Archive for the ‘photo retouching’ Category
Air brushing in photo restoration? Don’t Do It!
Does air brushing have a place is photo restoration? Personally, they do not go together. Photos and airbrushing are from different time periods, air brushing is a relatively modern technique whether it is done with an electronic or traditional airbrush. Every photo has a character made up from the grain within the photo, the texture of the paper, and the aged look after years of handling. Don’t expect me to airbrush over this and take away what history has provided.
Many eastern restoration artists use this technique as a short cut to removing or covering up damage within the photo. Once this smooth finish is applied to part of a photo there are two directions the restoration can go. The first is more air brushing to ‘improve’ other damaged sections, thus the whole photo takes on a smoothed artificial look or the second where the initial airbrushing has the original photo texture and grain matched in to blend it seamlessly and thus keeping the character and correct historical feel. Which would you prefer?
Order a restoration from a dot.com site and the likely-hood it is based outside this country and most likely of eastern origin. Make sure you examine the website before and after photos and it will soon become evident whether the airbrushing has been heavily used. If their samples are too small to see what is going on it is likely they have something to hide. If you would like your photos to be accurately restored and not modernised and plasticised then stick with someone who cares about photo restoration, like us!
Image-restore.co.uk photo restoration with care. A place where your photos are truly restored, retouched and revived.
Sometimes your camera may leak light onto the film other than through the shutter, perhaps it was faulty or cracked of broken. If it were black and white film it would be relatively easy to fix. If it were colour film this may be the result.
Fixing this much leak is not as simple as it sounds. There are many ways to go about this but as with any task in Photoshop it’s what works best for the given task ahead. For this image some conventional restoration work or patching and cloning as well as using the colour channels, masks for adding back colour and detail from the original were used.
We can look at the individual colour channels to see which one is a good starting point for the restoration. What is most noticeable is the lack detail in this area, low in density and sharpness. This will be addressed later.
Here with the blue channel extracted and the original colour image thrown over the top, you can see how easy it would be to just clone all the colour back in setting the layer to “colour”. This is where the density of the underlying damage needs to be fixed. By selecting these and changing the levels and tones they can be evened out, although the banding, will have to be blended out later with some overlay dodge and burn layers.
Once the main areas have been balanced back to the tones of the undamaged areas the colour can be added back with the original layer set to “colour”. Surrounding colours can be cloned back in, or sampled and painted back in with a brush set to colour mode.
Once this has been achieved, the soft details need to be address with conventional patching and pasting sections over. To give an even tone to rigid inflatable, I had to copy a section from the front and paste and warp and set layer to darken, to add some shading and detail back in. Once the skirt of the boat was fixed the colours then had to be adjusted with hue saturation and exposure to get the correct glow to match the suns reflection on the bow.
The same technique was used to add details back to the other blurred areas.
Those of you who know photoshop may be asking why there is no full, step by step of this restoration? The reason is that the original file was 10600 pixels wide! And once you get those layers going in Photoshop the file soon crept up to 1000Mb and beyond, so each stage was flattened to keep my processor from going up in smoke!
The final steps were to remove the banding from the dividing lines between all the varying layers of light leak. This was done with a combination of dodge and burn overlay, and cloning areas from other parts of the image to piece it back together. As with any awkward photo restoration this does take time and is therefore not cheap.
So much can be achieved with photo restoration, just browse through the blog and the website to get broad spectrum of what is possible. Check through the lists below there may be a link with another article or web page you haven’t seen yet.
- Repairing and restoring cracks
- Repairing and restoring folds and creases
- Replacing missing pieces
- Restoring flaked emulsion
- Stitching pieces back together
- Correcting water damage
- Removing mould and paint
- Removing “proof” stamps
- Removing paper texture
Retouching faces or bodies
- Retouching and colouring eyes
- Removing or adding hair
- Removing unwanted shadows
- Removing blemishes and wrinkles
- Smoothing skin tone
- Slimming the figure, removing the shine from faces
- Adding (digitally hand colouring) colour to a black and white photo
- Removing colour from a photo
- Enhancing colours in a faded photo
- Removing colour casts and correcting colour
- Correcting film fogging
- Repairing stains
Combining and montage
- Adding people or objects to photos
- Removing people or objects from photos
- Using two or more photos to make one photo
- Using objects, people or anything to make something artistic.
Restoration requests have been many and one the most in-depth and challenging was one presented to me by a young lady who had not seen her wedding photos for a long while, nor really in any great depth. Due to some family disturbance they would have brought back bad memories and now ready, she examined them only to be disappointed. In this project I
moved the tide further down the beach, removed creases from the wedding dress, removed bits of flab sticking out in various places, shiny faces were reduced. I rebuilt the foreground of a restaurant scene to remove a person, in all retouched and manipulated over 250 photos!
So what is not possible?
It is not possible to:
Focus a completely out of focus picture. (If it is an obviously out of focus photo it cannot be refocused)
Fixed a blurred photo. This would be where the camera moved when taking the photo or the subject moved. Moving the camera when depressing the shutter is more evident from the early days of photography when the film speed and resulting shutter speeds were slower. The moment evident in the photo is sort of a moving blur, normally in a down and up motion. Motion in single plain can sometimes be corrected, but it is so rare. Examples you may have seen on the Internet are normally manufactured instances under ideal conditions, where the motion blur has a chance of being corrected.
Open closed eyes. Not without another set of open ones to replace them with.
Replace a head. Now we are getting silly, again not without another photo of that person’s head