It Can Always Be Better

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ask The Retoucher #47 - Tinted Picture



In article #47, Eric of Photo Grafix works on an antique photo with some interesting color tints. You may find the techniques used in this advanced level restoration helpful when working on your own photographs. Follow along in our video on the blog or at this link here.

1.            Working in Photoshop, duplicate the background layer and create a working copy (add a version number to the filename).  Crop the photo and save.

2.            Apply the Curves Adjustment Layer, adjusting the highlights and shadows to the edge of the histogram.

3.            Remove the obvious defects using the Healing Brush and the Clone Stamp, being careful to maintain original detail.

4.            In History Palette, make a new Snapshot, set it as source and save. Then choose Filter=Noise=Dust and Scratches, adjusting the settings as appropriate. Make a new Snapshot, naming it by the settings, undo and save.

5.            Choose the History Brush, changing the mode to Normal and apply to the Background. On the person’s face, change the History Brush mode to Darken and apply it to the light spots; and change to Lighten mode to apply the Brush to the dark spots.

6.             Make another Snapshot and use the History Brush and Clone Stamp to finish off the spots on the photo.

7.             Duplicate the Background Layer and save.

8.             Make a new Snapshot, changing the History Brush mode to Screen, bringing opacity down to about 20% and apply to the eyes.

9.             Create a Black and White Adjustment Layer. Grab the Paintbrush tool, (100% opacity; Blend Mode Normal), changing the hardness to 25%, switch to black for the foreground and paint the yellow tunic.

10.         Flatten the layers and Duplicate the Background Layer (Add a new version number to the end of the filename).

11.          Sample the dark colors. Add a little noise using Filter=Noise=Add Noise… and Use Filter=Blur=Gaussian Blur to help that noise match the grain of the original.

12.          Add a Curves Adjustment Layer, creating a nice S curve to pump up the contrast.

13.          Finally, try a Vibrance Adjustment Layer and Save.

Photo Retouching Principle to remember: Good photo retouching does not change the picture, it enhances the picture.

—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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