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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.
Moire pattern is the effect you see, those dots and squares when you scan a photo from the newspaper. If we zoom-in close on the photo in this historic newspaper, you can see the dots or Moire pattern clearly. What we need to do is sort of connect the dots of the pattern and make it a little less obvious. Begin by making a duplicate of the original layer either by keyboard shortcut Ctrl on a PC or Command on a Mac, plus J. Double-click on your layer name and rename it.
We'll name this one Moire and click next to it to accept. With the duplicate layer selected, go up to the Filter menu and select Blur and then Gaussian Blur. You want to have a very light hand with the blur. If you go too heavy with it, it can make a real mess. Move the Radius slider up to see how it will affect the look of the photo, then bring it back down to the low end.
I'll try a Radius of about 1.5 pixels, then click OK to accept. Let's see what it look like before and after, and to get a better look, let's zoom-in again. Bring it up to his face and see before and after. It's quite a difference. If you feel the result is a little on the soft side and you'd like to get a bit of sharpness back, then duplicate this Moire layer with keyboard shortcut Ctrl or Command+J, double-click it, and rename it sharp.
Then go back to the Filter menu, select Other, and then High Pass. Let's move it over a bit to see his face. The higher the Radius value in High Pass, the sharper the results. So try your Radius a little over 10 pixels. Let's try a setting of about 14 and click OK. Now, go to the layer Blend mode menu, and select Overlay. If the results seem a little harsh, you can always go back into the layer Blend modes and try something else.
Let's change it to Soft Light. That looks a little better. Again, let's look at the before and after of the sharpness. Let's hide the two top layers and see our real before; there's our blur, and with a little sharpness brought back in, that looks much better. Moire pattern on a photo taken from a newspaper can be very distracting. The Moire pattern will never go away completely.
The object is to make it look better. Just a few simple steps can connect those dots and give you a clearer picture.
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