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In this course, professional photo restorer Janine Smith describes how to use Photoshop to restore, retouch, and enhance old or damaged photos. It covers evaluating scanned images for imperfections, using the Clone Stamp tool and other Photoshop tools, and addressing common problems and their fixes, starting with the basics (fading, spots, and paper texture) and continuing with more complex challenges (rips, adhesive tape, ink marks, mold, and more). Also included are methods for fixing exposure problems and colorcast as well as advanced techniques in photo restoration, such as replacing backgrounds and recreating missing facial features and body parts. The course includes a project that takes an image from damaged start to restored finish.
Still another way of correcting color is with an inverse color layer. Colorcasts in photographs are going to follow the primary colors on the color wheel: reds, blues, greens, and yellows. In many cases identifying that color and adding an overlay of the opposite color will cut the colorcast substantially. Begin by making a new blank layer on top of your Background layer and then go over to your toolbar and select the Eyedropper tool. We are going to sample a color from the photo and on, like, an outside color, you might want to start by sampling in, say, the sky, which you know should be blue-- you know it shouldn't be yellow. And that's probably going to be better than trying to sample, say, a green tree under a green cast.
So let's find an area of the sky and just sample it. Then we are going to fill the blank layer with that color, since it's the foreground color. We'll use Alt+Backspace on a PC, Option+Delete on a Mac to fill. Then we'll go up to Image > Adjustments > Invert, and now move over to your Layer Blend modes and select Soft Light. We've still got a decided cast here--not yellow this time--but we know that this frame should be white and not this pinkish tone.
So again we're going to add a new blank layer, and we are just going to do another Invert Color layer. Click on the frame this time. Again, it's your foreground color. Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete Image > Adjustments > Invert. This time we're not going to use the Soft Light. 99% of the time Soft Light will work best on the first color correction, but not always on the second. We will see that it's still pretty pinkish.
So we're going to just scroll up through these. We're looking for the frame to be white. That's white, but the cast is now pretty blue, so we'll see if there's any better. And we can see in this color dodge we actually have green on the trees, a little red on the roof. So we'll go with that. If it looks a little washed out, you can always go to your Opacity, lower it to around 50% or so. That brings in a little more of the cast below it, but it's still quite a difference. And looking at the original itself, it's very much of a difference.
An inverse color correction might be the perfect solution, and it might be a great place to actually start more of your color correction. In this case, let's go to the Create a new fill and adjustment layer, and go up to Curves, use the Eyedropper tool, and that brings more of your color back in. And it can be just a good starting point. Using the color wheel as an inspiration, inverting the dominant color to its opposite to cut it, and utilizing Layer Blend modes is a fast, easy adjustment you can rely on again and again.
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