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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.
Unless a photo is stored in a very secure way, laying flat in an archival folder or box, and has been treated very carefully its whole life, creases can, and often will, happen. Our mission is to repair them so no one would ever know they had anything but the best storage facility. First thing you'll want to do on your image is duplicate the original layer: Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC. One thing that'll make your life easier in a situation where, like this, you have some major discoloration in areas, like this very yellow streak, is to use a Black & White adjustment filter to bring out a channel where the discoloration could be less evident.
Go to the bottom of the Layers panel and select the Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer button and choose Black & White. Start by going through the channels to see in which one the dark streak is less, and in this case it's in the Red channel. Ctrl+E or Command+E to add the adjustment to the layer below. This will now be your working layer over your original layer. You can add a little color tone back in later and probably something a lot more attractive than that yellow cast.
Now let's select the Zoom tool and zoom in on the crease. The trick with creases is that usually one side is a different tone than the other, due to the light from the scanner catching on the bend of the photo. You need to blend them together for a seamless look. Especially in an open area, like the sky for instance, I'd recommend using the Patch tool. Let's go over and select that from the toolbar and then select an area of the sky and drag it to one side or the other.
Just by dragging we've blended those areas in just a bit. Let's go get another and move it to the other area, and again that's a pretty good blend. But what you'll want to do is after you're done with a pretty good space, select the area again that you've gone over and then bring it over for a better blend. When you get into the areas that are more detailed then you may need to change your tools up. I am going to zoom in a little closer with the Zoom tool and go to this area at the very top of the head.
This isn't going to be a good candidate for the Patch tool because it curves. You can either use the Healing brush, the Clone Stamp tool, or the Content-Aware Spot Healing brush in CS5--or more likely, a combination of tools. I am going to start off with a quick pass of the Content-Aware Spot Healing brush by going to the toolbar, Spot Healing brush, making sure Content-Aware is checked, and then just go through a quick pass.
You see that followed the contours of the head pretty well. If I want to clean that up, I can go down to the Clone Stamp tool. You can adjust the brush size with your open and close bracket tools. Don't use an overly large brush. Hold down Alt or Option, select an area, and you can clean that up just a bit. If you have a jagged area that there is a noticeable difference between the two, say this little area right here--I am going to zoom in a little closer-- this area right here looks a little jagged, you can always go down to your Blur tool, lower your brush size--don't want it too big--and go over there, and that blends in those jagged areas.
Once you get your very detailed areas finished, you can go back and grab your Patch tool and continue down the crease. Switch to other tools as you need, or want. It's always better to use multiple tools; it's very rare that one tool is going to work through the whole image. Let's zoom back out and look at a quick before and after to see how that crease is looking. That's a pretty good blend. Now if you want that color back, or any color at all, you can simply go in, bring your original up, sample a color, have a new blank layer on top, fill it in with Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete for your foreground color, go in and change your layer Blend mode, scroll through them to see which might work best for you.
In this case Overlay does a pretty good job. Bring down the Opacity a little if you'd like, just to bring some color back in from the black-and-white. And you just continue along your whole crease until you get it all fixed. When creases go through the entire photo, and through detailed areas in particular, they need to be worked on close up, with many different tools and adjustments to get the best result. With a little work and care, one would be hard pressed to know there was ever a mark there to begin with.
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