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Many challenges in this photo!

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  • Many challenges in this photo!

    I've been restoring (to the best of my novice abilities) some photos that my dad took at the Webster Home for Children in New Hampshire in 1949 or so. This particular photo has tons of damage but I'm especially stumped because of the huge ball of mold/silvering/dirt/dust to the left of the group.

    To start I did try a tad of dust and scratch filter which absolutely does nothing but make a bigger mess.

    Any ideas?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Many challenges in this photo!

    Dodge and burn? Check out the other topic I gave the same answer to.


    • #3
      Re: Many challenges in this photo!

      I usually end up cloning out dust. Sometimes I'll use lighten or darken mode. They work reasonably well on a background copy, but to use either on an empty layer, you have to set the blending mode of that layer. I can see the black splotchy portion and then the more greyish splotch. The black splotchy portion looks like your scanner couldn't resolve further detail. The other portion could probably be resolved as skoobey suggested. I would probably use channel mixer to bring it down a bit, but I don't think I can describe that strategy in a few lines. It doesn't take much skill, but you have to know your way around the software.


      • #4
        Re: Many challenges in this photo!

        Exactly. Like every other image, start with the general adjustments to see what information is there, borrow what you can, reconstruct everything else.
        Last edited by skoobey; 06-22-2015, 04:37 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Many challenges in this photo!

          I am going to rescan with a few different settings, just for the fun of it. Both of you have great ideas that are straightforward and clear. Will post results soon! Thanks!


          • #6
            Re: Many challenges in this photo!

            Here is an updated version - have included a before and present

            -For the scratches/dust I used Cstein's method of median filter/history brush. It worked pretty well although there is some distortion of faces - not sure why but at this point I can live with it.
            -After that it was easy to clone out that bothersome blot.
            -I used content-aware fill to remove the young woman situated between the 2 boys.
            -Used a separate mask to darken the faded girl on the right
            -Masked out the kids and put in a slight gradient to give it a little accent
            -A little dodge and burn here and there

            Definitely an improvement. I'm interested in any comments that anyone might want to make.
            Attached Files


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