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  • Where to start?

    I've done some photo restorations before, but nothing with the extent of problems this photo has. Can any one suggest where to start restoring this photo and what would be the best path to take? HELP, please. I need to have this finished by Tuesday morning.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Where to start?

    It's really not that bad. Copy the layer and run Average Blur, invert, then set the blend mode to overlay. That fixes 90% of the color problem. Make a new layer and start healing (or spot heal, your choice).

    Remember that in any restoration the goal is not to end with an image that looks like it was taken today, just to fix the damage. Make it look too pristine and you actually end with a kind of uncanny valley effect, where it looks too good to be believable.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      Re: Where to start?

      Thank you for all the direction. One quick question though, how do you invert the layer that I ran Average Blur on - I'm confused.
      Last edited by Graphics Etc; 09-07-2015, 08:03 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Where to start?

        Use Image>Adjustments>Invert, or ctrl+i
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning

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        • #5
          Re: Where to start?

          Yes. I would start with color correction.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Where to start?

            There are a number of areas that are ripped or torn or missing...good for using the clone stamp tool or the content aware fill feature.

            My suggestion would to put each major area you fix up on a clean new clear transparent layer on top of the image. You can get these new transparent layers on the right bottom icon of the Layers pallet or by choosing Layer>New Layer in the main menu. Putting each major fix-up area on a new layer allows you to fix them up and repair them or start over easily without impacting any other work you have done. Might also save some time in the long run too.

            It may also be possible to use the Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches feature to get rid of a lot of those dust spots and other fine detail damage. Make a copy of the image Control J and then run the filter. Adjust the radius and the threshold so that all those little spots are gone.

            You may inadvertently also soften up the focus on the faces too somewhat...so if you know how to use masks...place a black mask on that same layer and then paint on that mask with a small, soft, white brush at maybe 50% opacity...this will allow you to selectively erase the spots you want gone and leave the rest unaffected. (To get a new mask...click on the square icon with a circle in it... at the bottom of the Layers pallet and then do a Control I to invert the white mask to a black one...then paint in white to reveal what you created in your thumbnail. Or, do a Layer > New Layer > Hide All to get a black mask. Paint with white to selectively reveal your corrections)

            Sometimes I will also do a more aggressive Dust and Scratches second treatment at a much more aggressive level to get some of the mid size spots out too...and using the black mask feature as before...it will allow you to selectively paint out some of the harder to get at spots too.

            Sometimes I might even paint with a 5 or 6% opacity white brush and also begin to paint in the backgrounds manually using this stronger blur...this will smooth out the backgrounds and take out some of the bigger spots...but leave other parts of the picture alone so it doesnt get all blurry. Instead of using the Dust and Scratches radius blur...you could also use a surface blur or a gaussian blur on a copy on the image on a separate layer...then put that black mask on the layer...and then use a very soft, very low opacity white brush to begin to smooth out the backgrounds or the wrinkles in the shirt and dress possibly. Using a very low opacity brush helps the fix-up to look smooth... and it will help from seeing overlapping brush strokes too.

            As stated before...Use the clone tool to get the really big spots. Use the clone tool to also fill in some of the tips and tears. Try to put each area on a separate clear layer so you can change and fix them if required.

            Best of Luck! Its OK to have a quick Labor Day snack while doing this too!

            Ray
            Last edited by ray12; 09-07-2015, 11:57 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Where to start?

              Well this is what I've come up with. What do you think? Thank you to everyone for your input.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Where to start?

                Good work.

                For another perspective, I took yours a few steps further. Started by looking for the 'known colour' ( the black belt?), placed a colour sampler on it and used a curves adjustment layer to bring the RGB values to R=11, G=11 and B=11. By inverting the mask (fill with black), you can selectively apply elsewhere to suit. From there, I painted on new blank layers over top in colour blend mode and altered the lighting with curves.

                Cheers.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: Where to start?

                  Wow, I really like the way it looks. I am going to "attempt" to make mine look that way. Can you explain what you meant by "painted on new blank layers in color blend mode"? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Where to start?

                    Great Job! Good Going! Very nicely done restoration.

                    The only Small thing I might think to do additionally might be to possibly add just a little overall contrast to the image to give it just a small bit of visual pop...but it is fine as it is.

                    Good Stuff. Congratulations.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where to start?

                      Originally posted by Graphics Etc View Post
                      Wow, I really like the way it looks. I am going to "attempt" to make mine look that way. Can you explain what you meant by "painted on new blank layers in color blend mode"? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.
                      Set a new empty layer above a copy (original is untouched..) of the original (Shift-Ctrl-N), set the blend mode of this layer to Colour & with the brush tool selected, sample the desired colour. Once you have the target area painted/covered, Ctrl-click on the painted layer which will show a selection/outline of that area. Save this selection to an alpha channel by clicking on the wash machine looking icon, 2nd from the left at the bottom of the channels palette.
                      With this alpha channel, you can make overall adjustments to the project without affecting the saved selection or instead, target just the selected area.

                      i.e. You have painted his shirt blue, saved it to an alpha channel and would now like to make adjustments to the colour, saturation, etc., Ctrl - click on the alpha channel to activate it (marching ants now visible around the shirt) so that any changes made will effect this selected area only.

                      Hope this helps.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Where to start?

                        Probably did a no-no by straightening and cropping but repaired as utilizing the same methods mentioned by the others here
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                        • #13
                          Re: Where to start?

                          Same as others have done, I worked on the white balance first and then applied a median blur selectively using a mask in order to get rid of the spots. Cloning and healing brushes, followed by some sharpening to bring out various details, and a final touch of colour blend alterations.

                          Cheers,

                          Kevin
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