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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.
When old photographs are stored loose in a box or drawer especially when they're taken out occasionally to be looked through they're subject to being bent. Even when they're just bent slightly it can result increases. Bent a little more and little rips and tears start to appear. The picture I'm working on today, house, is actually a picture of my grandparent's house in Eddyville, New York. It's a really great picture. But it's got some creases that I'd really like to take care of. So let's begin by duplicating our Background layer by hitting Ctrl on a PC and Command on a Mac + J, and let's rename our duplicate layer, house, and Enter.
Let's zoom in on one of the areas of damage so we can really see what we're working with. Let's go over here to the toolbar and select the Zoom tool this magnifying glass. Let's go over here in this area of foliage and click to zoom. Let's zoom in really tight at about 200 % and I want to move the screen over so we can see where it begins. We're going to be working with the Clone Stamp tool, so let's go over to our toolbar and select the Clone Stamp, this rubberstamp icon, and now we'll need to resize our brush.
We always want to work with a smaller brush or else you get really bad smudges. To resize let's go up here to the top menu and bring our slider down to about 9 pixels. Remember with the Clone Stamp tool you'll have to Alt or Option to choose the area you want as your reference point. You want to do that often so you don't have repetitive patterns. If you come over here and you're stamping and you don't change your area you're going to get into trouble, and it's not going to look very good.
You want a random pattern you don't want a repeating pattern. You see this area right here, just doesn't look right, right here. If at anytime you don't like what you've done you can either clone over it or hit Ctrl or Command+Z to undo. You can also clone whole areas if they'll fit, but that can be dangerous also, because you see this pattern is the same as this pattern and that also doesn't look natural.
So use Ctrl+Z to get out of that. You can also use the Spot Healing tool at any time if you'd like to blend in areas you don't like, but the Clone Stamp tool really works best in this instance. Don't be afraid to change your brush size often just use your Left or Right Bracket keys to make your brush smaller or larger and don't forget to Alt or Option to change your reference points.
Sometimes the smaller your brush is the better the result will be. Also keep an eye on what's in the area you're working on. We've got to split in the leaf here, so if you put a piece of a leaf in it it's not going to match-up with what's there. You also need to keep an eye on tonal changes, there is a little darker spot here that goes into the damage so you want to bring that back up.
Remember, if you don't like what you've done or you think something will look better you can always Ctrl or Command+Z to undo. Well, this is a little rough, but let's see what our before and after looks like and see how much damage has been fixed. I could use a little work we can clean it up, but it's a great start. Small rips and tears are nearly as easy to repair as light destined spots. With just a little time, patience, and attention to detail you'll have those rips increases totally wiped out.
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