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Water damaged photo from 1889

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  • Water damaged photo from 1889

    This is the only photo we have of a Great, Great Grandfather, his wife and two children. He was 48 when this was taken and died one year later. A daughter is behind and between the man and his wife. She is 3 to4 years older than the boy on the left who is 8. I know this photo is very bad. I had tried, but am getting nowhere with it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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  • #2
    To get a true black and white image Do Image Adjustment Black and White. Then to increase black point do a curves adjustment - hold done Alt when pressing Auto and then click enhance per channel contrast and snap neutral tones. The rest will require cloning, spot healing etc.


    • #3
      Might want to consider doing some Photo bashing of the image - - or cloning from another old picture - bring back woman's dress, shrubs, etc.


      • #4
        This picture is a tough one to restore but can be greatly improved with levels, cloning, the healing brush and content aware. Where there is no detail in the skin, adding a bit of noise may improve the texture. I believe the picture will look better with a sepia tone. You might want to split the RGB channels into greyscale to see if one channel is better than the others as a starting point.

        The greatest problem is the daughter at the very back with the missing face. You can partially restore the face with cloning and mirroring. However, there is still a lot missing. You could clone from another picture. Do any other relatives have any other pictures or a painting of these people to work from?* Or you could just do your best and leave the picture partially restored.

        You may know a talented artist friend who can make a very good and memorable sketch by looking at the picture.

        Kind regards

        * PS Does the daughter with the missing face look a lot like her brother at the front? There is an Android app called FaceApp that uses AI to convert a male face into a female face. It's a very long shot but might work.
        Last edited by Chris_N; 01-30-2022, 03:13 PM.


        • #5
          The past couple months I have been dealing with my wife in and out of hospitals, so have not had any time to even view this forum. Thank you for your suggestions. I will try. And if anyone would like to have a go at it, by all means. Great suggestions, now to find the time to try.


          • #6
            Time to jump back into this and see if I can get something done with this. My wife died this past July, this my Sister died the first part of September, so I have been trying to get my life back to a somewhat resemblance of normalcy, though a know that can't happen. But back to doing something. I will try the suggestions, and I that you all from the bottom of my heart. Means a lot.


            • #7
              First, I'd like to say I'm very sorry for your losses and understand that it is hard to get back into a normal routine after such events. But, I have found restoration to be good distraction, and the whole process a good opportunity to refresh skill sets. All of the comments above sound good. There really isn't much I can offer that is different or better. For the most part, it simply takes a lot of time making very small changes. The process of filling in detail where it doesn't exist often goes smoother if you have a drawing tablet and stylus pen, rather than a mouse. So, that could also be a wise investment. Use lots of layers so that anything you decide is not pleasing, you can easily remove or modify. But, there is no magic tool, just lot's of patience and tedious work.


              • #8
                TomLynda, I just thought I would add a link to a YouTube video by Ant that shows how tedious the restoration can be for a damaged image. It is a timelapse video showing the basics of how he went about restoring details that had been lost. It simply gives you an idea of what I meant by "lot's of patience and tedious work".


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