Archive for the ‘restoring old photographs’ Category
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.
When i get old photos that need to be restored and the photo is tattered and torn, with a stained and faded background, perhaps with cracks and tears, it would be very tempting to replace it.
Short answer don’t!
I get two or three emails a day from wannabe restoration artists who replace backgrounds routinely. Frankly I am not a fan of this practice. Most are done very badly, with the old, ‘render clouds’ filter and then over blurred with no attempt to match the grain.
Take time to repair the scratches, and tears, correct the fading and stains and when your done with the initial clean up you may find it hasn’t improved that much. Try experimenting with the dust and scratches filter to even out the tones in the background. Then when you have found a setting that works, add a layer mask and reveal the restored image through the cleaned background. You may need to match in some grain at this final stage. The background should now look much more convincing than if you simply used a filter to produce some random, over smoothed clouds.
Photographers have been taking Panoramas for years, school photos and groups of large people were often shot in panorama, army, navy, military groups and schools. The longest so far I have restored is 53 inches wide!, 7 inches short of the widest print I can have made. The subject was the 17 windmills of Kinderdijk – Kinderdyke in Holland. The photographer had shot the scene on wide format film, at a guess on 6cm roll film and used a rotating camera to turn the film and the camera head at the same time to expose a length of film long enough to produce a photo 53 x 10 inches long. Alas it was left outside in the rain in the frame and stuck to the glass and had to be scraped off in order to be scanned. After intense restoration and at 47 Million pixels it was re printed on high quality archive ink jet paper. I am sorry but at present I have not had permission to display the photo.
Typical damage right across the whole panorama.
The above is a small section from the far right hand side of the panorama showing just how detailed it is!
Shows restored photo and highlighted red section shown above
More often photos of regiments, war photos, pupils in the entire school were photographed in this manner. Normally this type of photo is stored rolled up and in the loft. Moisture in the air and the constant heat and cold will have made the paper brittle, so when it is unrolled it may crack. Be careful it may break up. Should you decide to get it restored then it will have to be unrolled to be scanned. If you are posting it please put the rolled photo into a piece of large diameter tube, a carpet roll is best, or roll loosely and put in a card board box, padded out with tissue. A reunion of old army fellows, or royal navy chums often calls for the photos to be pulled out from storage but be prepared for some damage to be evident but do not fear as they can be restored. If there are many faces in the image, perhaps as many as 500 or more and the damage runs through the faces then the image can take some time and money to restore. If complete faces are missing and fully restored photo is required then the only way to fill in the gaps is with another face.
- Yes Panorama images can be restored
- Post them rolled up in a carpet tube
- They will cost much more than a normal 10×8 to restore
- They will be re reprinted on archive quality paper with archive inks up to 60 inches wide
I hope this helps, thanks for reading