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Correct heavily faded colour

A customer of mine recently sent me this photo.

correct a heavy colour fade

correct a heavy colour fade

As you can see it is faded heavily in the middle due to sun exposure

It’s always sad to see your photos face in this way but all is not lost.

The first task was to see if I could recover any colour at the scanning stage. This saves time if you can scan one image correctly for the outer section and one for the inner and combine the two. This did not work that well as the density of the tones were too light to get close to the correct colours. Abandoning that approach i tried adjustments layers, but they reveal no colour left that can be restored in the center section. The carpet and surrounding background have enough clues to give the colours to paint back into the photo but still  the densities need to be changed.

I selected the faded area with the selection tools and adjust the curves so that it resembled the tone of the outer section. To check this was spot on I painted a little of the cushion covers colour, on a separate layer, over the lighter area and adjusting the curves and matched it as close as possible with the darker, outer section.

With the burn tool for shadows and then mid tones, i set about burning the bits of background that didn’t quite match perfectly with the surrounding tones. From here on in I used lengthy techniques described in the previous 2 posts for colourising or adding colour to old photos. The final result is below.

Correct heavily faded colour

Correct heavily faded colour

This took a fair while to complete but the result is more than worth it.!

If you wanted to read how to colour old photos and the associated techniques you can in Part 1 and Part 2 of colouring old photos.#

Colouring old photos can be done for as little as £25. The more complex they are the more it would cost. A typical examples is one or two people on a relatively simple background for £25. The above was £75

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