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  • Where to start??

    I'm very new to Digital Imaging and this is my first post here. I have a B&W image that I want to restore. It belongs to my mother and has been folded up in a drawer for about 50 years. Naturally it has some creases in it and the emulsion has come away in places. When I scanned it, because I couldn't get it very flat the image varies in contrast/brightness.

    So any suggestions on where to start would be great.

    Do I clone out all the scratches and missing emulsion first? Do I get the contrast/brightness right first for the whole image? Do I have to select parts of the image and try and match the contrast/brightness with adjoining areas?
    What are the best tools in I have Photoshop CS to use?

    Thanks in advance for you help.

  • #2
    Hi enigmatic,

    Welcome to RP!

    For pictures like yours, I usually start adjusting tone and contrast followed by scratches and all the rest....

    There are many ways to adjust tone and contrast, and, to tell you the truth, I noticed I vary the techniques I use, depending on the picture and on the damage ...

    It would be of great help if you could upload the picture, or part of it, so that we could have a look at it...

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Flora.....

      Thanks for the reply. Hopefully I've attached a small section of the image which shows one of the 'bad folds'.


      Colin
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        I would try a little harder to correct the fold before you scan it. Sometimes a few minutes of work will save you a lot of time and headaches in PS.

        Mike

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        • #5
          Hi Enigmatic, Mike,


          Originally posted by Mike
          I would try a little harder to correct the fold before you scan it. Sometimes a few minutes of work will save you a lot of time and headaches in PS.
          ....soooo true!!!

          Enigmatic,

          ...I didn't think your picture was in such bad conditions ... at least the part you posted.... The 'biggest' job was actually removing the vertical scratch ....

          Here is what I did:
          • Duplicated the BG Layer.
          • Used the Layer via Copy for the biggest damages (selected, slightly feathered, and copied good parts of the picture, Ctrl+J pasted them on their own Layers, 'V' moved them to cover the worst damages.
          • Used Clone + Patch Tools for the rest of the damages.
          • Created Luminosity and Shadow Masks , Ctrl+J copied them on their own Layers and 'played' with the blendings (Multiply, Overlay, Soft Light) to give more tone and contrast to the picture.
          • Finally, I slightly sharpened the image with a very soft Unsharp Mask.


          Just let me know if you need more help .....
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            This is how I would tackle this:
            Always scan in color, you will get a lot more information to work with.
            Check each color channel to see if one of them looks good, with most of the detail intact. If so, convert it to grayscale and work on that.
            Alternatively, you might also try converting to lab mode, and using the luminosity channel , doing the same as above.
            I would adjust contrast with levels or curves. Do not use contrast/brightness and don't try to give it the contrast you see in photos nowadays. In my opinion, it ruins the image, produces shadows without details, blown out highlights, and an over all ugly image.
            Start the clean up with the healing brush, and whatever you do, don't use the smudge tool!
            Oh, I almost forgot, try to have fun.

            Flora,
            Something about the women's face looks odd. Did you possibly use the right side to replace the left, or is is me?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Vikki,

              Originally posted by Vikki
              Flora,
              Something about the women's face looks odd. Did you possibly use the right side to replace the left, or is is me?
              ....Something does look odd .... even though I didn't swap-replace any part of her face .... just her hat and jacket.....

              I might have overdone it with the Overlay Layer when increasing the contrast ... I'll go back and try to correct it....

              Thanks...

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              • #8
                Flora, it looks good - real sharp (as in brilliant-looking), with nice tone and detail. The woman's face isn't as wide as it should be.

                Mig

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                • #9
                  Flora, I think you're right. It looks like the culprit is the contrast.
                  I adjusted the contrast on the original, using levels. I just made a square selection of a large area on the right side (good area), added a levels adjustment layer, and clicked "auto". This automatically created a mask of the area I selected. I then discarded the mask from the adjustment layer, which applies the adjustment to the entire layer. I then lowered the opacity of the adjustment layer, just a bit.
                  This still has more contrast than I care for, but I know a lot of people like that.
                  Having said all that, if you compare the two versions, look at the shadowed areas, especially around the eyes, nose and lips. Your contrast is a lot stronger in those areas, which may be why her face looks different.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And also the standard scanning tip if you have a creased original. Turn it 90 degrees and 180 degrees in the scanner and scan it again. This will change reflection off the cracks and you will get more detail out of it, accumulating the scans and use the best parts.

                    This is a brilliant tip somewhere else on this forum. Unfortunately I cannot remember who originally contributed it.

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                    • #11
                      Hi all,

                      Mig

                      Thak you so much for you comment!

                      Vikki

                      ... I think I found the problems .... too strong localized contrast, first ....
                      and after swap-replacing the woman's hat, I hadn't erased well the part of her face still attached to it .... ( Gosh .... sometimes I wander what people, not involved in image manipulation, would think reading some of the things we write .... "eliminate/erase distracting bystanders or people .... replace eyes and other parts of the body .. borrowing various parts of the body...make it come alive" .... Adolf Hitler and Victor Frankenstein move over ... please! .. )

                      Vegard

                      Right!! I've read that brilliant tip many times as well .... and since I too couldn't remember who posted it first, I did a research and 'landed' here

                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Flora
                        "eliminate/erase distracting bystanders or people .... replace eyes and other parts of the body .. borrowing various parts of the body...make it come alive"
                        This is scary. You look so nice and normal on the picture, and yet your mind is a sick as mine!

                        Originally posted by Flora
                        Right!! I've read that brilliant tip many times as well .... and since I too couldn't remember who posted it first, I did a research and 'landed' here
                        No, it isn't that one. I also did a search and was unable to find it, just another one who also was unable to find it, and repeated it!

                        I remember reading it right after I has scanned a photo of my mother from 1929, with several typical creases. I wore out the Clone stamp and had to upgrade Photoshop (no spare Clone stamp parts) And then I read this tip. It may have been at DP Review... no, unable to find it again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Flora, that looks much better! I'm curious though, why you use that method for toning and contrast.

                          Regarding the "tip", I know I have recommended that method myself, and it's a good thing to try. It doesn't always work, but when it does, I've gotten some amazing results. It can really cut down on cloning work. It works by changing the light that passes over the cracks. Once you layer these over each other, it cancels it out. Sometimes you can't get it to line up "exactly" but if you line up the damaged areas, and take a snapshot, you can use a history brush to apply just the good parts.

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                          • #14
                            Was this what you remembered?
                            http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/sho...68&postcount=6

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Vegard,

                              Originally posted by Rexx
                              This is scary. You look so nice and normal on the picture, and yet your mind is a sick as mine!
                              Fact is ... not only such talk appears to be very 'normal' here ..... but the usual reactions to it are questions about how to do it in the very best way ..... ....

                              Vikki,

                              Thanks again for your feedback!

                              Originally posted by Vikki
                              ...I'm curious though, why you use that method for toning and contrast.
                              Actually, I don't .... well not for toning and contrast ... I use it for just a touch of enhancing at the near end of my retouching/restoration work ....

                              I might try it along the way though ... and, like for this picture, forget to erase it .....

                              For toning and contrast, beside Levels/Curves, I use mostly Luminosity/Shadow Masks .... playing with Blending and Sharpening ...



                              P.S. Yes ... It was your post I 'remembered' ... better said.... 'had forgotten' .... Thanks again for a brilliant Tip.

                              Comment

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