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In Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos, professional photo restorer Janine Smith shows how to bring new life to old photos. The course begins with a look at the types of photos that may require restoration, including slides, negatives, prints, and newspaper photos, and options for scanning them. She discusses the types of scanners that are available, from flatbed to film, and the best settings to use for originals. The course then delves into Photoshop Elements tools and techniques to help restore clarity to faded photos and fix problems such as dust, scratches, and tears. Exercise files are included with the course.
Well, it would be wonderful if pieces didn't break off and go missing from all photos, that's not reality. If you're lucky, you'll still have the piece that came off but the chances are good that you don't. If it's just a tiny piece, you might just crop the photo but it's more fun to try to fix them. We are going to work on one of the most intimidating things to fix; part of a missing tree. It's really not that hard once you know how and after you mastered that, most everything else will be a breeze.
We're going to do our work this time on a blank layer over the original. Go to the Create a New layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel and click it. Name the new layer Tree. In this case, the damage is at the upper left-hand corner. So let's zoom-in that area by going to the toolbar and selecting the Zoom tool or the Magnifying Glass. Click on the missing corner about three times to bring it in real good and tight. Go back to the toolbar, and grab the Clone Stamp tool.
Make sure the Sample All layers box at the top is checked. Enlarge your Brush using the Right-bracket key. Let's go up to about 60 pixels. Making sure the New Blank layer is selected, Alt or Option+Click on an area to sample from and begin painting in the torn area. Change your reference point often to keep the cloned area looking random. You don't want the new area to be an exact clone of the area below it.
If you keep the reference point too long, you're going to get repeated areas that just won't look very good. See this one is already starting to repeat. So click and fix it until you find something that isn't the exact same as an area right next to it. If you keep cloning something that's very distinctive like one particular rock on the ground in some photo or in this instance a tree branch, it will look very obvious and fake.
Just clone back over it using another reference area. If you clone an area, and don't like how it looks, clone back over it. That's actually a good thing to do. That's how you'll achieve the randomness we are looking for. You can do bigger pieces if you start from an area that's farther away from the one you're working on. For instance let's go over here and then clone back way over across. We can go back and fix random parts here in a minute.
Let's move up a little bit, and just keep cloning in the areas. Try to stay away from colors that are too obviously different, but you can always go back and blend the areas using little random clicks here and there. Remember, you can always undo using Command or Ctrl+Z, and move on, always move on.
Get some areas that are far away again. If you saw right here I was starting to get the edge of the roof. You've got to be careful of that. Just clone back over and add a little more randomness. Now, we're going to fix this area which is the edge. This is a little trickier.
Find this area that's pretty far away from this one and click here, and then move up all the way across. Let's fix this area. Use different areas to make it look random, and just have fun. Clicking in cloning is fun. Now, we want to blend this area a little better right here, and then we'll fix this repeat pattern.
Just eyeball it and see if you see anything that's an obvious repeat, and then we're going to go in and fix this rough edge. That's why we cloned on our own layer. Go over here to your Rectangular Marquee tool and select it. Find a point at your frame or at the edge you want to clean up, come over here and Command or Ctrl+X to delete and do the same over at the side, make the selection based on your frame, Command or Ctrl+X to delete, and there you have a nice clean edge.
Let's zoom-out. Now we are going to show you before and after. Here is before, and after, and look at that, we've got our tree back. People often look at a photo and see one or more missing pieces, and think it's horribly damaged. But even the scariest looking damage like part of a tree isn't that hard to fix with just a little know-how and some practice.
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