Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photoshop wonderful to Grandmother's rescue!

Here is my poor tattered grandmother before the wonders of Photoshop ~

The same hand colored image photographed in a huge improvised red neck light box ~

And here is the image after the wonders of Photoshop ~

Well, now that looks a lot better!   Do you have a tattered torn old photo that you want to restore with Photoshop?  Here are a few simple things I learned along the way - in not so technical terms - although knowing a few basics will help.
  • Start with a really good photograph with a very high resolution.  In other words, pack that baby with tons of pixels.  The more little pixels pokey dots that you have, the smoother the overall appearance will be when your project is finished.
  • Use a light box to eliminate shadows and reflection.  I totally invented one because I didn't have anything big enough for this hand colored photograph.  I used a white heavy canvas hung up by the window.  I propped up the photograph and held one side of the canvas in place while I took one-handed pictures using the light from the window.  I told you it was really red-neck.  It worked, though.  See how there is bright white where the rips in the canvas are?  And notice that the reflections are all gone?  Okay.  red-neck works sometimes!
  • You will use the 'clone brush' for this project.  Where it is, depends on what version of Photoshop you have and how you have everything set up.  Ummm.... for really technical stuff, look in your manual...  please...
  • When you pick your brush thingy to clone with, pick one with fuzzy edges.  That will make the overlapping edges look smoother. 
  • Adjust the transparency of your brush thingy so that it is not 100%.  Play with it to see what looks best. 
  • Watch where your brush is going.  I spent a lot of time undoing stuff because my brush had traveled to a completely different place and the resulting color was totally not what I wanted.
  • Take your time.  If you get bored, walk away from your project and come back later.  The temptation is to get a bigger and bigger brush to hurry through the boring parts, but that just makes it look funky.
  • And, remember to have fun!
I had a lot of fun restoring this image of my grandmother and it was easier than I thought it would be.  Do you have an old photo hiding in the drawer?  Take it out and have a little fun!  Lots of these hints can be applied to other photo editing programs, too.  Are you going to do it?


Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10


  1. The pic looks fantastic! Great job :o)
    I did one of my mom that was fairly discolored and spotted.
    Thanks for sharing your tips and experience.

    xox, Daff

  2. Your grandmother is beautiful! I do not have photoshop and things like this confuse me. You did a wonderful job with the restoration it looks flawless.

  3. Thanks, Daffy - bet you had fun doing that!

    Thanks FusedGlass!

    Thanks, Marlene =)

  4. this is a great tutorial and I love the canvas against the window. Great work and I will try it for some when I unpack them. thanks for this.
    peace n abundance,

  5. Thanks and your're welcome, CheyAnne!

  6. Amazing! What an awesome picture to have of your grandmother.

  7. This is fantastic. I have a picture of my grandmother that got torn up and have it stored in a bag to be restored sometime. I never thought to just scan it in and try to edit it myself. Thanks for the tips!

  8. That turned out wonderful! I don't have any torn photos but now I want to play in Photoshop anyway!

  9. Jennifer - she won a beautiful child contest and her photo was used to advertise soap. They gave this hand colored photo to her mother.

    Thanks, Steve - It was fun and I liked how it turned out.

    tamdoll - this one was too big to scan so I had to photograph it. Either way works well. Have fun!

    LOL, Beaded - you can do the reverse and make a new photo look old ;-) That's lots of fun, too.

  10. You have the most beautiful grandmother that I have ever seen! :)

  11. Thank you, Linda - that is very sweet! She was beautiful inside and out =)

  12. Wow you did a wonderful job restoring it! What a beautiful picture!

  13. Thanks, Pam - it was lots of fun to do.

  14. Thanks, Splendid! It was fun to work on this and see the photograph return to what it was originally.

  15. Thanks, Kathy. Now I can practice something that's more fun than cleaning!

    1. LOL - You are welcome! And, yes - lots more fun than cleaning!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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