This Tutorial published at http://www.retouchpro.com

Enhancing Details In Unevenly Faded Pictures
Posted by: Flora on 12-31-1969.

"A tutorial on 'bringing out' faded details (Photoshop 7)"

What I learnt working with Photoshop is that there is never 'only one' or even a 'best method' to achieve a particular result...

The only two 'golden rules' I follow scrupulously are:

  • Never work on the original.
  • Try just about every method or technique you can think of.

Trying to bring out details (provided some details exist)  in pictures presenting uneven faded areas, makes no exception  and, in this tutorial,  I'd like to show what I usually do to achieve it, with this photo which Joseph , kindly, allowed me to use.

As they tend to increase the Saturation as well, the methods I use, work best on Black and White or Sepia toned Pictures.


Method 1:  CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYER

This method is the 'softest' and the one I use on Colour Pictures as well.

  • (1)  Open and Duplicate the original Image.

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  • (2) Click on 'Create a new Fill or Adjustment Layer' at the bottom of the Layer Palette and, on the cascading Menu, choose 'Curves'.

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  • (3) Apply the following :

 

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  • (4)  If The already darker parts of the image get too dark, you can always restore them back to the original (like I did with areas of Marion's dress, hair, etc.) using a 'fuzzy' Brush (Opacity = 40%) and painting Black on the White Layer Mask.

 

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  • (5)  At this point, if you want to Merge your Layers without losing any of the steps of your correction, with the top Layer active (highlighted),
    1. Create a new Empty Layer,
    2. Keeping the Alt (Option) key pressed, select  'Merge Visible' from the Layers Palette Menu.

 

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Before&After 1


 

Method 2:  LUMINOSITY MASK
  • (1)  Starting from the same duplicated Original, press Ctrl+Alt+~ (Mac = Cmd+Option+~) to create a Luminosity Mask,  feather your selection by pressing Ctrl+Alt+D (Mac = Cmd+Option+D) enter the desired value (I usually go for 2-4 Pixels Radius) and press Ctrl+J (Mac = Cmd+J) to copy your selection on its own Layer.

TIP : If you'd like to see the Luminosity-Mask you've just created, keeping the Alt (Option) key pressed, click on the 'eye' on the left of your Luminosity-Mask Layer. To go back to the composite view, repeat the procedure.

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(2)   Change the Layer Blending to Multiply. 

If necessary, create a Layer Mask by clicking on 'Add Layer Mask' at the bottom of the Layer Palette and paint on it as described in point (4) of 'Method 1:  CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYER'.

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The result of this method is slightly 'stronger' than the one achieved using the CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYER.
Saturation can be corrected by creating a new 'Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer' and decreasing the Saturation. 

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Before&After 2


Method 3:  CHANNEL MASK

To create a Channel Mask, I followed the instructions of Mig 's excellent Tutorial "Channel Mask & Selective Sharpening"

  • (1) Starting from the same duplicated Original, click on the Channels tab, choose and activate the Channel with the highest contrast (in this case the Red Channel), keeping the Left Mouse Button pressed, drag it on 'Create a new Channel) at the bottom of the Channels Palette.

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  • (2) Working on the 'Red Copy' Channel, open the 'Levels' dialog box by pressing Ctrl+L (Cmd+L) and move the sliders to further increase the contrast.
     

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  • (3) Keeping the Ctrl (Cmd) key pressed, click on the 'Red Copy' Channel to select its highlights.

 

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  • (4) Click on the 'Layers' tab and on the 'Background' to go back to the composite view, ,  feather your selection by pressing Ctrl+Alt+D (Mac = Cmd+Option+D) enter the desired value (I usually go for 2-4 Pixels Radius) and press Ctrl+J (Mac = Cmd+J) to copy your selection on its own Layer.



  • (5) Change the Layer Blending to Multiply.  

If necessary, create a Layer Mask by clicking on 'Add Layer Mask' at the bottom of the Layer Palette and paint on it as described in point (4) of 'Method 1:  CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYER'. 

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Before&After 3
 
The results achieved using these three methods individually, vary slightly in intensity ....

 

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.... which can be increased or decreased by 'playing' with Layer Duplication, Blending and Opacity.

... As you can see from the Before&After Images, with any of these three methods, the contours of Marion's lovely features (nose, lips, eyes, eyebrows, etc.) are more visible and make the start for a restoration easier.








This Tutorial published at http://www.retouchpro.com