Archive for the ‘restoring old photographs’ Category
Photo Restoration. Advanced Techniques – A natural eye and restoring without adding perceived artistic merit.
Sorry about the lengthy title but I could find anything more catchy!
Ok so you can use a computer and you can use Photoshop, and you can have a good go at restoring a photo, but does this mean you are a good photo restorer? Not always.
here are a few fundamentals to photo restoration that must be addressed. Unless you can appreciate perspective, light and shade and or the natural environment and how light may affect one object differently under certain circumstances, then this could make or break a restoration.
Example: An old photo which is wrinkled, torn and damaged in the foreground, it’s a landscape with a building and some people in it, they stand in front of their house.
Photo with permission of owner and is subject to copyright.
When restoring land and rough ground, don’t simply grab the clone tool and heal tools and swipe eagerly over the foreground to repaint the grass or rubble or dirt. This can lead to repeated patterns and evidence of short cutting the restoration. Take your time to analyze the scene. If there are tracks on the road or rough ground made by vehicles or carts, look how the ground may have been disturbed and restore it disturbed. Don’t be tempted to clean up and area and make it all nice and uniform and be artistic, restore it, nature is not uniform especially landscapes.
Also examine where the light is coming from, lets say you’ve fixed you foreground and removed the tears and evened out the ground, but does it look restored, if it does it’s not right. You need to place rocks and grass realistically random, and in the case of the tracks make sure the ground follows a natural path of disturbance. The light of shadow can be added last to give the slow moving shadows and rolling tone of the ground, with the old friend dodge and burn. Make sure you use a large soft brush set to 5-12 percent to darken mid tones and think hard where the ground is lower or higher and apply subtle shadow where needed to bring life back to a flat landscape or foreground. Experiment with darkening the shadows too, but don’t over do it subtlety is the key here and realism is the most important.
If you don’t have the eye for this sort of thing then you may miss what’s wrong with your restoration and may never work out no mater how hard you look why it doesn’t look quite right.
One again I hope this helps some people slow down and observe, I know Photoshop is a quick fix sometime but it needs to be used slowly and thoughtfully.
Image-Restore.co.uk Providing photo restorations throughout the uk
Photo restorations in Wales Anglesey Sir Fon Brecknockshire Sir Frycheiniog Caernarfonshire Sir Gaernarfon Carmarthenshire Sir Gaerfyrddin Cardiganshire Ceredigion Denbighshire Sir Ddinbych Flintshire Sir Fflint Glamorgan Morgannwg Merioneth Meirionnydd Monmouthshire Sir Fynwy Montgomeryshire Sir Drefaldwyn Pembrokeshire Sir Benfro Radnorshire Sir Faesyfed
Ok so know we know a little about Image Resolution and how it might help us with photo restoration.
Lets now take a look at some advanced techniques to help with restoring old photographs.
If you need to restore a photo that comes in JPG format and has had its fair share of compression applied to it and you cannot do anything about for what ever reason, then have to work with what you have. Repairing it can be tricky as the dreaded JPG artifacts and slurred pixels can be a problem. Valuable parts of the image can be lost, particularly when working at finer detail levels.
Let me site an example. Figure in a dress, saved as JPG and the face has suffered a bit from compression artifacts and some detail has been lost. One way to fix this would be to artistically paint in using brushes and dodge and burn tools to recreate parts of the face. This will of course look too smooth. You can add grain as a fix but it doesn’t always work as its looks too uniform or doesn’t match the base image. With a combination of painting on a new layer over the original and trying to clone in some grain from below can help but also if you save out your new layer to a JPG and play with the compression settings, you will find that you can get some very similar JPG artifacts on your saved layer as the base layer. When its pasted back in you can then match the grain and base image a little easier than before.
Image-restore Restoring your photos across the uk
The simple printing rule.
After your Photo Restoration is complete, scale you image across the page at somewhere between 250 to 300 pixels per inch to give you an optimum print. If you need to go bigger then just scale to 200 pixels per inch or even less. Do a test and see how it looks. If it looks good go for it.
When you set your printer going set to maximum resolution and use the best paper you can afford.
NOTE: Don’t get confused again with the maximum resolution of your printer being 4800 x 2400 dpi as this is just how much ink going down on the page used to print those 300 pixels per inch you scaled across the page earlier.
The continuing conundrum
I often speak to printers who tell me they need a large file size in order to print to a predetermined size. It is cast into the conversation “ it must be at least 18mb”. When asked why, the response is more often than not because I need it big to work with I know what I can do with a large file. My point I try to make is that I can make you a large file if you wish but do you actually need it. A typical TIFF of a 6 mega pixel image is 17MB. Anyway the print houses want large files but we can make them larger but the dimensions will remain the same so how will they benefit by having a larger file. If we convert the file to 16bit per channel in Photoshop the file size will swell enormously as the colour information contained in the image is now so much greater. I’m am certain that this will not benefit the printers in anyway as they still have the same 6 million pixel image we started with but a file size up in the 34mb region, then if we convert to CMYK it reaches a massive 46mb !!
Here is a break down of how this worked
6 MPixel 2816 x 2120 1.7 mb JPG 8 Bit/channel RGB
6 MPixel 2816 x 2120 17 mb TIFF 8 Bit/channel RGB
6 MPixel 2816 x 2120 35 mb TIFF 16 Bit/channel RGB
6 MPixel 2816 x 2120 46mb TIFF 16 Bit/channel CMYK
Photoshop converted the 16bit per channel. This was completely unnecessary but done to illustrate a point that a large file can be obtained fro 1.7mb JPG. Most software’s (in fact I don’t know of any) can’t edit a 16 bit per channel image, as there is just too much information to process, It is normally converted to an 8 bit per channel image 8 RED + 8 GREEN + 8 BLUE = 24 bit colour for RGB or 32 bit colour for CMYK which can then be processed by most editing software’s. For an explanation of bit depth see below.
Bit-Depth (Scanner used as an example)
Bit-depth refers to the amount of information scanner is capable of recording per pixel. A 1-bit scanner can only express one of two values per pixel: solid black or solid white. For a capture device to reproduce the grey values between black and white, it must be able to record at least 4 bits of data per pixel, which is equal to 16 possible combinations of black and white, or tones (4 x 4 = 16). To reproduce continuous-tone images, such as black-and-white photographs, a scanner must be able to record at least 8 bits per pixel, or 256 possible tones (16 x 16 = 256). While an 8-bit scanner might be satisfactory for black-and-white images, you’ll need three times as much information to record colour images. For example, you’ll need at least 8 bits for each of the three primary scanning colours — red, green, and blue — giving you a total of 24 bits per pixel (8 + 8 + 8 = 24). If you factor the total number of colours that can be recorded by a 24-bit scanner (2 to the 24th power), you’ll come up with approximately 16.7 million colours, more than can be perceived by the human eye. Therefore, a 24-bit scanner is usually considered adequate (but minimum) for most colour scanning.
Most scanners on the market offer 30- or 36-bit colour, which is more colour information than is considered necessary (and more information than most consumer imaging software programs can process). However, there are advantages to scanning images at a higher bit-depth, such as providing a larger pool of tonal information from which to draw. For example, a scanner’s CCD rarely provides you with 100 percent high-quality data from a scan. Some of the data is going to be corrupted by noise or scanning artefacts. Scanning at a higher bit-depth enables the scanner software to choose the best 24 bits of colour, and discard any unwanted pixels that might degrade the quality of the image. This is best done by the scanner software during the pre-scan phase of the operation.
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