It Can Always Be Better

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ask The Retoucher #42 - Photo Restoration Part I

In this article I am demonstrating how to restore a unique photo. One that has great emotional and historical significance to the owner. It consists of one image of a Martial Arts Grandmaster superimposed on an image of another Grandmaster.
  1. When you have an unusual photo such as this, your first job is to carefully examine the picture, zooming in close to see what is there. In this picture we see halftone dots, moiré, and watermark dots. The photo is missing detail and tonal depth.
  2. Using Adobe Photoshop, I examine the color channels in the picture. The Green and Red channels are fairly clean, but the Blue channel shows many dots, probably from a watermark. I always remind my customers to get permission from the photographer when there is a copyright.
  3. Working in Blue channel to clean up those dots, take the following steps:
  4. Choose Mode/Lab
  5. Duplicate the Background layer
  6. Use Eyedropper tool to sample the color and then use the Paintbrush tool to begin painting to remove the watermark dots.
  7. At a later date, perhaps we can work on the other problems in this picture, such as the moiré and halftone dots.
—Edited by Judy Bond for Photo Grafix University

Please send your questions and problem photos, your location—and genealogical society affiliation if appropriate—to Eric for future "Ask The Retoucher" columns. Visit Photo Grafix online for more information.

Eric runs Photo Grafix, a humble photo-retouching studio in Evanston, Illinois (USA), making photo illustrations and improving photos for hundreds of people and companies worldwide. If he doesn't know the answer, he won't rest until he finds it. Eric Basir is at your service: With each "Ask The Retoucher" article, he'll help you successfully tackle your digital photographic problems. 

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