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  • Super Faded Photo

    Hi everyone I am new here and somewhat new to restoring/retouching photos I have done a few faded photos before but this one is for my grandmother and would love some advice on how I can bring the detail back to this photo.
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  • #2
    Re: Super Faded Photo

    all done in paint shop pro:

    1. fade correction (full strength)

    2. tone mapping (full strength)

    3. curves (fairly light)

    the spotting now showing is an entirely different matter. you might try the polaroid dust and scratch removal filter for that, though it's probably going to cause the loss of some detail.

    as best i can tell, the blown out whites are part of the original and not caused by the process i used.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Re: Super Faded Photo

      Done in CS5. There is quite a lot of damage (noise) in all the channels but the green channel looked the best to me. So used this as the basis for restore. There is still quite a bit of work that could be done

      1. Curves layer adjusted image to get a satisfactory balance.

      2. Merged layers (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E - PC) and used Apply Image Green channel Normal 100%

      3. Dup layer then tried Dust & Scratches filter (Rad. 2 Thresh. 10). Then added mask to layer and painted on mask around eyes, hair, etc to reduce the blurring.

      At this point I think you are ready to start a lot more work to get a nice result. You may even want to add a hand coloured look
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      • #4
        Re: Super Faded Photo

        Of course it would be nice to have more to play with but for starters

        I would say for this image dont scan in color. You can always add color later.

        Scan in grey scale tiff as large as you can get - 48 bit will give you more to work with. Never work in jpeg.

        Bump the contrast it will clean up some of the mess from the start - get as much viable image as you can to start with

        This is more about working with what you dont have so it may be quicker faster to make the best print you can, hand detail, rescan and blend with the original. Or do multiple scans at different levels and layer in to get the the tonal values you need in the missing areas

        Be selective - pick whats important and worth saving - ie correct the composition so you have less to work on

        I took out a few of the trouble spots to show you its possible but its going to be a challenge on the freehand drawing side. So get your tools figured out.

        You can try dust filters etc but generally speaking the filters will degrade what you have and make a mess of it - royal pita to hand fix but its about the only way you are going to get something that looks close.

        Good luck and have fun with it.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Super Faded Photo

          Thank you all for your great advise I have been working with some of your tips and am slowly getting the photo together though I am still not completely satisfied. I did rescan the image in gray scale and adjusted the settings there a bit. Will post my progress soon! I am working in CS4 btw

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          • #6
            Re: Super Faded Photo

            ... I did rescan the image in gray scale and adjusted the settings there a bit...
            Please do not discard the notion of scanning a B&W image as RGB at least until you have proved to your own satisfaction. While there are contradictory views on the net and elsewhere you will only know what is right for you and the images you scan after making tests of a variety of images with your particular scanner.

            Some potential (if contentious) benefits:
            • Working with stained and discoloured images is often easier in colour initially
            • Overall tonality, noise and grain can be appreciably different in R, G, B channels. Which gives you the opportunity of selectively reducing any in individual channels. Of course you may find that one channel is sufficient and in the case of your image I found the Green channel to be the best. If you scan in greyscale your scanner may use the green channel! Even if it does you are losing information from the other channels that just may be useful.
            • It may also be true that one channel will give the sharpest result with your particular scanner - until you test you will not know.


            Couple of sites that seem to support the idea of RGB rather than Greyscale
            http://www.imaging-resource.com/TIPS/LAWLER/CLR2BW.PDF
            http://www.largeformatphotography.info/1800F-bw.html

            I am not saying that in this particular case that one method is better than another. You can only truly establish this after testing.

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            • #7
              Re: Super Faded Photo

              You are right for sure about the green channel I also tried making a copy of the red and using it as an overly after a high pass filter to help sharpen the details without intensifying all of the noise. I do think after trying both using the RGB worked best.

              It's still not where I would like it but I think I am on the right track >< thank you all again for your help!
              Attached Files
              Last edited by SierraBella; 05-14-2011, 01:41 PM. Reason: progress photo added

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              • #8
                Re: Super Faded Photo

                Im not sure if this looks better, but here is my try. I would love to tell you what all i did, but i lost track. I used Photoshop 7.0 and Corel paintshop pro. I did replace the red layer with the green layer and did some color adjustments and then turned it grayscale. and then continued to tweek it. Not sure if i lost some of the quality though.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: Super Faded Photo

                  So I have been working on the photo on and off today and I think it's nearly finished! There is still some work to be done on the texture of the skin it's a bit spotty. But I am sooo happy with how it has came along. I did lose track of most of what I did >< but I can tell you I used the red and green channels for sharpening the details several times going between passes and cleaning up as I went along. I added a curves adjustment and level adjustment as well as adding the color. Thank again for all the great feedback. You all helped a great deal and it was awesome to see the different results.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Super Faded Photo

                    Here is this picture done in Painter11 & CS5.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Cupcake; 05-15-2011, 05:12 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Super Faded Photo

                      Hi, I'm new here too. I tried two different methods. First made a curves adjustment, then I rid the photo of the distracting spots and noise by using varying noise reduction on individual channels. This did a pretty good job but left the image very soft, lacking details and I lost some of the tone as well. I tried to bring back some of tone by using a darkened masked levels layer to paint it back in but wasn't happy with the result. So, then I used Tony's method, of using 100% green channel. This was on another layer. I spent a little bit of time cleaning that up using a combination of masked dust and scratches, blur, healing brush, clone and smudge. If I had had the high-res image, I might have just buckled down and started out cleaning up the image. Anywho, I layered the cleaned-up green channel over the noise-reduced layer at varying opacities in normal, multiply and screen. I don't remember what else I did... there was a bit of trial and error. I know I added a number of curves and adjustment layers at different times to bring the tones to where I wanted them. At one point I brought back the traces of the original color to see hwo that looked. I didn't spend terribly long on this, but more than I had planned You can get this photo looking great with a high-res scan and a bit of time. I personally scan in RGB and have better luck playing with the multiple channels.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Super Faded Photo

                        These are the colors I was able to pull up... I think it would look better hand-painted but this may serve as a point of reference.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Super Faded Photo

                          when doing colorizations, make sure you do a good job of retouching/restoring before going on to the colorizing. every flaw, speck and so on you dont handle with the restore will show up in the colorization.

                          here's my restore. i took my original, posted above, and did a medium digital camera noise removal in psp and then my normal clone, smudge, airbrush treatment. there was also a curves in there and a hue/sat layer to get the image completely down to a black and white. you may also notice that i cloned the border to remove the black areas and added a white border like the old photos.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Super Faded Photo

                            i would still like to see a good scan of the original without the red tint:-)
                            steve

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                            • #15
                              Re: Super Faded Photo

                              i went ahead and colorized this. this was done over several days and tweaked way too often to tell you what i did. one of the things i had to do with this is to walk away. just work on it till i thought it was better and then leave it alone for a while. one's eyes tend to get sort of clouded over and you lose a fresh look, a fresh objective look. so, ya just walk away and let your eyes sort of forget, then come back to it later on and it's amazing what you can now see that you didnt see before. so, that's my tip of the day... walk away
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