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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Sepiana Sepiana is offline
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What Can I Do With This 95-year-old Photo?

Hi everyone,

The woman in this photo is my husband's grandmother. The baby on her lap is her son (my husband's father). This photo was printed to resemble a postcard. On the other side it says "Post Card" and has the usual places to write the message and the address and for postage. There's a handwritten date on it -- Jan 1915.

My husband asked if I could do some restoration on it. I said yes, but the more I look at this photo the more I feel at a loss.

All I did so far was to do a levels adjustment. Then I tried to fix that damage (tear) which runs across the photo diagonally.

I think the baby can use some improvement, but I have no idea what to do. What about the woman's face? Also, what about all those stains? I guess I could do some cropping.

As you can tell I'm in a bind here. I would appreciate any advice, suggestions, help you could offer.

Thanks in advance!
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File Type: jpg Before.jpg (97.7 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg After.jpg (98.2 KB, 140 views)
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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NMarti NMarti is offline
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Sepiana
I did a little level adjustment and a little contrast and came up with this. The overall photo of the baby is a bit out of focus so I'm not sure how much more you will be able to bring him in focus. It did take some of the glare from the old processing out of the photo though. You did a great job on the tear.
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Last edited by NMarti; March 28th, 2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Sepiana Sepiana is offline
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Nancy, thanks for the input! It's so helpful to have someone else look at an image like this one. I'm so tired by now that I can't even think straight. That's what it needed -- some contrast.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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Glad that worked for you.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Wendy Wendy is offline
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Hi Sepiana ...

When you look at the original image does the discolouration change as you move the photo around (like tilting it)?

If you it sounds like it may be silvering ... with silvering you can get good results by scanning the image then rotating it slightly and scanning again. Keep on doing that and just see which one looks the best. Or sometimes photographing it in natural light is better

Wendy
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:53 AM
nu2scene nu2scene is offline
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I agree with Wendy, it looks like it's silvered or tarnished. You could try to convert it to B&W and see if that helps. Even better, if you have Grant's tools or something that lets you separate the shot into channels(RGB), you can see which channel or combination of channels gives you the best image. That not only removes most the staining or discoloration it also helps with noise to some extent.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Hi Wendy and Rob,

Sorry for delaying so much in responding to your input. I just wish the day had more hours.

You are both absolutely right. It's silvering. I took the photo by a window and began tilting it -- the discoloration would change accordingly.

I have been playing around with rotating/scanning and with shooting the photo using natural light. I also tried converting it to b/w and playing with Grant's Tools.

The silvering is not so obvious now, except on the bottom right corner. Do you think it would be ok if I created a vignette to cover it up and maybe use some cloning. Or is it cheating?

Thanks to both of you for your help!
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Last edited by Sepiana; April 7th, 2010 at 12:36 AM. Reason: fix wording
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Old April 7th, 2010, 03:26 AM
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Hi Sepiana ...

As the bottom right hand corner isn't an important part of the image I would just clone away the silvering ... ")

... and cloning is never cheating

Wendy
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Old April 7th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Sepiana. I just worked some blending magic in the channels and painted out the silvering and reworked the dress. The hair that was masked by the silvering I copied from the right side.

Just an idea.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepiana View Post
Hi everyone,

The woman in this photo is my husband's grandmother. The baby on her lap is her son (my husband's father). This photo was printed to resemble a postcard. On the other side it says "Post Card" and has the usual places to write the message and the address and for postage. There's a handwritten date on it -- Jan 1915.

My husband asked if I could do some restoration on it. I said yes, but the more I look at this photo the more I feel at a loss.

All I did so far was to do a levels adjustment. Then I tried to fix that damage (tear) which runs across the photo diagonally.

I think the baby can use some improvement, but I have no idea what to do. What about the woman's face? Also, what about all those stains? I guess I could do some cropping.

As you can tell I'm in a bind here. I would appreciate any advice, suggestions, help you could offer.

Thanks in advance!
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Old April 7th, 2010, 03:05 PM
BobWarren BobWarren is offline
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I tried selecting the baby's face and putting it on another layer with blend mode set to multiply -- that seemed to bring out the features a bit more. Also played with noise reduction and sharpening of various parts of the picture. Converted to black and white and ignored the silvering while working on the contrast then added a warming tone to get back some of the original feel.

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