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A Real Mess

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  • A Real Mess

    Hi All!

    The first photo linked at the bottom of this post is from my Mom & Dad's wedding in 1977.

    The photographer was supposed to do two separate images - one of my father's family, and the other of hy father & mother in one of those old 'profile & portrait' styles.

    However, for some reason the photographer decided to combine both the photo of my mom, the profile of my dad, and then his family, all in one picture. What a mess!

    My husband and I had worked on this photo for quite some time, trying our best to separate the family from mom and dad. The family picture is the only one in existance with my dad, all 8 of his siblings, and both of their parents. But, after months of working on the image, our hard drive decided to die, and we lost all of our work.

    We really hadn't acheived the results we wanted, so I'm posting this image here for you guys to have a gander and to give me some advice as to what you think I should do to it.

    The second link is to an image of my aunts, who are the two women in the family photo that have been completely lost. The photo is of them, in the same position, from my Aunt's wedding only a few months before this photo was taken. My goal is to somehow recover as much of the info from the blown out area as I can, then put them back into the family photo.

    I would very much appreciate any advice you guys have to offer on this one. The photo will never be 100%, all I want is to get it as close to normal as I can

  • #2
    Re: A Real Mess

    You're right... what a mess. Any chance the photographer is still in business ? It would be much easier to simply obtain the originals. Otherwise, it's weeks of tedious work.


    • #3
      Re: A Real Mess

      i hate these. well, maybe not hate, but i look at that 'mess' and go, boy, that's going to take a long time to do and most likely not come out right everywhere, especially over on the left with the two women there. i think tommy has the right idea, find the original photographer and obtain the original images or negatives, if possible. that would just save TONS of work.

      i also wouldnt try putting the other people in the other photo into the first. those rarely come out right, either, especially when doing an indoors shot with an outdoors. the lighting is just too different. i'm not saying it cant be done, but to look right, it's also going to take some work. i'd simply restore the second one as is.

      now, there is one possibility here. if the two women on the left in the first are the same two women as in the second, you might do just their faces/heads as a cut and paste. that might work.


      • #4
        Re: A Real Mess

        Thanks for your comments Kraellin & Tommy!

        I did indeed ask Mom & Dad whether the photographer was still around, but he passed away years ago, so no luck there.

        I know that the indoor photo of my aunts isn't ideal, but that's what Dad sent as he figured it would help, them being side-by-side in essentially the same position as the wedding shot. I figure there has to be a photo or two of them kicking around my parents house from the day of the wedding which might be more suitable for the fix.

        Yes, we did work for weeks on the photo, then lost everything in what we call the Great Crash of '08, when we lost our hard drive. I'm prepared to do it all again!


        • #5
          Re: A Real Mess

          I had a go at it, I don't think it's actually as hopeless as you think:


          • #6
            Re: A Real Mess

            Holy Crow! I can't believe you were able to do that with the photo in only a couple of days. Can you give me some details on the steps you took? Amazing! You've totally renewed my hopes in fixing this photo!


            • #7
              Re: A Real Mess

              No problem! Obviously things could be done better, but I mostly just wanted to give you an idea of where it could go.

              First, I desaturated the image so I could just work with value instead of color. I then burned in the bright spots created by the overlaid portrait of your mother, which brought back a lot of the detail. I made the sky all white to get rid of the profile of your father, and then just did a lot of rebuilding with the clone stamp to get things looking good again. Once I was done with that, I used dodge and burn to shape some of the rebuilt elements. Then I pasted in the supplied image of your aunts, and fit them in the image after some more cloning. Once everything looked ok, I colorized the image by painting color in manually. I finished up with some simple curves and slight sharpening.

              Like I said, it could be better, especially in ground area (you can really see evidence of cloning) Also, finding another picture of your aunts from the same day would probably work better.

              Also, is this the actual resolution of the image you're working on, or do you have a higher-res version? Obviously the higher-res would be better. Hope that helps!


              • #8
                Re: A Real Mess

                I would start with finding the original colors first.
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