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Fixing mold damage

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Fixing mold damage

Mold on an image when digitized will just look like a stain, and that's how you will tackle it--like you would any other stain. Just a quick word of caution about mold on a photograph: inactive mold on an original is usually powdery and dry, but the right amount of humidity can cause it to become active again. For the safety of all your other photographs, keep the original quarantined in its own archival container, and be sure to thoroughly clean the scanner bed and allow it to completely dry before scanning any other photographs. Let's have a look at this photograph with mold on it.

Fixing mold damage

Mold on an image when digitized will just look like a stain, and that's how you will tackle it--like you would any other stain. Just a quick word of caution about mold on a photograph: inactive mold on an original is usually powdery and dry, but the right amount of humidity can cause it to become active again. For the safety of all your other photographs, keep the original quarantined in its own archival container, and be sure to thoroughly clean the scanner bed and allow it to completely dry before scanning any other photographs. Let's have a look at this photograph with mold on it.

You can see this mold is a dark brown with a light ring around it. And we're going to try first a Black & White adjustment to see if we can reduce the appearance of that mold. Go down to the bottom of your Layers panel and select the Create a new fill or Adjustment layer icon, the black- white guard here, and select Black & White. Now go up to your Presets. We are going to scroll through to see if any help the appearance of the mold. You can scroll through on a PC using your downward arrow key, and on a Mac you will need to select them individually.

We'll just see if any of these lessen the appearance. And I'm actually just right offhand liking the look more of the Green filter. It lightens the image overall, but you can go back and darken it up later. We're just concerned with the appearance of the mold at this point. Now we are going to use some healing tools that require a layer with pixels, an actual image layer. So we're going to go back down to our layers stack. We're going to use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E on a PC, Shift+Command+Option+E on a Mac, to combine those layers, and we're going to go back over to our toolbar and begin with the Patch tool.

I might want to zoom in, Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus, just to get a little better look at these areas, and start by selecting the damaged area and pulling it up. This is fairly easy. It's in a non-detailed area, so it's not going to really have any problems using the Patch tool.

When you get into a slightly more detailed area just make smaller selections. And keep going in the general direction, such as-- this will have a shadow right here at her arm. You want to bring it up or down following that shadow and so on, until all the mold is gone. The Black & White adjustment just made this a little easier because the tones are more similar.

If you kept the color image or the toned image, it might have been a little harder to find areas to sample from. If you want to go back to the original tone, I demonstrate how to do this in the video "Tinting a black-and-white photo." Now let's have a quick look at a different kind of photograph, a different stain. This is just on the sky here, and it's just more of a spread stain than the little circles. And in this, you can try to lighten the stain-- one way is with the Curves adjustment. Another thing you can try is to go down to your Layers panel and add a new blank layer, change your Layer Blend mode to Soft Light, go over and select a Brush tool, make sure your foreground color is white--and you can lower your brush size or make it bigger with your open and close bracket keys--and begin painting in the area of the stain.

See, it doesn't really affect the light areas terribly bad because they're already so light. It just reduces the obvious stain a bit. Be a little careful around your detailed areas, the trees, the shrubs, but this is a really good way to just lighten the dark parts. I'm not going to be terribly detailed here, for the sake of time. But when you get this painted in to your liking, go up to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Just blur the edges of that a bit.

See over here how it's not quite so stark. Bring it just up enough just to blur the edges a little. You can tell when you go too far because you can see a lot of the stain through it again. That will work. You can see that just lessened that stain just a bit, and you can keep doing that in layers until it blends really well with the sky. And then you can take your Patch tool, or your Clone Stamp, and blend it in further.

Images like this may take a lot of work and a lot of patience, or it may go really easily. All you can hope for is some improvement in some cases, not a complete restoration. And like most old photos, it will never look new, or sometimes not even close to new, but with time and patience, the photo can look better, and in many cases you can get rid of most, if not all, of the mold.

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This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15657 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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