Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Photo Restoration 2

A second photo restoration challenge was presented by the following image scanned with a consumer grade table top scanner and emailed to me. The photo was from my mother's photo album and was taken of her and her siblings when they were much younger than they are today.

The main challenges of the photo, were very heavy grain/noise and the overall darkness of the image, with a lack of detail in the shadows. I think the photo was taken at noonish as there are strong shadows under the eyes and under the caps. In addition, the photo (or at least the scan) is not critically sharp anywhere, so I was faced with a challenge to restore detail while trying to keep the noise from getting out of control. Most techniques which lead to greater sharpness or perceived sharpness will cause the already heavy grain/noise to be magnified.

About 1.5 hours of work, starting with cropping, noise reduction, followed by spot removal and then contrast/detail enhancement, and finally toning, led to the following image. The final image (this is a reduced for web version which has lost detail as a result of downsizing) should make a nice 4.5 x 3.5 print (trust me- it looks much nicer before being downsized for the web). It could of course be upsized to make a larger print, though I wouldn't push this image too far... I also made a more extravagant framed version which you see below. This could be suitable for a legacy print hanging on a salon wall.

No comments: