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  • Resto questions


    I've attached a photo of my late father-in-law (viewers far left). He was a Dispatch Rider in the British Army during WW II. This copy has not been changed in any manner. I usually do a levels/curves approach first, then go on to repair. However, there appears to be a lot of grain/noise/grunge which I initially tried to remove with the PS dirt and scratches filter, then with Topaz Denoise. Those efforts would remove the noise, but the detail suffered badly. As far as the detail (particularly eyes) I was unable to recover very much with levels or curves. The efforts to remove noise certainly didn't help. Fortunately the photo is free of major rips and tears, but suffers badly from small scratches. Those efforts are NOT reflected in the attached photo!

    So my questions:

    What would be your thoughts on the best way to clean up the photo and restore detail?? Should I go back to the tried and true method of repair tools (clone stamp/healing brush) or renew efforts with D&S filter and/or Topaz Denoise (I haven't tried Topaz AI Denoise yet)? Is there enough facial detail to actually recovery or should I be satisfied with what I have?

    I would really like to do a decent job on this restoration and present to his great- grand-sons! I thank everyone for their thoughts and recommendations.


    SE Queensland, Australia


  • #2
    You could try making a duplicate layer, and on the first layer run whichever filter you think does the best job regardless of detail. On the top layer use a larger brush size than you'd use for spotting and paint out the dusty areas on the layer mask, letting the lower level show through.

    But it actually doesn't look that bad to me. If the above doesn't help, just use the old school method. Zoom into the top left, put on some chill music, and go to town with the spot heal brush. When done, hit page down and do the next tiny area. You'd be amazed at how fast it can go. It can even be pleasant if you get into the zone.
    Learn by teaching
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    • #3

      Thank you for the helpful reply. I'll sure try the filtering and masking trick! In looking at the photo, I can not see eye pupils or a lot of detail in the nearest motorcycle engine. Is that level of missing detail recoverable? If so, what would be your approach! Again, thank you for the help!!



      • #4
        The hardest problem in restoration is that if data is gone in the original, it is gone. If that detail is absolutely necessary, all you can do is borrow parts of other photos or literally paint it in. But I've found it's not usually necessary. People generally understand that you're not making it look like it was taken recently. That's another reason why I never got too perfectionist on restorations, it can look weird if some parts are perfect but other parts are still obviously from an old photo.
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning


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