Restoring any photo should be pleasure not a chore. If a water damaged photo should need restoring, perhaps one recovered from a flood or a rainy camping trip then provided it is dry it can be scanned and restored like any other damaged photo. Of course the extent of damage may mean you have to replace an entire background by using the method of selection I described in the importance of selection . Once you have cut out you subjects you can choose and replace the background. Should the subject not be a person but a landscape then it may be better to approach the restoration from another angle.
See if you can find out when the scene was, what country and what time of year, this may help with the types of trees, flowers and surroundings you may need to research before restoring the flood damage. You may even find a similar scene in a reference book or even live near by where you can glean clues as to what things may have looked like.
If it is an old photo with people in a scene and the water damage means some of the clothes or objects have been distorted or lost altogether within the image then you can again get researching. Perhaps the owner knows what the people were wearing or have another photo that is not damaged you can use for reference. Photos of the period will give you great references to fashion and clothing and what types of hardware was around at the time. You may need to replace a car, rake, wheel barrow or pram, get as inventive as you can.
You may well be up against some really challenging colour bleeds and awkward colour fades, but with the usual patch tool and some selective feathering around the bled colour on a separate layer you should be able to colour correct these fairly easily.
Remember with the power of Photoshop and skill anything is possible. If it looks like too much to take on then let the professionals tackle it for you. Remember no matter how bad it is even if it if is something you wouldn’t normally have taken a second look at dont throw it away it.
Once again good luck and remember, flooded photos are not flushed away memories but repairable ones.
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