What's new
Photoshop Gurus Forum

Welcome to Photoshop Gurus forum. Register a free account today to become a member! It's completely free. Once signed in, you'll enjoy an ad-free experience and be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Highlight advice needed


Need you advice guys how you deal with blown out detail...... I've ran across a few of these and they drive me loopy, blow out detail from age, this one is close to 60 yrs old and with time and neglect its going to be a a loo loo to get it to look right on the girls dress (left).....So I'm struggling no more and asking you guys what do you do to merge lack of detail with color to get it looking right?



Desat and repairs so far

Three group Pic.jpg
Sorry to disappoint you Pipsmom but pure white (or black for that matter) doesn't contain any information.
Thanks Eggy, yes I have read that many times here...kinda like you cant make a omelet without the egg.:biglaff:

What do you do in cases like this...find another dress or shade in color to give the illusion the dress exists
That's a possibility but also a whole lot more work to find something fitting and unless you really really want this done, otherwise I would stop the project and preserve digitally what I have...:cry:
Hi Pipsmom,

One possibility is to go back to the original and use a different imaging technique. If in the original image there is even the subtlest amout of detail buried in the highlights, then there is hope of extracting it from the image.

Close examination of the compressed JPEG suggest that there is detail yet to be had by better scanning techniques

1) Scan with 16 bit mode and post process in 16 bit mode to see if detail can be brought back out
2) Scan with a scanner/scanner software that allows changing the actual exposure time (length of time exposing the image). This can be used to center the exposure aournd the highlights as a second image and use HDR techniques to combine the two images and restore some details. Some scanning software will do multi-scan HDR for you (or a service provider)
3) Have the image photographed on a copy stand where the exposure is controlled by the lighting and camera

In a worst case if there truly is not detail in the original, there is not that can be done to recover any detail information then you can employ creative alternatives e.g. fill of some sort to make the loss of detail not so noticeable.

Just a suggestion

John Wheeler
Thank you John.......Unfortunately all 14 that came in were sent to me by email from the States and I told her anything she copied to scan them at 300dpi so I got maximum detail so what I got ......is all I got :cry:
This one is actually better than some as they were scans of a slides...I got little ways to hint at shape and form just it takes me a long time and thought I might be doing it all wrong and there might be a better way.
Thank you so much for your answer as I found that to be excellent recommendations
Hi Pipsmom,

Not too much that can be done with the present images.

One other tidbit when requesting images be scanned is that it is best if there are not JPEG (which is 8 bit and compressed) especially if large adjustments are required.

You are in a tough situation so hard to provided guidance. I have found that the first step in a tough situation is to "acknowledge reality" and the reality is that you have insufficient image data to do high quality restoration. Being honest with the customer is better than delivering something with which neither of you will be happy.

Just my opinion of course.

John Wheeler
I've been in that position before and know very well what your talking....... yet they are happy as Larry when the results are horrible and was told it wasn't suitable for restoration but they wanted me to at least attempt it.
Practice is what I need and they do supply me challenging pictures but I don't like it at all when they want me to do it anyway....like this one, she was told it was blown out and too much white with no information to go by yet she was over the moon how it turned out....I sit back pouting like a child saying .....I don't like it...I just don't like it.....I can do better than this



This is what I like and what I can do with the right imagine......when they turn out beautiful

Last edited:
this last photo is realy beautiful

maybe a solution for a few photo 's is to open them in camera raw even if they are jpg's
and there use all sliders to recover as much detail as possible
and then do the colorisation


  • p6.jpg
    632.2 KB · Views: 1
That's amazing what you did with the photograph....hopefully I will be as good as you are in the common years if I keep on following everyone's advice. Big thank you for the tip about camera raw...will give that a try today.