There are many styles of photo restoration and not all of them lend themselves to the best results.
Photo restoration is one of those very difficult techniques to get right.
Colouring photos is a very tricky skill to master, its best avoid those colours that show garish hues and that are supersaturated. Flat colours on skin and clothes can look very odd so it is best to avoid these too.
Care must be taken when replacing the background without due cause to do so. If the skills are there to repair the background then its best do so without needlessly replacing it with a quick fix. If the background has to be replaced then try to replace it with an exact, recreated one, with both matching grain and texture.
Smoothing everything over, rather than repairing the damage is also something to be avoided. Avoid airbrushing or simply blurring out the cracks. This makes the whole “restoration” look like a painted scene. It destroys much of the original detail and subtle tones that form the shapes within the photo. A process which turns facial features into a smeary mess of either painterly swirls or plastic flatness. Concentrate on using the patch tool or healing brush tool to repair and maintain texture.
Anyone wishing to improve these techniques should take a look at the many tutorials out there on the web. If the photo restoration does not look natural or real and the photo looks restored then do some more research to improve. Everything I have learned I have read in books or gained through forum participation, retouching networks and articles or videos.
Make sure you watch the right videos and read the right articles and books. Don’t just read everything, check the author is well established and an expert in what they do. The same goes for videos, watch those put out by other well-established artists. If you are unsure, research their work first. Those that “wow” you by the standard of their work and comments and folio should be the ones to pay attention to. Don’t get into bad habits and do constantly learn new skills. The key to any restoration is taking it slow and avoid the temptation to cut corners.
Make sure you use a tablet and pen to benefit from using the right tool for the job.
I hope this has been helpful and should you need some help and tips please read the blog.
If you cannot get to grips with learning photo restoration and don’t know where to start, check out my main photo repair page for more details on how I can help you and how you can hire me.