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Digital Elite Team Artist
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Location: Midwest, USA

New to Me January: Quick Easy Photo Fix

Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:43 pm

All of us have old photos in our files that frankly should be deleted because the photo is so worn, dark, faded or has an ill looking color cast, etc.

Well, before you give it the nose dive into the trash can, here's a quick way to determine if the photo is salvageable.

1. I'm starting with a photo taken in the early 80's with a very inexpensive camera.
Before-photo.jpg (77.98 KiB) Viewed 114 times

2. Click on the Layer Adjustments icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Levels.
Levels.jpg (31.51 KiB) Viewed 114 times

3. Click on Auto Levels
Auto-Levels.jpg (23.53 KiB) Viewed 114 times

4. Adjust the Mid Tones with the middle slider if needed. (Mine photo was too dark after Auto Levels, so I moved the middle slider to the left) Then close the Levels Layer
Adjust-Level-Mid-Tones.jpg (26 KiB) Viewed 114 times

5. The Levels Adjustment layer is notorious for over saturating the color in your photo. You can correct this by changing the layer blend mode to Luminosity instead of Normal. Or...the better way with more control over the individual colors, choose the Hue/Saturation adjustment.
Hue-Saturation-Adjustment.jpg (33.37 KiB) Viewed 114 times

6. Adjust the individual colors as needed.

7. Next click on the Layer Adjustments icon and this time choose Curves.
Curves-adjustment-layer.jpg (32.06 KiB) Viewed 114 times

8. DO NOT MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS. Click on the X to close Curves without making any adjustments.
Curves-no-adjustments.jpg (31.18 KiB) Viewed 114 times

9. Change the Curves layer blend mode to Screen.
Screen-Layer-Blend-Mode.jpg (59.4 KiB) Viewed 114 times

10. Click on the Curves Layer Mask and fill it with black.
Fill-Layer-Mask-with-black.jpg (7.84 KiB) Viewed 114 times

11. Click on the Color Picker and choose a medium gray
Color-Picker-medium-gray.jpg (55.2 KiB) Viewed 114 times

12. With a soft brush, brush all the areas that need to be lighter. Return to the Color Picker and adjust the amount of grayness to make it brighter or darker.

13. If your photo does not need to be more bright, but needs to be darkened, then instead of choosing Screen in Step # 9, choose Multiply.
Then continue with the Step 10.

14. At this point should be able to tell if your photo is worth saving.

If it is, you can add additional adjustment layers. For my photo I added a Brightness/Contrast layer for his sweatshirt and used BOTH Curves with the Screen Blend and one with Multiply Blend for the trees in the background.

Here is my finished photo. Albeit not perfect in many ways, I did bring it back to life a bit and I may come back to it with other ideas on how to further modify it.
Before-photo.jpg (77.98 KiB) Viewed 114 times
After-photo.jpg (93.61 KiB) Viewed 114 times

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Digital Elite Team Artist
Posts: 2781
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:39 pm
Location: 200 miles away, in any direction, from a large city.

Re: New to Me January: Quick Easy Photo Fix

Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:50 pm

Another excellent tutorial for something I do not know how to do!! Love it! :D

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Gold Bird
Posts: 1948
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:11 am

Re: New to Me January: Quick Easy Photo Fix

Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:26 am

Heck, I haven't made my ribbons...

Been quite a Christmas. John must have caught a cold from his granddaughter before Christmas. He missed going over to family Christmas Day and next day took him to Urgent Care. Gave him antibiotics and other meds. He is finally feeling better. I went back to doctor about pneumonia and need to continue meds. Add a UTI to it, and new brace for knee I think I have all the bases covered.

Really neat thing was a stocking in my stocking. I opened it and was a coupon with a baby buggy on it. Said good for one new Grandchild - Redeem August 2017. No one else knew about it, not every mother or father. I read it out loud and everyone jumped up and said WHAT... Made me cry.... :D :agree:

Where are you now Tbear, I don't know if you are coming to going in the granny mobile. :think:

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