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Restoring Stains on Color Photo

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  • Restoring Stains on Color Photo

    I'm working to scan in and restore old family photos. I've spent days researching how to fix specific problems, but I'm having a very difficult time finding information to fix discoloration on a color photograph.

    I use Corel Paint Shop Pro X3 and have tried the following:
    • clone out the discoloraton
    • use the color changer, which worked on the gray pole, but I have trouble with my mother's hair and skin
    • I checked the color channels and the damage seems to be mainly on the blue channel

    I'm really not quite sure where to go from here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    ETA: I'm a beginner with photo programs. Until now I've always just done the basic auto contrast and auto levels. I'm learning the proper terms and tools, but I'm still a novice and will appreciate having the tips explained to me like I'm a kindergartener. ;-)
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Belita; 12-08-2010, 06:44 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

    hi belita and welcome to RP.

    before you try to fix the color you're going to have to restore the damaged areas or your color treatment wont be worth much. the photo is heavily backlit putting part of her face into heavy shadow and that's the main problem here. the shadow was so great that there's no detail left in parts of the face. it's just all black in spots (see attached). so, you're going to have to rebuild first.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

      Thank you, Kraellin!

      I have tried to bring out some of the detail from those areas by creating a duplicate layer and using the overlay of the negative image technique. I then tried the fill flash setting, and did one more digital negative, erasing the lighter areas to just have another pass at the darker half of her face. It's a rough attempt, and you can see where I did the erasing, but I was just trying this to see if this is on the right track. When you say I need to restore those areas, do I need to clone over from other areas of her face to get that detail?

      Here is my image after trying to lighten it.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

        i tend to use a combination of clone, push and airbrush and i do them on a blank layer above the rest of the layers so that they'll overlay onto the rest.

        it looks like you're coming along pretty well. i can even see part of that one missing eye. rebuilding the eye is key to rebuilding this image. you can try several methods. one is to use psp's red eye removal tool. use the one under the 'adjust' menu and look down towards the bottom of the menu list. that tool can actually add back whole eyeballs. another method is to clone from the other eye. and a third method would be to hand paint it. there are probably other methods as well. since you've got part of the eye there i'd be tempted to first try hand rebuilding using the other eye as a guide. if that doesnt work for you, try making a selection of the other eye, hit control-c and then control-shift-v to make the selection into a new image. control-c again and then pick your other picture as the the active one and use control-e to set your flipped eye onto the original image. then, just move it around till it's in the right place. a little brushing and touching up shld give you a decent replacement.

        i just tried the above method and found it worked fairly well, but i also used the red eye removal tool on top of it and it worked even better, so try those together and see what you can do. then, just blend the surrounding area to the new eye.


        • #5
          Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

          I used the red channel's high frequency layer as a replacement of the blue & green channels freq. layers. to recover some nice texture ...and then the usual levels & curves adjustments.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by chillin; 12-09-2010, 09:57 AM.


          • #6
            Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

            Thanks for the advice, Craig. I'll give it a try.

            Chillin. I have looked around and can't seem to figure out how to try that method in Paint Shop Pro X3. Is this method availalbe in PSP?


            • #7
              Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

              Originally posted by Belita View Post
              Chillin. I have looked around and can't seem to figure out how to try that method in Paint Shop Pro X3. Is this method availalbe in PSP?
              Here is a Photoshop to Paint Shop pro dictionary.
              They list a command in photoshop "Image > Apply Image"= "Image > Arithmetic" in PSP.

              I did some experimentation in PSP & came up with this:
              1) Open image (Image 1)
              2) Duplicate layer
              3) Select upper layer
              4) Adjust->Blur->Gaussian Blur (set to 3.00
              5) Edit->Copy
              6) Edit->Paste As New Image (Image2)
              7) Delete the blurred layer from (Image 1)
              8) Select (Image 1) then: Image->Arithmetic
              Image#1 – (Image 1)
              Image#2 – (Image 2)
              Function – Subtract
              Channel : Image#1 Red
              Image#2 Red
              Modifier: Divisor = 2
              Bias = 100 Clip Color Values – checked
              New Image (Image 3) is created
              9) Select Image (Image 2) then: Image->Arithmetic
              Image#1 – (Image 2)
              Image#2 – (Image 3)
              Function – Add
              Channel : All
              Modifier: Divisor = 2
              Bias = 5 Clip Color Values – checked
              Well, if you don't find someone who will know what to do, play with the numbers.
              Afterwords you can clean it up, run levels curves etc.
              I have attached the PSP result (not as good as I would like).
              Attached Files
              Last edited by chillin; 12-09-2010, 09:07 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Restoring Stains on Color Photo

                Thanks, Chillin! I have followed your steps and will play now realize I need to learn about this arithmetic function! I have also bookmarked that Photoshop to Paint Shop dictionary. I'm doing the scanning of pictures on the weekends and will try to learn about, and play with, the levels and curves next week.


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