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Removing Silvering from Old Photos

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  • Removing Silvering from Old Photos

    Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post.

    I've been recently embarking on a project to digitize old family photos and I have a number of prints from the early 20th century, many of which have pronounced silvering.

    Based on advice found here, I've purchased and read Ctein's book, "Digital Restoration from Start to Finish" and found it invaluable. However, I'm running into a stumbling block on the silvering masking technique.

    I found and read this thread which addresses this issue but despite reading it over and over, I'm just not getting it.

    I can make the mask without any problem but I am not clear on exactly what one does after one makes the mask. I've been searching the internet for a week in search of more detailed instructions to no avail.

    Can somebody please walk me through it? I'm using Photoshop CS6.

  • #2
    Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

    BKKShooter, welcome to RetouchPRO Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, offer help, have fun!

    Once you have the new channel dark enough for a mask, load it as a selection then make a new curves adjustment layer. The resulting layer mask will limit your curves action to the silvered areas. Darkening the blue and sometimes the green channels makes the silvering haze go away.

    Glad to see that you are using the resources available here.. There are a couple video rentals that Doug Nelson recommends IE:
    Originally posted by Doug Nelson View Post
    During the Photo Restoration RetouchPRO LIVE show I did with Wayne Palmer, Wayne shows a fast and effective method to eliminate silvering on many (but not all) images. As I recall it uses blending modes. Ctein took a different approach in his Tarnished Lady show (but it was significant enough to name the show after the problem).

    Both shows are available for rental.
    A large example of your silvering problem may solicit some helpfull hints also...

    If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here:
    Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)

    How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads:
    (Click here)

    If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread, but also please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links).
    Other Hosts if you do not have your own site: (3Meg max, free) (2Meg max, free) (1 Meg max free, 5 Meg PRO) (100 Meg per file, free) post a link in the thread to the site that is hosting the larger image.

    hope this helps some


    • #3
      Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

      Hey OlBaldy,

      Thanks for the quick reply, warm welcome and the explanation. I just tried that and it worked pretty well. I'm sure once I have a chance to practice it and refine my masking technique it will be much better. In the case of this particular photo, I had the best luck working with the red channel.

      One question that I have is, after applying the mask to the individual channel, I then saved that (red) channel as a new alpha channel in a new file which is now grayscale and not RGB. This stopped me from making any further color channel refinements on the image because there are no longer any color channels. Am I doing something wrong there or is that just the way this technique is applied?

      I'm attaching low-res samples of before and after, full and detail. I haven't done any other clean up work on this particular photo yet, so this is just an example of my first attempt at applying this technique.


      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

        Had a quick go. I Used the channels method got rid of the blue instantly.

        Lots of work need doing but was trying to get rid of the blue tint.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

          You could always replace his suit and tie, just a thought.

          Regards Patsym
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

            Originally posted by patsym View Post
            You could always replace his suit and tie, just a thought.

            Regards Patsym
            Very good job Patsym.


            • #7
              Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

              thank you Sergio appreciate your kind comments.

              Regards Patsym


              • #8
                Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

                Thanks folks.


                • #9
                  Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

                  Here is mine
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

                    Thank you!


                    • #11
                      Re: Removing Silvering from Old Photos

                      Silvering problems can be very effectively countered with color deconvolution. I applied the color deconvolution plug-in from to the whole image. It's a 3 second operation that provides a very good start for the more manual work!
                      Attached Files


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