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Full Critique Restored Photo

Mike Singh

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I was asked by a friend to restore an old photo. I scanned it at 300dpi and started the restoration in PS. So far here are my results. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Original

Old photo original.jpg

Restoration so far:
Old phot restore.jpg
 

Phill104

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Not bad at all. On my phone the colours look a little strong, but that is on my phone so it probably looks less so on a monitor.
 

Isac

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You've taken on a big challenge Mike. I would photograph it as well to compare it to the scan. Also if you want to get a good HQ scan, do it at the highest resolution possible. My scanner is an Epson V39 and scans up to 9600 at 24-bit colour, which gives brilliant quality. I have sometimes even converted to B&W, done the repairs and then colourised it, to get smoother finishes. The rest is a slow process and you seem to be on track, so good luck, looking forward to the final result.
Here's a simple trick to get some colour correction as a first step.
In Photoshop, create a new CURVES adjustment layer and while holding down ALT, click on AUTO. This will open the "Auto Color Correction Options" box. Check Find Dark & Light Colors and also check Snap Neutral Colors, I would also check Save as defaults so next time you click AUTO on the curves adjustment layer, it will give good results. It should look something like below.
Next, make a levels adjustment and adjust the midtones.

Personally with this image I would remove the background and replace it with something similar when you've completed the repairs on the lady and baby. Masking is best for this. I hope this helps.
SH_540.jpg
 
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Mike Singh

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You've taken on a big challenge Mike. I would photograph it as well to compare it to the scan. Also if you want to get a good HQ scan, do it at the highest resolution possible. My scanner is an Epson V39 and scans up to 9600 at 24-bit colour, which gives brilliant quality. I have sometimes even converted to B&W, done the repairs and then colourised it, to get smoother finishes. The rest is a slow process and you seem to be on track, so good luck, looking forward to the final result.
Here's a simple trick to get some colour correction as a first step.
In Photoshop, create a new CURVES adjustment layer and while holding down ALT, click on AUTO. This will open the "Auto Color Correction Options" box. Check Find Dark & Light Colors and also check Snap Neutral Colors, I would also check Save as defaults so next time you click AUTO on the curves adjustment layer, it will give good results. It should look something like below.
Next, make a levels adjustment and adjust the midtones.

Personally with this image I would remove the background and replace it with something similar when you've completed the repairs on the lady and baby. Masking is best for this. I hope this helps.
Thanks Isac for the comprehensive colour correction tip. The colours here are all over the place. I did consider replacing the background but I don't know how to get them to match.
 

Mike Singh

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@Isac I tried the AUTO in the curves layer. WoW!!!!! Here have you been for the last 24 hours? See results below. Also what do you think about the mother's face restoration? I am struggling to get the shadows and highlights right to bring out the facial features.

Old-phot-restore-2.jpg
 

Phill104

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That looks much better
 

Isac

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Hi Mike,
It really needs some close up pixel editing on the face and lower dress. Like I said this is not an easy fix but doable. When I do these I usually get a large hi-res scan which makes it easier. What size is your original? There are so many various methods to get the skin tones and smoothing right, so I would have to play with it to see what method is preferable. I cannot do that with the small image I downloaded.
 

Mike Singh

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Hi Mike,
It really needs some close up pixel editing on the face and lower dress. Like I said this is not an easy fix but doable. When I do these I usually get a large hi-res scan which makes it easier. What size is your original? There are so many various methods to get the skin tones and smoothing right, so I would have to play with it to see what method is preferable. I cannot do that with the small image I downloaded.
Original size: 1013 x 1024 pixels
The original print is 4.5x4.5 inches
 

Isac

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Pete Larkin

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Doing well Mike! A very challenging restoration. Will be intrigued to see how it comes along - presumably, still a work in progress?
 
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