Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Photo Processing Can do

When my mother passed away in 2007, my sisters, sister-in-law and I cleaned out her house to get it ready to sell. Mom didn't have a lot in there, because she and my dad gave items and furniture to all of us before they downsized to go live in a retirement/care facility because of my dad's health. He died in 2005, and she just didn't want to stay there by herself and so she moved into a small house near my sister-in-law, and some of her grandchildren. She had divided all of the pictures and photos of us she had saved over the years, and gave us each a container of these photos and memorabilia. But while we were cleaning out the house, I came across a box of papers and things which had a lot of information about them and their lives from the time they met in the Navy during WW II and some photos of them together. When my parents were married, it was a very simple ceremony outside and the only photographs were old small black and white snapshots, taken by someone who seemed to have no idea how to operate a camera. 

I found this snapshot of them together on their wedding day, out of focus, crooked, creased and torn:

I was sad that it didn't look any better. But then I began to think how I might improve it in Photoshop Elements. I made a copy and began to work with it. After straightening it, I was left with white gaps on the sides, so I started using the Clone Stamp tool to rebuild the fence out to the edge, add leaves at the top and grass at the bottom. I focused it as much as I could, then was able to take the noise (artifacts) out of the picture made from squeezing the focus as high as possible. It was still somewhat blurry, and it was washed out in the white areas. So I increased the contrast, and then did some work with filters and by the time I was finished, I was pretty pleased with the results. I made 8 x 10 copies for my siblings and they were thrilled to get them. 

This is how it looks now, not perfect but I would call it "arty"! Don't you love my dad's tie?

I just wish I could have shown them how it looked, but I'm sure where they are, they are just happy to be together!


  1. What a wonderful photo. You are so lucky to have it and did an excellent job of restoring it. Thank you so much for sharing with us.


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