In this guide I am using a very old photograph (about 50 years old) of my family. My brother took a picture of this picture to digitize it. The following steps and commentary take you through a process I used to enhance the photograph which uses many of the PSP features previously covered in earlier guides. I will only be displaying the original and the finished photograph. I encourage you to use a photograph and go through similar steps (and use any PSP approach wanted) to enhance old photographs.
First let's look over this photograph to identify some of the results wanted to develop a plan.
- The photograph is both aged and somewhat dirty.
- There are a number of noticeable scratches through out the photograph.
- The photograph is not as clear or sharp as I would like.
- The photograph is quite noisy (zoom it to view).
- The border is not symmetrical.
- From left to right top row: my brother Larry and myself at around age 15.
- Bottom row: my mother, my brother Tom and my father.
- Living room in our home in Lake Forest, Illinois
- The goal is to create a sharp black and white photograph.
- Although I knew I needed to fix the scratches and other defects in the photograph, I wanted to first see how the Auto Fix (Smart Photo Fix) would work. At default settings the photograph did sharpen up a bit and I realized it was an old colored photograph. However, auto fix still left the photograph with its beige hue.
- I decided I would make it a black and white photograph. So, I used Saturation switch (set to zero to desaturate the picture) and tweaked the Focus switch to sharpen the photograph. At this point I found the photograph much more to my liking.
- I then used the Crop tool to fix the border width to create a symmetrical border.
- The major work 0f fixing the photograph was the use of the Clone Tool, the Scratch Remover and on occasion the smudge tool. Most of the work was done with the Clone tool and often changing the brush size, its Thickness to fit a particular area such as the border and keeping the hardness and opacity at lower values with Continuous not checked.
Although the Scratch Remover would work in certain areas (one sets the area to clone by drawing a box and then applying it) there where too many different colored areas to have the Scratch Remover work well.
The Object Remover worked fairly well on the border because I could first draw a rectangular area and then set the area to a small portion of the border.
However, for the most part the Clone tool was the best for me to use to clean up scratches on the main portion of the photograph. This cloning process took a lot of time and patience as the areas often to be fixed where small. I usually zoomed the photograph to have a more accurate picture of the area I was fixing. At times I would use the Smudge Tool, just smudging very small areas at a time to smooth over some of the cloning that left marks.
- Once satisfied with the cloning process, I then finished up the photograph using the Sharpening Retouch Tool to just touch up the faces. The final retouch was to use the Clarify feature to give the photograph a bit more definition.
- When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
- Name or Screen Name.
- Web Site URL.
- Version of PSP using.
- List of Tutorials completed.
- Post your Work:
- List what you did, feature, options used, values.
- Indicate steps taken and results.
- Indicate things you found interesting, worthwhile and any other comments.
- Comment on any particular techniques you used or discovered, any particular results you found perhaps by accident and any ideas you have for creating a particular result.
- Post any questions and comments in the SLP Forum.
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