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  • Challenging faded photo

    Hi All,
    I have an old faded photo taken in Florida many years ago,when my son was shorter than me,i thought repairing faded photos was suppose to be one of the easier things to do in photo restoration,but i am getting nowhere with this no matter what i try,i have tried a levels adjustment,resetting black and white points,using a threshold layer,i have tried curves,saturation and hue,nothing seems to improve it,am wondering if i will have to recolour individual parts,any pointers would be much appreciated.
    Many Thanks,
    Paul.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Challenging faded photo

    Actually, it's quite a bit more complex than that, and requires a lot of digital painting. But, professionals have the advantage of using top notch scanners, so they can pull the most out of each channel before even going into actual restoration.

    This image actually has a lot of detail still in it, an I think that even if you find you can't do the job yourself, the image is still far from gone, so it can be brought back by a pro.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Challenging faded photo

      Hi Paul

      It is hard to tell how much color information is left in your image. I agree with skoobey that the best possible scan is real important.

      Do you have a 16 bit scan to TIFF you could share or link.

      The image that is uploaded to Retouch Pro is JPEG and either it is quite compressed and/or your original is quite compressed. Recovery colors with this compression would be quite difficult.

      The following image might make that clear. It is just the hue component of your image. As you can see the JPEG compression did a really good job in the lower saturated areas and the hue component is quite pixelated (via the compression algorithm).

      http://jkwphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i...-qHJ678f-L.jpg

      Your original may not be that bad yet what you uploaded directly to this site would make recovery very difficult without using painting technques.

      Hope this provides some insight.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Challenging faded photo

        I think you have a great chance of restoring this if your original is not as pixelated as the compressed version

        Yep.... painting ... and another version with noise reduction and a curves adjustment added
        Attached Files
        Last edited by 0lBaldy; 02-12-2015, 08:29 AM. Reason: added pic with noiseware and curves added

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Challenging faded photo

          If that's a Manchester United football shirt on the boy it should be a punchy red colour!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Challenging faded photo

            Well the colors seem to be mostly lost. For laughs and giggles I googled Mickey Mouse and Disney world and found a photo that seemed to be taken at the same location. That gave me a clue as to what colors to use.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Re: Challenging faded photo

              Thanks for the "Giggles" Phil.... my updated version thanks to you..
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Challenging faded photo

                Thanks all for your helpful replies and for taking the trouble to improve the image,i have a scanner which will scan 16bit Tiff,it has ice technology which i haven't yet mastered,i was just wondering if there are any techniques that i could use without having to hand paint the entire image,thanks again for your help,oh....by the way,that is a Man U. shirt,the version by OlBadly is very close to the original colours.
                Paul.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Challenging faded photo

                  OlBadly,
                  I appreciate that you have shown that this photo can be restored but how did you do it,i have been looking on the internet but can find nothing on faded colour photographs,did you make selections and select colours or did you paint each piece freehand?
                  If you or anybody else can give me an idea on workflow that would be great.
                  Many thanks,
                  Paul.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Challenging faded photo

                    Usually the first step I take is to try and restore the faded colors and correct contrast. I use levels in each of the RGB channels to increase contrast and hopefully restore some color. In this case it did not work. The colors were not true. So I needed to colorize the entire photo.

                    So again in the channels I selected the red channel by using a black and white adjustment layer and used a the red filter preset. I then stamped the collection and started again. To colorize areas of the image you need to have the black and white luminosity about right. In my previous post I did not do that so Mickey's red did not have deep enough color. So I darkened the image some.

                    What Colors? I found a photo taken at the same location. big help.

                    So then I colorized the various areas on separate layers.

                    It did take a while
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Challenging faded photo

                      I would go with a nice B&W..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Challenging faded photo

                        Thanks for the reply,
                        You'll have to excuse my ignorance,but,there are a few things in your description that i'm not sure i understand,i get the levels adjustment in each channel,i don't understand what you mean by " I then stamped the collection and started again",how do you know when you have the B&W luminosity about right?when you found another photo to get the other colours,did you use something like the eyedropper tool to sample the colour and use that or do it by eye?
                        Finally could you explain more on how you colorized the other areas on seperate layers,did you select a seperate layer for EACH colour or a seperate layer for EACH person?
                        Thanks for your time.
                        Paul.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Challenging faded photo

                          Well I discovered that I needed to colorize the whole image. So I started in the beginning and used a black and white adjustment layer with the red filter preset and then a curves adjustment layer to adjust contrast. Then I stamped a new layer so I could proceed with other adjustments. Now on my first post I used the exact color on your photo that was on the Mickey Mouse Photo I discovered. But notice that it is faded. The reason was that the luminosity of the black and white layer below was too bright. So to replicate a more correct color I needed to lower the luminosity of the black and white image to increase the saturation of the color.

                          Here is an explanation. I made this example using two layers. The bottom layer is a gradient going from black to white. On the layer above I filled a selection with the Mickey Mouse Photo Pants color. On the red layer above, I used color as the layer blending mode. So in my example, I put a green star on the color of my first restore, and on Mickeys original I put a blue one.

                          So on the red swatch in colorize mode over the b&w gradient notice how the saturation fades as the underlying gradient gets lighter. Run your info tool over the red gradient and see the changes.

                          So on your photo,after lowering the luminosity of the b&w below the color layer above produced the proper color.

                          In most cases I put the colors on separate layers and each layer has a layer mask and is in a color blending mode.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Challenging faded photo

                            Am still scratching my head a bit,got a lot on at work at the moment,as soon as i am able,i will try to sit down and absorb what you have explained,many thanks for your time.
                            Paul.

                            Comment

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