Photoshop Photo Restoration: How to Repair & Restore Old, Damaged Black & White Photos

Photoshop Photo Restoration: How to Repair & Restore Old, Damaged Black & White Photos

August 16, 2019 0 By Peter Engel


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. If you have an old black and white photograph
that has creases, cracks and tears, I’m going to show you tools to remove them and restore
the photograph. Before we begin, if not already a subscriber
to Blue Lightning TV, smash that small “Subscribe” button at the lower, right corner! If you’d like to help support my channel,click
the “Join” button below the video to become a channel member or click the Patreon card
at the upper right. Open a damaged black and white photo that
you’d like to restore. Otherwise, feel free to work on this one in
the meantime. I provided its link in my video’s description
below or in my project files. Restoring damaged photos is relatively simple, but quite time-consuming and requires a lot of patience. Most of the tools that are used in photo restoration
boil down to just 4: the “Spot Healing Brush”, the “Healing Brush”, the “Patch Tool” and the
“Clone Stamp Tool”. There are others you can use if needed, but
the ones I mentioned are the workhorses that are used to do most restoration jobs. I’ll explain what each one does when we use them. The first steps are to remove any color cast it may have and to adjust its overall brightness and contrast. Press Ctrl or Cmd + Shift U to desaturate the image and press Ctrl or Cmd + L to open your Levels window. Drag the input highlight level to the point
where the histogram starts to rise and do the same for the input shadow level. Let’s zoom into an area of the photo by pressing
“z” on our keyboard and dragging a rectangle over an area to zoom into it. To reposition it, press and hold the Space
bar as you drag the photo. I’ll begin to removing the creases, stains
and rips on this area of the wallpaper. The easiest and most effective way to do it
is with the Clone Stamp Tool. This tool essentially copies one area of an
image and stamps the copy onto another area. We can choose the size of the area to be copied
and precisely where it’ll be stamped onto. You can adjust the opacity and flow, however,
to retouch this particular area of my photo, I’ll keep them at 100%. I generally like to keep “Aligned” checked. This will use the most current sampling point
whenever you stop and resume painting. Since there’s only one layer in our document,
make sure “Current Layer” is active. To adjust the tool’s size, make sure your
CapsLock key is off and press the right or left bracket key on your keyboard. I’ll make it this size. Press and hold Alt or Option as you left-click
your mouse or pen. Then, release. This copies or clones the pixels from the
area you clicked on. Now, when you brush over another area of your
image, it’ll brush an exact copy onto the new area. When we release our cursor and brush over
another another, the sampling point moves in tandem with the area we’re brushing because
“Aligned” is checked. You may have to play with this tool for awhile
to get the hang of it. For these creases, I’ll use the “Spot Healing Brush”. Make its size a bit wider than the crease
itself and brush over it. This brush blends the texture of the sampled
area with with the color and luminosity surrounding wherever you paint. Next, we’ll open the Healing Brush”. Alt-click or Option-click an area near the
imperfection to define the starting point. Click and drag over the imperfection. This tool samples the surrounding area and blends the imperfections into the rest of the image. Open your “Patch Tool”. This tool is similar to the Healing Brush
Tool, however, it uses selection-defined areas instead of a brush. Draw over an area you’d like to repair and
drag it onto an area you want to replace it with. Deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. Continue
to use these tools over your entire photo until all the rips, scratches, tears and stains
have been removed. There are four filters I’d like to show you
to reduce dust and scratches. For the first one, go to Filter, Noise and
“Dust and Scratches”. I’ll drag the image in the Preview window
to an area that shows some of the finer scratches. Set the Threshold slider to 0. Threshold is used to determine how different
pixels must be before they’re removed. Setting it to 0 Levels turns off the value,
so that all pixels can be examined. The Radius determines how far to search for
differences among pixels. If the Radius amount is too high, it’ll blur
the image, so find the right balance of how much noise you want removed versus when how
much softening you want your image to have. For now, I’ll set it at 2. Gradually increase the Threshold to the highest
value that gives you the amount of detail you want. By clicking and releasing the Preview window, you can toggle back and forth to see the before and after. If you’re happy with the settings, click OK. The next filter is “Reduce Noise”. This is available in CS2 and later. Drag your image to an area that shows noise
or tiny hairline imperfections. We’ll keep “Basic” ticked. We’ll just use “Strength” and “Preserve Details”,
since they’re used to remove luminance noise. We’ll start the Strength at 0% and then drag
the slider to the right until the noise is removed. Once you’ve removed all the noise, begin dragging
the Preserve Details slider to the right to bring back as much image detail as possible
without re-introducing the noise. I’ll click and release a few times on the
Preview window to see the before and after. The next filter for reducing noise is “Despeckle”. As soon as you click it, It detects the edges
of your image and blurs everything, but those edges. As I toggle back and forth you can see the
the difference. This blurring essentially removes noise while
preserving edge detail. If you’re using version CS or later, there’s another filter to reduce noise. Go to FIlter and “Camera Raw Filter”. Click the “Detail” icon and under “Noise Reduction”,
drag the “Luminance” slider to the right just enough to hide the noise. As with all the noise reduction filters it
hides noise well, however, the downside is that it also reduces the good detail in the
photo that we’d want to retain. It’s up to you if you want to use any of these
filter at all or if you want to use a small amount in their settings. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!