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Photo Restoration Techniques

Lesson 2 of 9

Photo Restoration Expectations

Dave Cross

Photo Restoration Techniques

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

2. Photo Restoration Expectations

Lesson Info

Photo Restoration Expectations

could you take an old photo and take a photo with your IPhone and restore it? You could, but to me, you're already starting with with two strikes against you, at least 1.5, because phones are getting better and better. And if that's the only alternative you have, then okay, But to me, if you're gonna do it right, you need good equipment. So I recently inherited a whole boxful of slides and old photos and just knew that I need to get a scanner because I had a really old scanner, didn't scan slides. So the one I have now does both slides and negatives and regular photos and more importantly, has a really high resolution that's capable of capturing because one things will talk about is when you want to capture a slide that's this big and print it this big. That takes a lot of resolution to enlarge it without losing quality. That's why slide scanners generally have a very high resolution for scanning for exactly that reason. But even small things like at first I was just like, Oh, it's jus...

t a old photos been in this envelope and I was just putting it in there. But then, as I went really closely, I realizing I was adding to the problem because my fingerprints were getting on the photos in some cases. So what's odd? Is it sounded? It seems silly to say this, but now I have a pair of what? In fact, I have quite a few pairs because apparently Amazon does not sell one pair. It only sells like a 12 pack. So anyone wants a pair of gloves. Um, it seems like a silly thing to do. But my theory was, if I can eliminate extra issues like if I open a photograph and go Oh, that glossy photo now has a fingerprint. I bet that's mine. If I could have avoided that, then that would make better sense to me. You can see in this photo else have one those little aerosol spray things for cleaning dust. And this was an eye opening thing for me. I just I had one anyway for my keyboard, and I went to scan a slide so you can see that box on the left hand side. These slides have been kept in this box that actually closes. So I thought these slides should be pretty well kept because I'm just been sitting outside. So I tried an experiment. I just randomly picked one slide out of this box, and I put it on my scanner and I stand it. Then I picked it up and I took the aerosol spray and I sprayed both sides of Scan it again and I'll show you in a second. The difference. And I was like, Wow, that just eliminated. Well, two important things. It eliminate a lot of work because little bits of dust I would have been fixing and Photoshopped were no longer there because to the naked eye was like That looks pretty clean, but it really wasn't. But the other thing, which was even more stunning to me, was, as you'll see, actually, don't want to say it yet because I just want you see the visual impact. So you will see. There's another reason why it's worth, ah, small investment of that. So I try and keep my scanner as clean as I can with, you know, polisher, whatever Windex. But then every so often, I'll spray that with my little aerosol thing to just to make sure, because if you can eliminate those extra bits of dust, then that's an important thing. So let me show you here an example. So here's the random slide that I picked. And if you know anyone who's done image restoration, especially if your own images or your own family, it can be kind of emotional. I've never seen this hold of my dad before, so when I put it in, I scan and I was like, Oh, cool. I just thought I'd seen Nazi every photo being on the ones you typically see. But you can see. See, there's there's some a lot a fair bit of dust in there. So this is the before I sprayed it with my aerosol spray. Here's after, but you notice something else. It's actually better focus, because what I realized was the dust was being the focus of the scanner that was in danger of picking that as the focus area. So the fact that there was no longer that on there actually May because I didn't change any other settings. That's all Waas I looked at in one Wow, that really threw me. I did not expect that I expected, hopefully, look a little cleaner. But I mean, look at the difference between all the junk that I don't have to deal with, first of all, but it's also sharper. That was like a real eye opening thing for me. So I'm afraid that means I'll be ordering more cans of aerosol spray because I know I'm gonna be using it a lot for all the many, many, many, many slides I have toe scan in. So that's an important couple of things to remember is it seems silly to say, Get yourself a pair of white gloves and make sure everything's clean. But, hey, if you can save Photoshopped time just by having a cleaner original, you know that's that makes a big difference. So that's the first thing The second thing on talk about a little bit is. How do you figure out if I have a photograph that small or a slide? And I wanted to end up being a bigger print. I need to figure out how to scan it or how to get it in there. So, for example, get this one here. That's a pretty small photo. That's like, What is that? I don't know. To buy 3.5 inches almost like a business card size. But I want to make that like on eight by 10 or bigger. I have no clue what the math should be. Luckily, I don't need to, because Photoshopped can be our calculator. So what we dio is you make a document that says, What size do you want it to end up being? So I want to make it, Let's say on eight by and I'm gonna say that I wanted to be, um I usually use to 40 on my printer just because if I can save 60 pixels per inch, why not? So you enter in a nude as if you're going to create a new document and whatever the final size you want. So if you want a 20 by inch poster at 150 pixels French, whatever it is, you put the end result in first and click create, and this is just a dummy document you're not gonna do anything with. But it's just a calculus gonna help you do this calculation. So now you measure your original. It's three inches by whatever just picked, you know, one side you go to the image size command, and you make sure you choose re sample image, you say. But my original is 2.5 inches wide, so that means I need to scan it at at least 900 to 60 pixels per inch. So set of me guessing how higher resolution do I need? It's doing the math for me. So in other words, the smaller the original, the bigger the resolution you need. So if you have a scanner goes up to a maximum of 800 you can have a bit of a problem because it's telling you, if you got a tiny original, you need 2400 pixels per inch of resolution. So think about slides, slides or what? 1.5 for one and 3/4. I think something like that. That's why slide scanners tend to have very high resolution because to scan something and that's to make an eight by 10 if you want even bigger than that, and even more resolution. Because, of course, in photos up you could artificially bump up the size using image size. But I will never be as good as scanning at a higher resolution The other thing to keep in mind is you might be doing a project where the final result of the images on Lee being on screen like, say, for a website so you don't need a lot of high resolution. That's gonna be a whole lot easier to restore and edit a photo where you can zoom in a good quality in. You might at the end say, when I have done that, scale it down to a smaller size. But I'd much rather have 800 or 1000 pixels per inch worth of information to start with and then at the end. So okay, now that I've done that, scale it down to a final size. So that's why when people say, you know, can I do it with with just, you know, an IPhone? Yeah, I know some people that set up their camera on like a tripod stand with lights, and that's better because, of course it's your camera. So yeah, although you would be hard pressed into that with slides. But just with a regular photo, certainly. But I mean in a pinch, if someone says you're at someone's house and, like I don't want to give you this photo. Can you take a picture right now? And all you have is Europe, IPhone or whatever Android. This is better than nothing, but we have to already set our expectations. The other thing that I would I suggest to you in this just an aside. But if you're going to any restoration work, there's a lot of people out there the general public who don't use photo shop, who all they see is the end result. They see, like the before and after No, before all tourney and bad after looks great. And they're like, Wow! So they give you really horrible photographs and say, Fix that you have Photoshopped. So I was a number of years ago. I was at an event and they had a panel of three different people who were specialist in image restoration, really high end stuff like crazy. You know, what they were dealing with was amazing. And the first guy got up and he showed a little introduction slideshow before, after 20 like a round of applause. The next person did the same thing. The third person got up and I sat there and I went This guy's got it going on because what he did before, after 17 hours before after 23 hours and the audit was like, Oh, because all of a sudden there was a time frame, not just after, because after could mean what, five minutes So people like, Oh, that's pretty cool. You can fix it, but because this other guy was going after 17 hours and they were averaging, like 12 to 18 hours, people were like, Oh, it's all of a sudden their eyes were open that it's not just that quick little thing. And it was also a good message to people like me who wanted to do my own restoration, that I had to go in with my eyes open that Yes, some things will be a quick fix, But others it's gonna take some time. And that's why I start off by saying today I'm not gonna do very many end to end restorations because I'd be ableto had do half of one, maybe depending on what it iss. Okay, so, uh, here's another example of where did I put that one now here. So I looked at this photo and I was like, Oh, I should scan this one in because that's pretty cool one and I opened it and it's just out of focus. That's not the scanner. That's just the photo was taken that way. So just like if you took a photo today who was out of focus, you can't fix it in photo shop. So nor should people expect you to fix a blurry photo just cause it's old. It's still blurry, so you know they're things you might do to make it a little better. But that's what I mean by realistic expectations. People hand you a photograph and say, Can you improve this? Not a lot. And people just need to know that unfortunately, TVs and the movies don't help us, because on all those things people sit there on the keyboard, go Let's be enhanced that they take like, no time at all. And it looks perfect. I'm like, No, doesn't work that way

Class Description

If you have older photographs that are faded, scratched, torn, have pieces missing or otherwise in need of repair, this class is for you! Dave will share a series of strategies to help you restore family heirlooms back to their original state, using a variety of tools and techniques - including a couple you may never have thought of using for this purpose.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017


Margaret Lovell

While I use Photoshop, I wouldn't consider myself an advanced user. I'm slowly, but surely trying to move in that direction. I've also been interested in learning more about photo restoration techniques to fix some of my old photos. But also because I think it's a useful skill to have, which could function as a side gig. I'm glad that I took David's class. I found his explanations easy to follow, and it's a great beginner's program. I feel as if I can start using what I learned today.

Beatriz Stollnitz

Excellent class for anyone who is looking to restore old photos. Dave's usual clear explanation style makes it an easy and enjoyable class to follow along.


Another superb class from Dave Cross. Well organized, well paced, very clear and extremely insightful! Voice of experience with wise advice. Thanks Dave!