An example of photo restoration

Major photo restoration of a colour fade. A lengthy process that can be challenging but most rewarding.

Major photo restoration of a colour fade. A lengthy process that can be challenging but most rewarding.

For more on hand colouring and see our photograph colouring tutorial

The above image created a few restoration challenges…

  1. Even the tones to allow the colour to “stick”
  2. Reduce the texture and grain from 1
  3. Adding a texture to the jacket which was a tweed.
  4. Colouring as per this photograph colouring tutorial

1. The tones were normalized with an “apply image” and some selective burning in using the dodge and burn tools and applied using a Wacom Pen and Tablet

2. The texture and grain were so random and lumpy I had to go through the image and selectively “spot out” the biggest and most distracting clumps to make it more uniform. The normalizing of the tones also revealed damage that was restored.

3. Texturing the jacket. This texture was simply borrowed. I found a photo of some tweed and used the texture to map onto the jacket shape. Dodging and burning added shape.

4. Colouring was performed in the usual fashion. See above. What was interesting is that it is usual to see that most coloured overlay layers are set to the blending mode “colour” but in this image the mode “colour” did nothing to bring out the image so others were used to give richness and depth, such as “colour burn” or “overlay” or “darken”

Improvising your way through a photo restoration like this is often the best. Sometimes it is not easy to plan it before you start. you have to simply see what works and what doesn’t, trying something new at every hurdle. I must have three or four ways to make the jacket work and settled for borrowing texture in the end. This was a taxing job and without patience or perseverance, it would have not been finished.

If you have a photo that needs photo retouching or photo restoration but not sure where service you require, check out the main photo restoration page to help you find out and how to hire me.