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Any ideas on how to shoot/post process this?

This is a discussion on Any ideas on how to shoot/post process this? within the Digital photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; A buddy of Mike's has a photo he is hoping can be photographed and restored. It looks to me like ...

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    QuietOne is offline Senior Member
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    Default Any ideas on how to shoot/post process this?

    A buddy of Mike's has a photo he is hoping can be photographed and restored. It looks to me like touching up the tears would be easy to clone, and the autocorrect would probably do a fine job on freshening up the color. The problem is (and I didn't know this until I saw it) that it was originally mounted in a bubble type frame. There is cardboard backing it, fairly sturdy, so I don't think it can be flattened without damaging the surface. I'm assuming a skilled PSer could combine shots taken at multiple angles and do some distortion correction. Any suggestions on angles to take photos of, and how to feed it into PSE 12 in a way that doesn't leave me bald? I think he'd be happy with a photo taken head on and retouched, but it would be nice to do a bit more if I could. (Sorry for the quick shots and the mess in the background. As usual, I'm trying to do a dozen things at once)

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    I have no suggestions, but I do love the photo. I like the colour too. Has it been hand-painted?

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    QuietOne is offline Senior Member
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    Hard to say for sure. There's a stamp on the back, and it has the feel of "traveling pony" type photography, maybe for a central company. Definitely tinted, but I'm not sure if it was done on this picture or done before, then reprinted for the final product. I'm not too familiar with the practices of the era. The current owner is around 60. The girl in the photo is his grandmother and her brother, so it's probably, what, somewhere between late 1920s to mid 1930s? The damage goes all the way through - it's taped together on the back. He says when his mother divorced his stepfather, the stepfather ripped it out of the frame and tried to tear it up. Under the circumstances, the damage isn't bad. I'll stare at it a bit longer. He's away on a trip for the next month or so, and says there isn't a hurry.

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    How big is it ? If it were mine I'd place it on a decent scanner at at least 300dpi (or as high as the scanner will optically capture) and scan it. I wouldn't worry about the warping at this stage. Obviously leave the scanner lid up !

    Rather than allow an automated correction, I'd start things off with a curve layer, lowering especially the left hand portion of the curve to bring back the shadows. You may find that doing this brings a fair bit of the color back.

    This looks like it could be a fun project--though, yes, perhaps frustrating if you're not particularly adept in photo-editing programs.
    Last edited by christopher steven b.; 04-28-2014 at 03:55 PM.

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    QuietOne is offline Senior Member
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    Definitely too big for my scanner - it's about 20 in by 13 in. Whether I try for correcting the curves or not, that probably means I'm setting it on the floor and shooting straight down. Might be time for a test shot to see what I can do with it.

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    I'd like to see the colour on the plate and the background BW - that would work well to my eye.
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    An option to consider once I have a couple of files to work with, Marko. Don't know if I can get to it this weekend (airconditioner is being replaced tomorrow, friends coming over Saturday afternoon, which means we'll spend the morning swamping the house). Once I have something to work with, where it doesn't look odd because the original is curved, then I can play with settings.

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