Bring Cherished Photos Back to Life
Sometimes pictures can be precious things, recalling memories or providing windows into the past. Sadly, time and unforeseen events can sometimes destroy those precious things. Even the most carefully preserved photographs or artwork can fade with time, be corrupted by acids or other chemicals, and sometimes even be torn to pieces.
Thanks to the combination of software programs such as Photoshop and a palette of plug-ins, plus the artistic skill of the operator, all is not necessarily lost. At Moab Printworks we can often restore those precious icons to glowing beauty.
We start by making a digital copy of the damaged print using our high-resolution scanner or, in the case of larger originals, by photographing the work with a high-resolution digital camera. Then the real work begins.
Photoshop and other image editing programs offer many tools that can be used to bring back color and details that have faded, or that can be used to restore missing parts. It is not an easy task and requires time and patience. The results can be amazing.
The example below features an old photograph that has been horribly damaged, even to the extent that many parts of it are missing. In this case Mark used Photoshop’s clone, patch and healing brush tools extensively. Masking layers were created from which areas of the background that are missing could be cloned and inserted to replace missing areas.
In the case of the child in a yellow dress the toe of the right foot was missing, so Mark cloned the toe of the left foot, reversed it and fitted it in to replace the missing part. Cracks in the picture were restored using the healing brush and clone tool. Again, toning was used in layers to bring back natural skin and clothing colors. The result is probably better than the original ever was. In a final step, a new print can be made on a multi-color inkjet printer.
Photographers are sometimes accused of using Photoshop to create false images, but this example shows how it can be a power for good. It is not a magic wand and a restoration such as this example can take several hours to create. In the end, what may have seemed lost forever can be brought back to life again.
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