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Need some advice enhancing an old B&W photo


RedDwarf4Ever

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Have managed to repair and enhance many old photos, but this one just seems to not want to be improved, tried various adjustment layer tools etc.....
all i need is pointing in the right direction please, even tried exposure but just didnt help

I have attached the original and my effort so far, I dont want a free edit just advice, the left eye didnt look good so i duplicated the right eye....am i going the right way, is there anything i can do

i think i can improve the forehead a little, but theres such little detail it must be easy to delete it, looking at it again, the eye doesnt look right, maybe im better off repairing it, also the tear mark could be better, these i can work on, it was just the general depth and contrast thats lacking

Just a questuon, why arnt TIFF files allowed but PNG are ???ORIG.pngSome Mods.png

thanks
 

Rich54

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Here's a thought for the stain over the eye. Many of the images that you've recently posted are black & white, but they have colored stains on them. One approach that can work in many situations like this is to use a Black & White adjustment layer. Then experiment with the different color sliders to see which one (or combination) will work on the stain.

In this case, I opened a B&W adjustment and then adjusted the Red channel to a setting of 170. This, all by itself, got rid of 90% of the stain. From here, you can further repair the eye using the brush tool or clone stamp.

1659997005317.png
 

Rich54

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thank you.will give that go, any thoughts on improving the contrast / definition?

Two Levels adjustments would be a good start to improve the contrast. The first one would adjust the overall image. Using the Histogram as a guide, move the black slider to the right, either at or near where the first dark pixels show up in the histogram (where the red arrow is pointing). Once you've set the blacks, you can adjust the midtone slider to lighten some of the midtones if you feel they're too harsh.

1660000684015.png



The second Levels adjustment would address the blown-out portions of the face:
  • Create a new Levels adjustment layer.
  • Move the midtone slider to the right until the blown-out part of the face starts to improve. Don't worry that it has now made the blacks too dark—just focus on the left side of the face.
  • Once you've got the settings where you like them, fill the layer mask entirely with black.
  • Using a soft brush with Flow set to about 5%, very gradually brush with white into the layer mask to darken the left side of the face. The low flow setting allows you a lot of control to gradually feather-in the darkening. Something like this:

1660000636549.png
 

nurgle

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thank you.will give that go, any thoughts on improving the contrast / definition?
that is a touchy subject. I NEVER touch the white or black aim point in levels, and onlu use perceptual contrat by managin the curves. I attended a photographic convention held by Kodak on "Contrast" (in film0 bases) in 1976... called "What color is Black" it changed my lif as a Professional Photographers. when you look into almost all B&W photos, there actual is no Blacks at all, just levels of deeper & deeper Greys to the point they visually look black. touching the White and Black point "Forces" blacks and white into a photo. hence they are VERY hard to get out, and using Hilight/Shadow control does tone them down a little as i did in my quick example. in photography, this is called a "H&D Curve" (reversed in photoshop) after Hurter & Dritfield, photographic researchers in the 1880's did a major work on sensitomtery of photographic emulsions (I owned an original copy of their book) , and a lot of what they did was used when Kodak started manufacturing. may sound very confusing. but works for me. then with photoshop, to each his own methods. Regards, Sandy



Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 11.16.27am.jpgshadow hilight lifted.jpg
 
Last edited:

RedDwarf4Ever

Well-Known Member
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Two Levels adjustments would be a good start to improve the contrast. The first one would adjust the overall image. Using the Histogram as a guide, move the black slider to the right, either at or near where the first dark pixels show up in the histogram (where the red arrow is pointing). Once you've set the blacks, you can adjust the midtone slider to lighten some of the midtones if you feel they're too harsh.

View attachment 131831



The second Levels adjustment would address the blown-out portions of the face:
  • Create a new Levels adjustment layer.
  • Move the midtone slider to the right until the blown-out part of the face starts to improve. Don't worry that it has now made the blacks too dark—just focus on the left side of the face.
  • Once you've got the settings where you like them, fill the layer mask entirely with black.
  • Using a soft brush with Flow set to about 5%, very gradually brush with white into the layer mask to darken the left side of the face. The low flow setting allows you a lot of control to gradually feather-in the darkening. Something like this:

View attachment 131830
Thanks, that’s quite a technique, not one I’ve tried before, but the good thing is I can’t do any damage, it’s the only way to learn, thank you
 

IamSam

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Just a questuon, why arnt TIFF files allowed but PNG are ???
It's not that TIFF files aren't allowed - they're usually too large to post here....
Correct.


Possibly @IamSam can clarify...
TIFF format is usually far too large and there are only 12 out of 44 browsers that support TIFF files. Of those 12, only 3 are commonly used browsers with some of these requiring addons or extensions for TIFF. But the main reason why we don't utilize TIFF is due to excessive file size. Any and all TIFF files can be hosted and linked to this forum or zipped, but we will not be adding TIFF to the list of files this forum allows it's members to upload.
 

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