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Hi Everyone, I am trying to restore old photos and have had some success with recolour. I currently have a family photo from around 1955 where the bottom corner is torn off and lost. I am copying and pasting sections of brickwork, peoples legs and foliage from around the background. There are huge differences in 'greyness' and I wondered if the greyscale graph from 1 section could be used in another. Any tips would be appreciated.



Image (6).jpg

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In addition, i would suggest trying to get a better scan:

  • store photo beyond a flat surface and at least 1kg weight for several days to flatten the photo
  • scan only the actual photo size instead of A4 / letter
  • increase scan resolution to maximum available (e.g. 1200 DPI)
  • if possible, adjust scan settings to maximize contrast (black to white),
  • for scan use 16 bit color depth, use tiff format (not jpeg), no compression 
  • scan may take hours and require 100 megabytes with these settings, but you can export the result as jpeg later from affinity and get much better results. 

    if you are using an epson scanner and epson scan software, select „professional“ mode, scan a preview, and adjust curves, levels etc before starting actual scan.  Do not use windows scan app or twain. 
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I know photos has a similar feature to Photoshop for spot healing. They are pretty incredible tools. I did this in a minute in Photoshop. Might give you a better starting off point for fixing and adjusting to make an image whole. The image is rough but can be fixed and cleaned up with time, this was very quickly done and can be done in Photos, just not sure what name they give the tool. 

photoshop spot healing.jpg

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I spend 15 minutes:

  • cropped to the picture
  • copied various parts (flattened) and the moved / resized / adjusting brightness to match
    • left leg to fill in right leg after rotate, adjust size & brightness
    • rigth wall copied 2 times to fill missing part
    • copy of black cloth to fill in lower missing part below
    • another copy of left leg to simulate socks
  • used masks to soften areas between patches
  • used a pixel layer and healing brush to further soften some areas
  • used a dust & scratch removal to hide scratches. apllied mask to anly apply to areas with scratches to avoid overall softening
  • merged visible
  • used photo persona and "details refinemend with 50% / 50% to improve detail & micro contrast
  • used levels adjustment to increase overal contrast

You could easily spend additional hours for fine-tuning and a more thorow process to gain better result


Have fun


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18 hours ago, robertstirling said:

There are huge differences in 'greyness' and I wondered if the greyscale graph from 1 section could be used in another.

Never heard of that before. Is that something that can be done in, say, Photoshop?


* Image colourisation curtesy of DeepAi

Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be worried about.

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What the OP probably means is that brightness/contrast and tint of an image area doesn't necessarly match the area that it's cloned to. One could try to play around with the patch tool which sometimes does a pretty good job at blending areas of different appearance. Personally, I end up using manual corrections with nested Curves layers most of the time.

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Thanks everyone for your help. Lots of great suggestions and  a final version to work towards to compare and contrast. (I, apparently, haven't got the latest version so it won't download - next job.... )

Not download but open in Affinity...

Best regards


Edited by robertstirling
wrong word used (download instead of 'open in Affinity')
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