Author Topic: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?  (Read 2435 times)

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« on: Thursday 04 May 17 15:07 BST (UK) »
Hi all,

I'd like to learn more about how to digitally restore old photographs. For my own photos but also to contribute more to Rootschat. Google shows various online resources for this and there's plenty I still need to read and practice. But I wonder whether you have some good tips on how and where to start learning? Are there books/websites/video's/online courses that you've found valuable?

I found a previous thread on this topic from 2007 but many of the links in restoration are now 'dead'.

As an amateur photographer I use Adobe Lightroom for 'adjusting' 95% of the digital photo's I want to keep. For the other 5% (for which I need to use multiple layers), I use Photoshop. I'm reasonably competent in using both programs along with various 'plug-ins' for additional filters/enhancements. So I'm not looking for advice on basic software. I'm more interested in how to apply these kinds of programs/filters/enhancements in restoring old photographs.  I've already bookmarked a couple of websites but I'd welcome any tips/links from experienced restorers.

Thanks in advance,

Mike
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.

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Offline Handypandy

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 05 May 17 20:30 BST (UK) »
Lots of tutorials on youtube to get some ideas but there is no substitute for just practising and finding what works best for you. Also, what works well on one pic, doesn't necessarily always work on another. For repairs, I tend to use the healing and cloning tools at various opacities, I also work with layers quite a bit, so if something isn't going my way I can delete it and start again without losing the bits that I've already done.
I'm relatively new to it all too, still trying to learn.... I've only just scratched the surface (so to speak  ;D

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Offline a-l

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 05 May 17 20:37 BST (UK) »
Lots of tutorials on youtube to get some ideas but there is no substitute for just practising and finding what works best for you. Also, what works well on one pic, doesn't necessarily always work on another. For repairs, I tend to use the healing a
nd cloning tools at various opacities, I also work with layers quite a bit, so if something isn't going my way I can delete it and start again without losing the bits that I've already done.
I'm relatively new to it all too, still trying to learn.... I've only just scratched the surface (so to speak  ;D
But he does marvellous work  ;D  ;D

Offline artisann

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 05 May 17 20:49 BST (UK) »
Lots of tutorials on youtube to get some ideas but there is no substitute for just practising and finding what works best for you. Also, what works well on one pic, doesn't necessarily always work on another. For repairs, I tend to use the healing and cloning tools at various opacities, I also work with layers quite a bit, so if something isn't going my way I can delete it and start again without losing the bits that I've already done.
I'm relatively new to it all too, still trying to learn.... I've only just scratched the surface (so to speak  ;D)
Brilliant work... ;D ;D

Offline Xinia :)

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 05 May 17 23:16 BST (UK) »
Good Eyes, Patience, and a steady hand.  Are helpful.

I used to always do restores on here, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  But the old eyes gave up ...

I used Photoshop  an old version and always made a copy before starting ... cos then if I messed up I could start again. 


My problem was I used to want to 'play'  and after a ... reasonable restore, I would then alter and move things about etc.   It was all good fun..  but really took up space that was needed for serious restores/ers 

here is one I played with .... oh dear... sorry :)   

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=580283.msg4320865#msg4320865

xin

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 06 May 17 10:07 BST (UK) »
Lots of tutorials on youtube to get some ideas but there is no substitute for just practising and finding what works best for you. Also, what works well on one pic, doesn't necessarily always work on another. For repairs, I tend to use the healing and cloning tools at various opacities, I also work with layers quite a bit, so if something isn't going my way I can delete it and start again without losing the bits that I've already done.
I'm relatively new to it all too, still trying to learn.... I've only just scratched the surface (so to speak  ;D)
Good advice - thanks for this! Your work is excellent!
I'll watch some of the video's and practice more.
Mike
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 06 May 17 10:38 BST (UK) »
Good Eyes, Patience, and a steady hand.  Are helpful.

I used to always do restores on here, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  But the old eyes gave up ...

I used Photoshop  an old version and always made a copy before starting ... cos then if I messed up I could start again. 

My problem was I used to want to 'play'  and after a ... reasonable restore, I would then alter and move things about etc.   It was all good fun..  but really took up space that was needed for serious restores/ers 

here is one I played with .... oh dear... sorry :)   

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=580283.msg4320865#msg4320865

xin

Sorry to hear that you're no longer able to do restores, xin. The 'opening the eyes' is amazing! I don't think I'd attempt that. I like your version - her eyes look natural and you've brought out much more colour than in the original. I'm not yet sure I have the patience to do serious work. Time will tell.
Photo restorers may re-use and improve on my posted versions. Acknowledgement appreciated.

Offline dafydd46

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 06 May 17 20:49 BST (UK) »
Perhaps it would be helpful if people were to itemise the steps they have taken during restoration of a photograph, then we could all learn from each other.

dafydd46.

Offline Treetotal

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Re: To restorers: tips for learning how to restore old photographs?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 06 May 17 23:44 BST (UK) »
I lighten the photo first to pick up background detail before repairing in order to preserve the info that is there. If one side of the image has missing or damaged detail such as an eye or an arm, I flip the photo and save with a different file name, bring the image back into the editor then clone the good area from the copy onto the damaged area of the original. Also...I use the dodge tool to whiten eyes and teeth and the burn tool to darken uneven or faded areas of the darker tones. There are no short cuts and there is no substitute for experience which comes with time.
Whatever method you use doesn't matter as long as you enjoy what you do and learn from your mistakes.
I have binned many restores along the way but learned a lot too. It takes a lot of practise and patience but well worth the effort when you  get results.
We all see things differently and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another so try not to compare your work to what others have produced.

Carol
CAPES Hull. KIRK  Leeds, Hull. JONES  Wales,  Lancashire. CARROLL Ireland, Lancashire, U.S.A. BROUGHTON Leicester, Goole, Hull BORRILL  Lincolnshire, Durham, Hull. GROOM  Wishbech, Hull. ANTHONY St. John's Nfld. BUCKNALL Lincolnshire, Hull. BUTT Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. PARSONS  Western Bay, Newfoundland. MONAGHAN  Ireland, U.S.A. PERRY Cheshire, Liverpool.
 
RESTORERS:PLEASE DO NOT USE MY RESTORES WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION - THANK YOU