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Loss of detail in the faded area

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  • Loss of detail in the faded area

    Hello all,

    New to the forum and also fairly new to restoring older photos. I have finally run across a photo that is throwing me for a loop. This photo looks as though something was laid against it for a long time and faded the center. There is a lot detail missing, particularly from the highlights. I have tried the usually suspects for correcting this, but everything is coming up short. I have masked the area and tried to correct using levels, gone into the channels and attempted to bring back contrast in the specific colors, and a few others.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Loss of detail in the faded area

    Fix each individual problem by itself. A curve or levels adjustment is a good start for overall color cast or lack of contrast, but then you go into specifics one at a time. For example color of the dress, you adjust that for that area, each individual skin tone etc etc.


    • #3
      Re: Loss of detail in the faded area

      For fun I cropped down to the problem area, since it was easy to deal with it by itself rather than blending it into the unaffected area.

      In PS CC 2015.5 I performed these basic functions:

      Levels (for overall exposure fix)
      Hue/Saturation (reduced reds or at least thought I did ;-))
      Shadow/highlights (gently; mainly opened shadows)
      Healing brush (for spots/artifacts)

      Took about a minute or two.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Loss of detail in the faded area

        You did not say what software you will be using but assume it has the basics of layers and curves etc.

        The only way is one bite at a time to solve the issues usually working from major to minor problem areas then refining for example a rough and ready play (you should scan to get the best image information you can first!). You will need to spend much more time than I did on this one to get a pleasing result but this may help:
        • 2 curves layers one for the outer one for the inner area

        • Merged layer to work on repairing the join between curve layers and the mismatch in the print
        • Curve layer for Xmas tree
        • Colour layer for sampling and painting over
        • Final layer for oddments
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: Loss of detail in the faded area

          Nice result Tony! That would be worth a tutorial write-up in more detail.


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