Archive for the ‘restoring old photographs’ Category
When starting on a photo repair it’s a good idea to de-saturate or grey-scale the image before starting. If you wish to end up with a sepia tone at the end, then we can apply a photo filter to colourise the image when we have finished.
Let’s look at what we have to do. Invent a window and rebuild the boards and sky.
Using the vanishing point filter, draw a grid that matches the perspective of the boards and house, notice in the original the boards converge to the left, so the grid must follow these converging lines.
Get familiar with the tools on palette, we will be using the clone tone with heal off. Start with the window. Using the clone tool clone the vertical sides of the window frame upwards. Until you reach what would be a good height for a sash window.
Swap back to normal photo shop window. Repair the right had corner of lower section. Using the selection tool make a selection around the corner section of the lower pane, top left corner. Feather the selection by 1.5 pixels and then cut and paste. Flip horizontally and rotate slightly to become the mended corner.
Now we have a full lower pane we can use for the top half. Select just the pane from the newly complete lower window with the selection tool. Feather again, cut and paste. Position the new upper pane in place where it looks most natural. Now dirty the pane slightly by dodging back the highlights with a soft large brush. Now we need to add to and correct the top of the window. Select the window sill minus the shadow under it, feather and cut/paste. Re-scale the sill to make a wooden beam for the top part of the window frame and position.
Now it’s down to you to add texture by using either the clone tool set to a low opacity and a small brush or the patch tool to grab some grain and texture from suitable wooden areas around to make the new wood work like it’s always been there. Assess the shadows under ledges to make sure they are all consistent with the look of the image and strength of the sun.
Swap back to vanishing point filter. Let’s fix the boards. In the original photo the boards to the right are significantly lighter than those to left, so when we clone them over we would have a house that looks spookily similar on both sides and not natural enough.
So although cloning them across is a good starting point using vanish point still, it might be better to use what we have on the right and clone the up and then borrow the texture and dark markings of those on the left to blend them in a bit. To blend over the texture from the right hand boards use a clone tool set to medium soft and around 50-70% opacity, vary this if the results do not look convincing. You can the use the same method to make sure the shadows between the boards look natural.
Finally for a convincing photo repair, when you have done with the boards just clone up the sky, select the bottom edge border of the photo and use it to make one at the top. Flatten the image and rotate and correct the perspective.
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Ok so have the images restored and they look great but they are a little flat in tone.
A great trick for enhancing the blacks and making a great contrast to the highlights to finish if the photo repair is to add a separate adjustment layer for colour balance. Convert your image to RGB
In this layer adjust the shadows so that they appear tinted slightly with blue. So add around 10-15 blue and 10-15 cyan on the sliders.
Now switch over to the highlights and warm them up, so use the sliders to add around 10-15 red and 10-30 yellow.
Now take a look at the before and after. It jumps out at you now doesn’t it! You can of course tone down this effect by adjusting the opacity of the layer in your layers palette.
Subtlety is the key as always when you want to achieve a convincing photo repair.
Photo Restoration – Tackling Underwater Images
You arrived back from the scuba diving holiday of a lifetime and … oh your photos are not what you thought, blue wishy-washy, lacking in punch and clarity. Sadly this is a property of water, it has the unfortunate ability to filter out the red spectrum of light and thus the further down you go the stronger the effect until eventually there is no red left in the available light. Your pictures will no doubt be a beautiful blue by now.
Correcting this effect is not as simple as it sounds. There is great deal of tweaking to be done. As your reds have completed disappeared it will be a good idea to check the channels of your image. Take a look at the red, it’s all but disappeared, it will probably be almost completely black and devoid of detail. Here it gets tricky, or at least finding the right combination of actions to take, requires some experience.
Basically the red channel is useless and needs to be recreated from scratch. We can borrow information from the green and blue channels to build one. Once this is done the reconstruction can begin. Sadly at this stage I cannot give a clear and concise procedural walk through, as each image has to be treated differently. I did try and produce an action for this but alas whilst working well for some images it ruined others and have therefore concluded it way more involved than my simplistic explanation.
I have seen this technique put to very good use and I will be back with the ins and outs once my schedule allows me to bring to you the mysteries of photo restoration and the science that fixes those underwater blues.
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