A little Photoshop Before and After

photo restoration | CT photoshop retouching

Recently while going through an old hard drive to find a past wedding, I came across some folders from a LONG time ago. This one was a nice surprise as it contained a rather extensive retouching job I did that I had sort of completely forgotten about. In fact, after looking at it, it even kind of surprised ME as to how well I thought it turned out!

Photo restoration of this fashion is in a lot of ways more like PAINTING than a photo project. You’re not only trying to clone and fill in spots that are missing or damaged, but you’re creating areas out of nowhere that in some cases simply no longer exist. Sometimes you’re taking an ear, flipping it over and creating a new one. Often that’s the same with eyes. Perhaps repeating a missing wallpaper pattern. How do you do that and not have it look creepy or artificial? You’re often working on the photo zoomed into well over 100%-200%, so the work you do is in tiny increments – chipping away at each rip or pen mark with pixels from the surrounding areas.

I find projects like this simultaneously fun and frustrating. The fun is making something bad ‘go away’ – filling in that gap or hole that is ruining the photo and making it look complete once again. The frustration comes when you encounter a spot that needs repair and you’re just not sure WHERE to draw the information from to fill it in…it can make you nuts!!! It’s always delicate balance between realism and art, realizing that these photos have great meaning to the people involved. In a weird way you’re not only preserving their history, but bringing it back for them in a small way.

And that’s something very special to be able to do for people.


a zoom in on the ‘before’ image



1 Comment

  1. Quratulain Binte Khalid on December 4, 2016 at 10:07 am

    I’m sure it can get really frustrating when you can’t find where to get the detail from to fill the spot you wan’t to fix. I recently fixed a photograph of my mum and dad (taken at the beach just on the third day after their wedding) and enlarged it and sent it to them as their 35th Anniversary gift. They loved it which made it totally worth all the effort put it!

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