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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:39 PM
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Default Photo Restoration

So this past year I was given a photo by my mom of her brother and her. This photo was only 1"x1" or so, very tiny. She asked if there was anything I could do. So for her X-mas gift I took a shot at restoring the photo, printing it at 11X14 and framing it.

As you can see from the original parts of the photo was missing, especially the right corner. I had to completely rebuild it using some of the house and foliage, his hair was missing, etc. There was at least quite a bit there to still work with. This was my first attempt at a restore, want to do more though.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: United States
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Looks like you did a good job there. Might be an idea to go over the steps you used so others here can learn from it.

Probably the clone tool for replacing one part of the image (missing parts) with equivelant bits from another part.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:57 AM
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What program did you use?
Great job!

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Old 02-02-2012, 06:36 AM
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Tommy, that is amazing! I am going to download GIMP this morning! I have lots of photos that I have received of my dad when he was a baby and some of them can use some help. Is that what you used for your photo? Awesome! And yes, Andrew is right. If you could please post the steps to your transformation? I'd love it!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:59 AM
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This is great Tommy. The restored photo looks awesome!
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by lorah View Post
Tommy, that is amazing! I am going to download GIMP this morning! I have lots of photos that I have received of my dad when he was a baby and some of them can use some help. Is that what you used for your photo? Awesome! And yes, Andrew is right. If you could please post the steps to your transformation? I'd love it!
Has previously mentioned using Photoshop, but experiment with the clone tool in GIMP for stuff like this.

They do have some tutorials available, though nothing specific to this:
GIMP - Tutorials

You will probably find this section of the documentation useful:
Chapter*9.*Enhancing Photographs

For the clone tool:

As an alternate to the clone tool you could try heal:

Or for a better heal the resynthesizer plugin I mentioned in the other thread.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:32 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am working on one for my wife as well, so I will put up a before and after of that once I get it done. Its of her father who was 8 at the time.

First want to say the following. Again not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Photos have a copyright law of 50 years. If there is no date on the back of the photo it is easier to get around as the date cannot be proved. If it is dated and less then 50 years you should not retouch it. The following exceptions do apply if you know who took the photo and have permission to do so, if you own the copyright to the photo, or if it is older then 50 years.

With all that said I used Photoshop CS5 for the editing of the program, ALWAYS WORK WITH LAYERS. This way if you make a change and don't like it you can delete that layer and not have to start over. Or you can turn a layer on or off to see how it affects the end product.

First goal was to take a high quality photo of the original. If you have a scanner you can attempt to use that but I found my camera has better quality then most scanners. Due to the size of this photo, I put it on a piece of white paper to give it a clean and easy to remove background. If you have a large photo a white or black sheet will work great. I do not use a flash as most photos will reflect the flash back, if I do have to use a flash I bounce it off the ceiling or a wall. For this one I also used some extension tubes on my lens to get a closer/macro shot to make it as large as possible and retain as much detail. Also shoot from directly above or straight on so you minimize any distortion.

Once I am satisfied with the photo, it's time to edit. I will first correct any exposure issues, white balance, etc. My next step for a photo like this is, I will do any cropping needed. I knew on this one that they were not quite centered any more. There was more frame on his left then on her side so I cropped some of that out. Along with the unnecessary white background from the sheet.

At this time I now have a photo that is cropped still missing the corner. I will usually start with the easy stuff using a "spot healing brush" and "clone stamp" to touch up the items like the dust specs, slight tears, etc. You can see these in his jeans, the pavement, a little on her.

For the missing pavement on the right side by her leg I just cloned a part from above it and pasted it into place. Then use a blending tool to soften the lines around it along with a little healing brush to help blend. With things like this and say his hair it was easier to use the clone as there was more of a random pattern. I just followed where I thought his head/hairline would follow in the picture and slowly rebuilt it small sections.

Finally came the hard part the missing upper right corner. I started by cloning some of the house, then had to line it up in the empty are, skew it so it matched the angle, some dodge and burn to control the brightness of the area. After all this it was pretty clear that there was a major touch up.

The next step was to soften the impact of the touch up on that corner. So by looking at the photo I noticed all of the trees in front and behind the houses. I cloned some of them, mirrored their image so they were not exact, and put some behind the house I rebuilt. It looked better but not what I wanted. I added another layer and put this one in the front and added some more branches, this time I put some in front (make it look like they were standing next to a tree in the front yard). By doing this it covered up some of the house area that I rebuilt. This took away from all the rebuilding of the house and made things look more natural.

I finally had a finished product, it was rectangle like a normal print, no missing parts, dust and specs removed, and tears repaired. I was able to print this out as an 11X14 (this from a print the size of the little baseball cards you got in a pack of gum, or cracker jack box). Did not turn out to bad for being my first one, but I know there are some more things I would have done, like lighten below the eyes but that will be a future date.
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:38 AM
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Thumbs up Wow!

You did an excellent job! Thanks for your advice) Very useful even now for beginners) Are you still working on photo restoration?
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:27 AM
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It came out pretty good. The final result doesn`t seem that it once was an old picture.
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