Fixing Old Photos

Have you been dredging through those boxes of old photos and came across one that you want to fix?

Here’s the old photo that requires fixing. The higher the resolution that you scan at the better:

Let’s bring out the detail by copying the bottom layer and applying a tonal contrast enhancement using Unsharp Mask

Add a Medium Contrast curve adjustment to the image to bring out more character


































Now make a copy of the Red channel to use as a channel for selecting the background/ foreground as this channel has the best contrast.

Select the outline closely but no need to be exact, with a polygonal lasoo tool and 5 pixels feather, as we want to guassian blur the background artrifacts.

Save the selection as “wall”

Select the RGB channel of layer 1 to make sure that we operate on this. Apply Guassian Blur of 12 pixels to this, unselect.

That takes care of the background. Now create a new layer 2 so that we can start cloning out the defects onto layer 2.

Use the healing brush tool, content aware, sample all layers and brush along the paper creases and defects with a brush only slightly larger than the defect itself to remove it.

For textured matter like the moustache you have to use the clone brush, flow 50% Aligned, Current layer and below

Finally, not as handsome as the original young man, but somewhat better. Doing the cloning onto a separate layer means that you can brush out your cloning effects if required.

All the changes are reversable.

Tweak further to your heart’s content!

Posted by Barney on 24/02/2012

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