with parts from other images. Then focus the real restoration on the mother/child.

    The channels look weird to me, in that there is not much difference between R, G & B other than a little contrast. You may want to check how you scanned it, color wise. Usually, the mold will be much less evident on one channel.

    Another thought is to clean the picture prior to scanning & restoring. You could search RP for threads on cleaning photographs. But, be sure you have and excellent scan prior to that process, just in case.

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    • #3
      Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

      I generally scan in color, but I'll check it out when I get home from work. (-:
      Thanks for your advice; I appreciate it!

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      • #4
        Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

        hi earthcharm, and welcome to RP.

        on images like these, i use clone, airbrush and push (smudge) almost exclusively. the damage is too extensive for global filters. you might get lucky with one of the noise removal programs, but i doubt it and i just dont waste my time trying when i see one like this. it's just a roll up the sleeves and dig in... bit by tedious bit

        tommy's tips seem good, especially the one about cleaning the image. this can sometimes save a ton of touch up work... sometimes not. just be careful. and i do know we've covered mold before, so there shld be some threads to search with possible links to remote sites, conservator sites on how to clean up mold.

        so, dont be afraid to post your progress results and ask for more tips/help. and, good luck

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        • #5
          Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

          Wow! Thanks Craig. Those are the exact tools I've been working with so far which tells me I'm headed in the right direction. First, I'll rescan the photo with more precision if I can talk the owner into letting me take it home again. Then I'll be sure to share my completed restoration with all you pros at RetouchPro for a final critique/kudos. (-:

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          • #6
            Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

            you're welcome

            one word of warning here; because you are using those tools, it will be very easy to overdo things, leaving a smudgy mess. i often find myself doing this. you work in close and you're cloning away and you pull back and it looks horrible. work in and out in magnification. do ALL of the cloning, smudging and airbrushing on separate blank layers and dont be afraid to undo or erase. i tend to prefer erase but at a very light opacity, like 5% or less. this allows me to tone things down without completely erasing all my work and allows a bit more of the original to shine through again. working this way, you simply use the tools and erase to get a good balance between cloned areas and original. on an image as badly damaged as this one, it's also a good idea to not try to bring the image back to 'perfection' but rather go for something that's simply 'good'. take it to that stage first. if you then still want to put in time and effort, why fine, but if not, why you've at least improved things. sometimes that's all you can reasonably expect.

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            • #7
              Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

              if you are using photoshop you can go to the window menu and choose arrange and then choose new window for image. this will open a new window you can zoom in on this window and make your correction here and see what it looks like on the other picture.

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              • #8
                Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

                My first attempt fell into the category of "overdoing things" (-: I hear ya!
                It's a very fine line between "as perfect as it gets" and "way overboard". Your suggestions on technique are gladly accepted. I'll be working on it this weekend.

                Thanks,
                Earthcharm

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                • #9
                  Re: Advice on mildew damage et al

                  earthcharm:
                  You might be interested in looking at the OPR forum http://www.operationphotorescue.org/forum/. This is a forum where volunteers of OPR (Operation Photo Rescue) restore photographs for victims of disasters for free. It is a very worthy organization whose members love to help. You can browse the forums available through the link I provided above, but you have to register with OPR in order to post. Registering is free.

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