Photoshop – Picture Restoration

My advice for photo restoration is to know what your final product will be before you start working on it that way you know what you need to do to throughout your editing process. Of course, that can go for any project, but knowing what you are doing it for in this case can be extremely helpful.

As you can see, the picture has some problems: it was stuck to the frame, and the frame was cracked across the right side. The picture had a few torn spots, and apparently something got onto the picture long before I was able to get my hands on it to bring it to the digital world.

I originally scanned it at 600 DPI, which is probably the least amount I would recommend for photo restoration; you obviously want high DPI so you can get the best quality out of the image for your final product.

The process used to fix this picture was not a simple “click to fix this, and a click to fix that;” it was somewhat of a time consuming process making sure each click resulted in a positive appearance. (If you are an OCD graphic design nut like me, then you should understand that one!)

The primary Photoshop tool I used was the Spot Healing Brush (J is the shortcut key). And before you start using the tool, make sure to press ctrl+j (creates a duplicate layer) so you will always have something to fall back on if you mess up tremendously. And if you do not have the history window (Window > History) available, put it somewhere where you can access it because there is a 99.74373852184003% chance you will need it for photo restoration.

Here is the cracked glass after I worked on it with the healing brush:

You will need to adjust the healing brush to the size/settings that work best for your image. Most spots were fixed by using proximity match; however, I encountered one instance where that did not seem to work no matter what I did. On another image that seemed to have somewhat of a textured appearance, I found that the “create texture” selection needed to be used vs. proximity match. If you look at this woman’s face, I was able to bring it back to a more suitable appearance.

(Unfortunately, I did not duplicate this image before working on it to show her original appearance.)

Here is the final product I created:

Comments and questions are expected, so do not hesitate to share them!