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steveasub Feb 1, 2006 5:25 PM

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Hello all,

After some success with restoring a couple of old photos, I was recently asked by a friend to try another repair job. Of course I agreed without actually seeing it - big mistake!!This one is way beyond my skill level; I been trying for hours to fix it, and not made much progress.

The problem with the photo seems to be that the chemicals and colours seem to be degrading in some areas. The damage between arms and body is easy enough to repair by cloning and the like, but the head area is another matter!

I wondered if the best way to proceed would be to select the baby, then cut and paste it to a different background, but I can't even make an accurate selection around the baby.

And is there a way to select all the degraded areas and change them to, well... something better!?

Any help or advice would be most welcome,

Regards from Steve in Wales.

creeduk Feb 2, 2006 7:27 AM

You have a lot of work here but you already know that. Make sure your scan is high resolution to give you th most to play with. You can also try scanning in color to get some channel information. Duplicate the image and change mode to multiply you will see some more detail come through. Now you have a long slow job of healing and cloning. If they have more shots from the same session it may be possible to rescue details from those shots, especially background details.

steveasub Feb 2, 2006 6:58 PM

Hi Creeduk, thanks for the reply.

The picture is 4 inches by 6 inches, what scan resolution would you suggest? Sadly there are no others from the same shoot to borrow from.

Would you try to cut and paste the baby into a new background?

Regards, Steve

VTphotog Feb 2, 2006 8:39 PM

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This is certainly a challenge, but there are ways to clean it up. In the old days, touchups were done with an airbrush, and that is what I used here, for the most part. I did clone the right ear and move it, with some adjustmets, to the left side of his head. The rest was done with airbrush. Since it's monochrome, just set brush to black, and adjust tranparency and edge softness as needed in different areas.


Corpsy Feb 2, 2006 9:32 PM

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I don't think there's really anything you can do to actually recover the detail lost in those weird chemical stains, it seems the best thing is to just darken those areas by painting. I also increased the contrast with a curves adjustment here.

creeduk Feb 2, 2006 10:34 PM

I would go as high as you can, you can resize the resolution afterwards, but give your self plenty of canvas. 300ppi /dpi is 1:1 so at least 600.

CanonFodder Feb 3, 2006 6:03 AM

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I tried to find what little detail there was to "enhance" I think I am pretty close to the actual outline of the head and shoulders. However, I did place the left ear a little too high (didn't notice until I had already merged the layer). I thought a vintage wallpaper would help it out. (After the ear incident I decided against trying to recover the floor lamp)

curtisfun Feb 8, 2006 3:38 PM

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This one took a good half-hour. Too bad you don't have a higher-res version.


steveasub Feb 12, 2006 12:36 PM

Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but thanks for all the advice and good efforts at fixing this almost lost cause!

I posted a low resolution scan of the picture because of the forumlimitations of not exceeding 250400 bytes. Have I gone wrong somewhere?

If anyone is really keen to have a go at repairing this, I'll happily e-mail a photo of whatever resolution is required.



steveasub Mar 30, 2006 3:50 PM

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This is what I came up with after several hours of head scratching trial and error!

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