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Tue, Aug 21st - 5:35AM

Photo Restoration - Restoring the Unrestorable

Photo Restoration Restored Holy Communion

 In this example I will describe some of the processes involved in restoring a badly damaged photograph which has been torn, creased and stuck with tape. Bits of the photo are missing and will need to be replaced and restored.

 The Jigsaw. Firstly I cut out all pieces and pasted onto new canvas and the positioned on separate layers to do the jigsaw. This was to accurately gage where each piece needed to be and be in perfect alignment ready for photo restoration. Once happy that the pieces were in place I merged layers. I quickly blitzed the scratches and flecks with the clone and heal tool.

The Tape marks. I selected with the manual selection tool and a slight feather then leveled to the same tone as the picture. Then I fixed the edges of the tape marks with the heal and clone tool.

The face. I copied and flipped and distorted the left eye to make a right eye, then lightened and dodged and burned in using a small brush the skin tones, finally I used the heal tool to get some texture back on the tone. Same with the head piece and flower on head piece from dress.

The Background. Using a large heal tool I recreated the background where needed. The bottom left was made from a section of the bottom right once I fixed it, (the right hand side) I flipped the right and pasted into the left hand side.

The Table / Chair. Again I copied and flipped the chair and cloth, and extensively rebuilt the cloth and centre piece on the cloth just using the slight suggestion of a leaf pattern. I used the four leaves and cut and pasted and rotated until I had four sides of a leaf design, then cloned into the middle one of the white roses below the chair, I final tidy up by trimming the outside. These techniques are descrided assuming you have some knowledge of Photoshop, so sorry its not a basics type explanation. It also assumes you have an eye for realism. Many thanks for reading.

Providing a Quality photo restoration service

quality photo restoration service

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Mon, Aug 13th - 3:19AM

Photo Restoration. An natural eye and restoring without adding perceived artistic merit
Photo RestorationAdvanced Techniques - An natural eye and restoring without adding perceived artistic merit.

Sorry about the lengthy title but I could find anything more catchy!

Ok so you can use a computer and you can use Photoshop, and you can have a good go at restoring a photo, but does this mean you are a good photo restorer? Not always.

There are a few fundamentals to photo restoration that must be addressed. Unless you can appreciate perspective, light and shade and or the natural environment and how light may affect one object differently under certain circumstances, then this could make or break a restoration.

Example: An old photo which is wrinkled, torn and damaged in the foreground, it’s a landscape with a building and some people in it, they stand in front of their house.

Unrestored farm house

Photo with permission of owner and is subject to copywright.

When restoring land and rough ground, don’t simply grab the clone tool and heal tools and swipe eagerly over the foreground to repaint the grass or rubble or dirt. This can lead to repeated patterns and evidence of short cutting the restoration. Take your time to analyse the scene. If there are tracks on the road or rough ground made by vehicles or carts, look how the ground may have been disturbed and restore it disturbed. Don’t be tempted to clean up and area and make it all nice and uniform and be artistic, restore it, nature is not uniform especially landscapes.

Also examine where the light is coming from, lets say you’ve fixed you foreground and removed the tears and evened out the ground, but does it look restored, if it does it’s not right. You need to place rocks and grass realistically random, and in the case of the tracks make sure the ground follows a natural path of disturbance. The light of shadow can be added last to give the slow moving shadows and rolling tone of the ground, with the old friend dodge and burn. Make sure you use a large soft brush set to 5-12 percent to darken mid tones and think hard where the ground is lower or higher and apply subtle shadow where needed to bring life back to a flat landscape or foreground. Experiment with darkening the shadows too, but don’t over do it subtlety is the key here and realism is the most important.

If you don’t have the eye for this sort of thing then you may miss what’s wrong with your restoration and may never work out no mater how hard you look why it doesn’t look quite right.

restored farm house

Once again I hope this helps some people slow down and observe, I know Photoshop is a quick fix sometime but it needs to be used slowly and thoughtfully.

Once again i hope this helps a few people slow down and think hard about the photo before restoring.


Photo Restoration at

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Mon, Aug 13th - 3:16AM

Photo Restoration - Advanced techniques - Matching Grain
Photo Restoration. Advanced Techniques - Matching grain

Ok so know we know a little about Image Resolution and how it might help us with photo restoration

Lets now take a look at some advanced techniques to help with restoring old photographs.

If you need to restore that comes in JPG format and has had its fair share of compression applied to it and you cannot do anything about for what ever reason, then have to work with what you have. Repairing it can be tricky as the dreaded JPG artefacts and slurred pixels can be a problem. Valuable parts of the image can be lost, particularly when working at finer detail levels. Let me site an example. Figure in a dress, saved as JPG and the face has suffered a bit from compression artefacts and some detail has been lost. One way to fix this would be to artistically paint in using brushes and dodge and burn tools to recreate parts of the face. This will of course look too smooth. You can add grain as a fix but it doesn’t always work as its looks too uniform or doesn’t match the base image. With a combination of painting on a new layer over the original and trying to clone in some grain from below can help but also if you save out your new layer to a JPG and play with the compression settings, you will find that you can get some very similar JPG artefacts on your saved layer as the base layer. When its pasted back in you can then match the grain and base image a little easier than before. I hope some of you may find this useful Neil

Photo Restoration at

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Sun, Aug 5th - 1:16AM

Photo Restoration and Image Resolution - Part Two.

... here's part two!


The simple printing rule. 

After your Photo Restoration is complete, scale you image across the page at somewhere between 250 to 300 pixels per inch to give you an optimum print. If you need to go bigger then just scale to 200 pixels per inch or even less. Do a test and see how it looks. If it looks good go for it.

When you set your printer going set to maximum resolution and use the best paper you can afford. NOTE: Don’t get confused again with the maximum resolution of your printer being 4800 x 2400 dpi as this is just how much ink going down on the page used to print those 300 pixels per inch you scaled across the page earlier.

The continuing conundrum I often speak to printers who tell me they need a large file size in order to print to a predetermined size. It is cast into the conversation “ it must be at least 18mb”. When asked why, the response is more often than not because I need it big to work with I know what I can do with a large file. My point I try to make is that I can make you a large file if you wish but do you actually need it. A typical TIFF of a 6 mega pixel image is 17MB. Anyway the print houses want large files but we can make them larger but the dimensions will remain the same so how will they benefit by having a larger file. If we convert the file to 16bit per channel in Photoshop the file size will swell enormously as the colour information contained in the image is now so much greater. I’m am certain that this will not benefit the printers in anyway as they still have the same 6 million pixel image we started with but a file size up in the 34mb region, then if we convert to CMYK it reaches a massive 46mb !! Here is a break down of how this worked

6 MPixel

2816 x 2120

1.7 mb


8 Bit/channel


6 MPixel

2816 x 2120

17 mb


8 Bit/channel


6 MPixel

2816 x 2120

35 mb


16 Bit/channel


6 MPixel

2816 x 2120



16 Bit/channel


Photoshop converted the 16bit per channel. This was completely unnecessary but done to illustrate a point that a large file can be obtained fro 1.7mb JPG. Most software’s (in fact I don’t know of any) can’t edit a 16 bit per channel image, as there is just too much information to process, It is normally converted to an 8 bit per channel image 8 RED + 8 GREEN + 8 BLUE = 24 bit colour for RGB or 32 bit colour for CMYK which can then be processed by most editing software’s.

For an explanation of bit depth see below.

Bit-Depth (Scanner used as an example) Bit-depth refers to the amount of information scanner is capable of recording per pixel. A 1-bit scanner can only express one of two values per pixel: solid black or solid white. For a capture device to reproduce the grey values between black and white, it must be able to record at least 4 bits of data per pixel, which is equal to 16 possible combinations of black and white, or tones (4 x 4 = 16). To reproduce continuous-tone images, such as black-and-white photographs, a scanner must be able to record at least 8 bits per pixel, or 256 possible tones (16 x 16 = 256). 

While an 8-bit scanner might be satisfactory for black-and-white images, you'll need three times as much information to record colour images. For example, you'll need at least 8 bits for each of the three primary scanning colours -- red, green, and blue -- giving you a total of 24 bits per pixel (8 + 8 + 8 = 24). If you factor the total number of colours that can be recorded by a 24-bit scanner (2 to the 24th power), you'll come up with approximately 16.7 million colours, more than can be perceived by the human eye. Therefore, a 24-bit scanner is usually considered adequate (but minimum) for most colour scanning.

Most scanners on the market offer 30- or 36-bit colour, which is more colour information than is considered necessary (and more information than most consumer imaging software programs can process). However, there are advantages to scanning images at a higher bit-depth, such as providing a larger pool of tonal information from which to draw. For example, a scanner's CCD rarely provides you with 100 percent high-quality data from a scan. Some of the data is going to be corrupted by noise or scanning artefacts. Scanning at a higher bit-depth enables the scanner software to choose the best 24 bits of colour, and discard any unwanted pixels that might degrade the quality of the image. This is best done by the scanner software during the pre-scan phase of the operation.

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Sun, Aug 5th - 12:53AM

Image Resolution - (the important part before any Photo restoration can begin)

Image Resolution and photo restoration. Part 1/2

Before we start restoring photographs we really need to understand printing resolution so we know how big our final photo restoration can be printed

The amount of times I have received support calls or requests for information on the ins and outs of printing resolution. I have read many an articles and to be frank none of the put it very simply. Here is my version.

You own a printer and you own a digital camera or have some digital images you wish to print just how big can you print and still have it look good. Well it amounts to several factors but the best one is whatever looks good to you. This sounds very amateurish and am sure some of you might wince at my short answer, but really if you are happy with the result then that’s an important factor. But if you are not happy then maybe you are viewing it too close, viewing distance is also another factor. Seriously do you look at an A3 picture from 10 inches away or do you stand back and admire the picture for what it is ? Well you should view it from a distance that is right for the size of image. If you’re too close then you may see the digital artefacts or pixels that the image is made up from, this is most likely to happen on larger photos than 10x8 inches or on posters

Printers often have an enormous printing resolution of for example 4800x 2400 dpi, dots per inch. You can immediately get confused if you try and equate this with the resolution of you image, for example your cameras resolution is 2816 x 2120 or 6 million pixels, so if you print the image using the printers maximum res. Then surely your image will appear less than an inch big ?? well yes but that is not what should happen. You cannot literally equate the two devices in this way, ill explain

Commercial printing presses used to publish books etc always request images at 300dpi as that what works for them, actually this is a good optimum printing resolution for us too, and this can be used as a base for our printing equation. Simply what ever your image is in size it can be printed at 300 dpi. Well actually its ppi or pixels per inch, as you camera or image is digital and in pixels, not dots like a printer. For example even a 640 x 480 resolution image can be 300 dpi but will only measure just over 2 x 1 inches achieved by simply dividing the dots per inch into the pixel size of the image. When we get larger images such as 2816 x 2120 we can see that at the optimum printing resolution of 300 dpi we spread those pixels over 300 pixels per inch and get a image size on paper of 9.4 x 7 inches.

There will be more in part two when ive finished writing it!

Keep Reading !! Neil

Photo restoration at

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Sun, Aug 5th - 12:45AM

Photo Restoration
Photo Restoration. Photo restoration at there and welcome to my world of Photo Restoration where you can find out how to restore old images and repair photographs using Photoshop. I will of course help out with discussing some fundamentals of image resolution and techniques used for restoring old photos. I hope this will be an informative and educational as well as some friendly chatter about photography.

Photo Restoration example

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