Category Archives: Digital Art

A Restoration of Buddy’s Family Photo from 1899

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Final restoration “before and after”

It was my privilege to be asked to attempt a restoration of a very faded photo by my long-time friend and work associate Buddy. I did a couple of pencil/watercolor drawings for him many years ago and he called and wanted to know if I could do a restoration of treasured family photo taken in 1899 in front of his home place. Here are a few progress photos and the final restoration. I made 20 – 8″x10″ prints on archival paper with archival inks on my Epson 3880 printer which he will be giving to his family.

The original photo was scanned by his cousin at his house and uploaded to a Dropbox folder I created to transfer files:

Original 1899 photo scanned at 600 dpi.

I used the Photoshop Perspective Crop tool to remove the outer edge of the photo and clean up the framing.

Original scan cropped with the Photoshop Perspective Crop tool.

I first wanted to make sure the detail was there for me to even do the restoration, so I used a Photoshop Levels Layer to color-correct the photo. (I did a YouTube video of this process on a different photo. You can see this process here: https://youtu.be/eweMTaRN3qI – this is a restoration of a photo of my grandmother that I restored from one of her movie stills – she was in silent movies!) After seeing that Buddy’s photo really had a great deal of detail,  I told him it was going to be a nice restoration project! I could even see the pattern in the girls’ dresses which were probably made from the same cloth by a seamstress!

Color correction with Levels layer and minor cleanup for initial determination if it was salvageable.

The next step was to use the Curves tool to bring out the mid-range details. But there was still a good deal of discoloration and damage to the photo from dust, wrinkles and cracks on the surface.

Used Curves layer and additional cleanup to bring out mid-tones.

In order to eliminate the discoloration, I used the a Hue-Saturation layer with the “Colorize” button to replace the color in the photo with a consistent sepia tone. I used Hue at 41 and Saturation at 15 settings. This is a great setting for antique photos and keeps the original look and feel of the photo. I wanted to keep the look and texture of an aged photo without the distractions and damage that kept the faces unrecognizable. At this point I did quite a bit of very close-in  work with the Spot Healing brush, Clone Stamp, Content-Aware Move Tool and found that the Burn and Dodge tool was invaluable to bring up the very lightest of details in the faces. The pixel information was there and the Burn tool allowed me to enhance the darker shadows in the faces and the Dodge Tool allowed me to brighten the light areas of the faces.

Used Photoshop Hue and Saturation layer (Hue 41 and Saturation 15) with “Colorize” button checked

Here is the final restoration. I added some “fake sky” at the top by adding to the “canvas” and then used the “Content-Aware Move Tool” to move some of the existing (cleaned-up) sky up to the top and fill in the blank area with “real sky” so I could print an 8″x10″ on the printer. I used the Archival Matte paper IPP setting to use non-glossy inks with  Epson Premier Matte photo paper. If you have questions about the settings I used please send me a note and I will be glad to fill you in on what works for these older restorations. Finding out these settings has taken many hours of work over the years and many wasted tanks of ink and sheets of paper!

Cleaned up details, added some “fake sky” to allow 8×10 cropping. Final restoration printed 8″x10″ on Epson 3880 professional wide carriage printer (uses archival inks and I used archival Epson Premium Matte photo paper).

Here is the final “Before and After” photo:

Final restoration “before and after.”

 

Thanks Buddy! It was great being a part of bringing your family history to life!

Do you have a favorite photo you’d like to see about restoring? Please send me a message on the comment form on this post and I will get back with you!

 

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Susan’s Mom and Dad

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I did a photo restoration for Susan, my son-in-law’s mother, of her mom and dad. This was from a very small wallet sized photo she had that was quite damaged. I wanted to enlarge it to 5″x7″ and 8″x10″ and retain the somewhat grainy look of an old sepia toned photo. Here is a side-by-side before and after. I love doing this and bringing back the life and character of the person’s loved ones!

Susan’s Mom and Dad – before and after restoration.
Susan’s Mom and Dad – 8″x10″ – restoration with Photoshop CC 2017 printed on Epson Premium Matte Paper with Epson 3880 printer.
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A Fun Sketch of Abigail – 8’x10″ Photoshop CC with Digital Pencils

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A fun digital sketch of Abigail using Photoshop CC 2017. Abigail took a “selfie” with her iPhone and I decided to try out some new Photoshop CC brushes and actions.
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Meet my Nana! A photo restoration from her silent movie days…

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From an ad in 1920 of a movie my grandmother and her sister starred in when they were in their early 20’s.

My “Nana” was Francis Mann, who in her younger days starred in silent movies when the movie industry was located in New York. She and her sister, Alice Mann were both actresses in silent films with her sister becoming more well known with her roles as Fatty Arbuckle’s leading lady in films, acting alongside Buster Keaton.  One was “His Wedding Night” available on Youtube. (She is the blonde with the wavy hair that appears with Buster Keaton in the first scene and throughout the movie.) “Auntie Alice” and “Nana” as we called them later when they were our Great Aunt and Grandmother lived in Hollywood, Florida in the 60s and early 70s and we would visit regularly. We lived with our Nana when I was a senior in High School and we visited on weekends with Auntie Alice. Mom told us stories of Fatty Arbuckle and how he’d come to visit with their fellow actors on Sundays and Arbuckle was famous for his chili. Unfortunately, there was a scandal surrounding Fatty Arbuckle that destroyed his career. Mom always contended that there was no way he did what he was accused of and he was finally acquitted after three trials. (Link to story here).

Here is a still photo from a movie set featuring my grandmother Francis Mann and an unknown actor that I decided to restore:

This is the original photo in a scrapbook my mother kept of her mom – Francis Mann’s movie career (1917).

 

Francis Mann Movie Photo Restored using Photoshop CC 2017.

Here is a Youtube video showing the restoration process and the Photoshop tools used to rebuild the photo:

Stop by my Facebook page and Youtube channel and visit awhile!

 

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How to Create a Sepia Graphite Portrait in Photoshop (with tutorial video)

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A portrait of Ava done with Photoshop CC 2017. Printed on Epson Ultra Premium Matte Photo paper.

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A Video Tutorial on Capturing a Vintage Image from the Internet and Restoring It in Photoshop

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You can easily capture a vintage image from the internet and restore it with Photoshop and then create a Before-and-After photo. Here is a YouTube video I created showing how I did this restoration in about 10 minutes.

Here is a composite image of the restored image captured from Ancestry.com of Carol’s great-uncle Herman E. Carter.

Here is a short YouTube video showing how I captured and restored Corporal Carter’s photo and then created a side-by-side image of the restoration.

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Herman Carter – a WW1 Hero! A Restoration of His Posthumous Certificate of Honor from France

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This is my most ambitious photo restoration ever! I got this box of scraps from Carol’s mom from a drawer I opened when we helped her get ready for getting carpet installed. It is a posthumous memorial certificate for Herman Carter – Carol’s great uncle who was killed in World War 1 while sitting up in a tree. The war had just been declared over and the armistice signed, but the troops where he was didn’t know it (and the enemy didn’t know it). This is a labor of love and took many hours. The certificate was given by the French government to the U.S. soldiers who gave their life in the war and is signed by the president of France. I am not sure how to put the original back together but at least this print will be able to be framed nicely. I have tried to preserve the patina of the document. Also, it means a lot to me because my grandfather also fought in France in World War 1 and received the French Medal of Honor. I have the medal framed with the certificate which I got from my mom. My grandfather went to France when he was 17 and fought with the French before the U.S. entered the war. Maybe he and Herman knew each other! What brave men our country has had serving over many years and in many wars. And thank you to all the troops serving today!

This is the final 13"x19" Document restored from the torn and damaged original pieces.
This is the final 13″x19″ Document restored from the torn and damaged original pieces.
Original scanned pieces.
Original scanned pieces.

Here is a YouTube video of the restoration project. You can scan forward if you want to see how I put together the pieces and cleaned up the document for printing:

A before and after view of the Memorial Certificate issued in 1918 to the family of Herman E. Carter, killed in action in France on November 6th, 1918.
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Atlanta Gets a New Trump Tower

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2016TrumTowerinAtlanta
(Click image to enlarge) I did a weekly Photoshop challenge from the KelbyOne.com training team and was given an image of a tower to use. The challenge was to use it any way you want to make something interesting! I saw it and thought “no way!” but then remembered a photo I took of Atlanta at dusk from the parking deck at GPC where I used to work and decided to give it a try. I also decided to learn how to do the Perspective Warp and Puppet Warp tools in Photoshop CC to transform the tower into something that fit the skyline. I added some lights (the street lights were out when I took the picture) and tried to match the tones and mood, adding lights in the new hotel! BY THE WAY – You may have to click on the image to enlarge it to see the details…
ATLSkyline
Original Atlanta Skyline
Original image
Original image
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The Grandkids 2015

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A Christmas Present for My Family
A Christmas Present for My Family

This set of portraits of my grandkids was a gift to my two wonderful daughters and their families. I did an individual 5×7 print of the drawings done with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop 2015 and then montaged them together into a single print. These cousins are so close and have such a wonderful time when they all get together! Such a blessing!

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Distressed Bluebird

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Project for my Digital Nuts Yahoo group using iPhone Apps Distressed FX and Pic Grunger.
Project for my Digital Nuts Yahoo group using iPhone Apps Distressed FX and Pic Grunger.
BluebirdNuts
Original Image
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