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  • Color or not

    I am going to try and restore this old pic of my wife's family. (the little girl holding the doll). I have a couple of ?'s. This is a color photo. You can see a little of the color here and there. I am wondering if trying to restore the color will be worth the effort. I have looked at the channels and the green looks fairly clean. The red is pretty overexposed looking and the blue is really bad with a lot of scratches. Would I be smart to just go with a B&W image?
    My other question is with the older boy on the right. His face is really in bad shape also the older girls face is not that great. I have a few pictures of them at ages within a couple of years. Would you all advise trying to clone in new faces on these two subjects or just do an eye copy as that is the worst problem with both of their faces. I actually paid a professional restorer to redo this picture about 20 years ago. I paid $150 for a 12x14 picture that was really terrible. Things have advanced a great deal since those days and I have always told my wife that I could probably do better, so I guess it is time to put up or shut up. Your advice will be much appreciated.
    Dave
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Dave810; 12-28-2010, 08:27 PM. Reason: remove link

  • #2
    Re: Color or not

    hi dave and welcome to RP.

    ok, this does seem to be a color photo. and two, if you're going to ask for help, then dont make folks register with another website to get your photo. snapfish requires that the downloaders register before they can download.

    i really would like to see the better resolution. try imageshack for loading your pic.

    my preliminary viewing of the lower res says that you're not going to be able to restore the colors with just something like 'color balance' or 'channel mixer'. the data is just not there any more. however, there does seem to be enough data to give enough of a guide so that one could do a colorizing over the original colors and get something pretty close to the original.

    but, you've got a greater problem than the colors. the facial data is pretty bad. there's almost no color there and the facial features are pretty faded. a rebuild could be done, but you're going to run into the skills of the restorer as opposed to the skills of the photo editor. rebuilding is a lot tougher than a straight restore. now, if your higher resolution image shows more detail, then all of this paragraph may be moot and you can do a straight restore, but it doesnt look like it for now.

    also, on this lower res image, there's a lot of pixelization and jpg type artifacting, which basically boils down to 'noise'. noise isnt good. it means a rough image with a lot of cloning and smudging work.

    one other thing you might try is taking it to a black and white and just cleaing it up. your wife is going to appreciate anything that betters this. clean it now and maybe colorize it down the road.

    it's a nice pic. i like doing these, but this one you shld expect to not be taken back to pristine. it's faded pretty badly. but, it can be helped. post the original, higher res copy somewhere where we can look at it and i'll give you another appraisal.

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    • #3
      Re: Color or not

      Dave, I go along with what Craig has written. I ran a Digital ROC filter on the image and it does appear to have been in color. The attachment is what color could be dragged out of what you uploaded. However what you uploaded was extremely over-compressed (JPG Quality Setting 2) which is almost the worst quality you can get. The image is badly pixelated and not usable for much.
      Your best bet is to work from a hi res scan.
      There is a lot of damage so you if you go the color route you will need to recolor by painting as opposed to using a couple PS adjustment layers.
      A B&W restore will also need a lot of hand cleanup and will be a little faster than colorizing. Either way you should be able to get a decent restoration.
      Regards, Murray
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Color or not

        I would try to recover the color info as much as possible before going to colorization. I think greater challenge is to fix the texture.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Color or not

          Nice job Chillin. Did you need to make any masks/selections or was that colour 'extracted' in one hit?

          R.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Color or not

            Wow that is impressive you really got a lot of color out of there. Sorry about the Snapfish thing I did not realize that a download required registering. I will try the imageshack site. Look for another link and thanks, Is a psd file OK or would a tif or JPG be better for the higher resolution file?
            Dave

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Color or not

              Link to image at Imageshack:

              http://img262.imageshack.us/i/sandysibsoriginal.jpg/

              I could not get it to accept the really large PSD image hope this is better.
              I am a little new at the FTP stuff.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Color or not

                Originally posted by Repairman View Post
                Nice job Chillin. Did you need to make any masks/selections or was that colour 'extracted' in one hit?

                R.
                I used few small samples from different parts of the picture & applied different combination of levels adjustments, then I used masks to enhance colors selectively. I used some targeted curves to introduce colors that were not showing up correctly. This is the way I would continue with this pic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Color or not

                  Well I first used levels on each individual color channel to get started.
                  Next the boy in the foreground a piece of chalk or a cigarette which helped in balancing the color.

                  From there there is a long way to go.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Re: Color or not

                    Had a quick go at this, trying to emphasize the colour and detail as much as possible. Not sure if it helps, though; this looks like a challenging one for sure!
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Color or not

                      Thanks a lot guys. You have certainly given me encouragement to give it a shot. I can't believe how much color you were able to pull out of it. The original picture (a little 3x5 shows next to no color at all. I will post the result when I get done. I am not real experienced with this but one of my kids gifted me with CS5 for Christmas and I sure do not want their present to go to waste. This is the only picture that my wife has of all of her brothers and sister in one shot and the oldest boy and girl have passed recently so it will mean a great deal to her.
                      Thanks again,
                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Color or not

                        much better dave. that higher res image is much easier to work with.

                        as you can see from the work from the group here, much can be done to bring this color back. the damage, scratches and other messes can also be cleaned up a fair amount. i decided to do a little work on this one, also and touched up some of it here and there. i did most of it on the boy on the left. i rebuilt the eyes on him and the boy to his left. i also worked on most of the clothing of all of them, but again, mostly on the boy on the left.

                        my technique was mostly 'finding the image' first, which involves 'fade correction', 'local tone mapping', 'brightness/contrast adjustment' layers and possibly a few other things. after that, it mostly airbrush this time with some cloning and push/smudge.

                        all in all, i think this image could be cleaned up quite nicely with a fair amount of work.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Color or not

                          I'm intrigued by this image and would like to try following your methods to achieve a similar result. Any chance someone could PM a jpeg of the original to me as I don't want to register on another site?
                          R.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Color or not

                            Originally posted by Repairman View Post
                            ...............Any chance someone could PM a jpeg of the original to me as I don't want to register on another site?
                            R.
                            Just click on the link posted in Dave810's post to Imageshack - you do not need to register!

                            Once the small image has loaded click the zoom button and you will get an image size of 1900x1300+ pixels - just right click and copy then paste into PS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Color or not

                              Doh! Thanks Tony; I missed that post. This retouching lark is ruining my eyesight!

                              Comment

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