Yet another photo restoration, this one will have two in it, as they are related, and one of them didn’t need a whole lot of work on it. So i’ll start with that one.

The first photo is a portrait of my grandmother Phyllis Sutherland. Its written on the back of the photo that it was taken when she was 17, in 1931 (i do like it when people write dates on the back, it makes things a whole load easier!)

I was given this photo to restore by my aunty pat (her daughter), who had previously had this photo “restored” and enlarged, I agree with the enlargement, it was definatley larger, but restored? it looked worse than the original, which, didn’t need much restoring at all!!

I am using Photoshop CS4 to restore these images, and scanned them with a pretty low res scanner, a canon canoscan lide 100.

This is a simply brilliant photo, unfortunatly, I don’t know where it was taken, but I believe that my grandma lived in nedderton at the time (although my facts could very easily be wrong), so it was probably taken by either a local photographer (bedlington, nedderton or morpeth), or, by my great grandfather, Albert Redfern who was a keen photographer throughout his lifetime (and, incidentally, my grandma, the woman in this photo, threw out all of his glass plate photographs when she moved house, as well as a silver tea set, the tea set was because she hated polishing it….)


Phyllis Sutherland - portrait

Phyllis Sutherland - portrait

As you can see, considering that this photo was taken 80 years ago, its in pretty great shape! there were a few bits of damage on it, but other than that, it didnt take much to clean it up, I corrected the colour, and sharpened it a little with the unsharpen mask tool and the black and white functions in photoshop, but other than that, a quick once over with the healing brush and it was done. here is the final result.

Phyllis Sutherland restored portrait

Phyllis Sutherland restored portrait

For the second image, this one took a LOT more work, was it was severely damaged, again, it was a professionally taken image, this time however it was easy to trace the image, as it was embossed with the photographers stamp. The stamp was the watermark of its day, while now people digitally add a name or logo to to the bottom of an image, in the days before photoshop people would emboss the actual image with their name. the name on this photo was “A.Primrose”, I don’t know anything about this photographer, and a google search came up with nothing, but, my aunty pat reckons that it was a photographer in Morpeth, and I’ll trust her, seen as shes in the photo! (and i’ve been led to beleive that my grandad worked in morpeth, so its not a great stretch of the imagination that the family would have spent time there).

here is the original image:

Phyllis, Eric & Pat Sutherland

Phyllis, Eric & Pat Sutherland

as you can see there is a great deal of damage to this photo, the corners especially, where it was most likely stuck into an album with “photo corners” a great invention, until that is you want to remove the photo from the album, when they become a real pain..

The first thing I did with this image was to correct the colour, taking it back to true black and white, then after that I sharpened it Im not sure if I like the sharpening, but I asked my dad to look at the before and afters,and he likes the sharpened one, so I continued from there.

The next step was to get rid of the damages, starting with the big scratches (like the one across eric’s chest area, and pat’s face.

These are over areas of detail that weren’t too difficult to remove, mainly using the clone tool, as they were far to big for the healing brush to be effective.

The next step was to zoom in and get rid of the tiny scratches, this took an absolute age, as there were hundreds, I gave up in the end, I could have went on and on, but i got the most of them.

I had to get rid of the name in the bottom right, I didn’t want to, I usually hate it when people try to remove “copyright” information from an image, but there was damage to the bottom right of the image that wouldn’t come off if I didn’t remove at least part of the watermark, so unfortunately it had to go. so, if A.Primrose is still alive (doubt that very much), I’d like to apologise, and technically, this image is probably still under their copyright, but im hoping they wont mind.

The background was a little tricky too, as it wasn’t a flat shade, and, the soft focus made the hair very difficult to pick out,
I tried to remove the figures from the background, but the focus was too soft, it was too difficult to completely remove the background, so I had to just repair it, as best as I could with my tired motivation and my clone tool. then adding a soft gaussian blur to the background to blend in my shoddy cloning.

Anyway, here’s the final result.

Phyllis, Eric, Pat Sutherland restored image

Phyllis, Eric, Pat Sutherland restored image

thanks for reading.


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