Vintage Photo Fix for Beginners | Kathleen Thorpe | Skillshare

Vintage Photo Fix for Beginners

Kathleen Thorpe, Wild Horse Creative

Vintage Photo Fix for Beginners

Kathleen Thorpe, Wild Horse Creative

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8 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Meet Kathy

    • 2. Project Assignment

    • 3. Scanning

    • 4. Restoring your photo

    • 5. Color Correcting

    • 6. Rotating & Cropping

    • 7. Saving Your Photo

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Using Adobe Photoshop, I will give a thorough overview of the steps for scanning, restoring and saving your vintage photographs. Consideration is given to proper file size, precise defect correction, color restoration/enhancement and saving your finished and RAW images.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kathleen Thorpe

Wild Horse Creative


I own and operate my own design firm, Wild Horse Creative, a vibrant and growing business in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Our vision statement is "Exceptional Design. Superior Service." (TM) I have been an artist all my life. My mother was an artist as well, and she taught me to draw as soon as I could hold a pencil at age three.

My work experience runs the gamut from Department of Defense contract work, University marketing department, high-end printing firms with in-house designers to owning my own firm since 1997.

For me, and hopefully for you, there's not much that is more satisfying than learning a new skill, developing your God-given talents and sharing that knowledge with others. So, a few of my guiding quotes about life and undertaking new things:


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1. Meet Kathy: Hi. This is kept leave with Wild Horse Creative. I'm so glad you're here today. I'm going to show you how to you take your old vintage photos and restore them many of our old photos. As you probably know, our can be full of cracks or blemishes or they could be faded. And with these few techniques that I'm going to show you, you will be able to restart these photos back to their original beauty. Okay, today, what we're going to focus on is scanning an image that will be used in the digital room. So that means if you want to use the image to upload to Facebook or to use an instagram or to send to a photo processing lab online or at Walgreens or wherever. This, these instructions will help you with that. Thank you for joining this class. I cannot wait to see your projects that you upload. Follow me on skill share so that we can keep in touch and you can be notified of my future videos that I post have fun correcting your photos and we'll see you soon. But why 2. Project Assignment: Hopefully, you've already chosen a photo that you like to repair. In my case, I'm going to scan this photo of me as a little girl and correct It has a few blemishes on it. I will also upload this image for you to use to practice on along with a couple other images. 3. Scanning: since. For this purpose, we're scanning a photo for use in digital formats. What we need to do is scan the photo even if it's a black and white photo. Scan it in in the color setting because the color setting picks up all the information on the actual image. If you scan it black and white, it will disregard any color information that's in the image. So always scan anything bucking. Why color whatever, always can discolor and pick up all the information Now. I always scared my images at 300 dp I at 100% unless it's a little tiny photo that I would like it to be bigger than I might increase it to 200 or 300% but still using the 300 DP I resolution. That way you can always save down and save it smaller for use on the Web. But you'll always have that nice, great skin for future use is if you want a print or do other things with it. 4. Restoring your photo: Okay, so the first thing I like to do when I'm going to correct a photo is zoom in on the image on my tools box Over here, I have a magnifying glass. If you click on that and then you drag, it will zoom in. If you drag the other direction, it gets small. But we want it nice and big so we can see the flaws. No. Instead of using the these bars to move around What I like to use this this hand in the toolbox cook on the hand and will allow you to drag and look really easily. This is a photo. I had done some correction work already. I'm going to revert it so I can show you the information as it really appears in my raw skin. As you can see, I have this great big defect here on the jaw area and lots of little defects from this old photo. All right, so I'm going to start with this area near the cheek cause it's my worst defect. And what I'm going to do is select my clone tool. It is the tool in the toolbox that looks like a rubber stamp right here. So click on that. Now, up here, I like to use capacity of 100% and flow of 100%. However, I like to use if a Grady int brush, not this solid brush, because that gives you, like, a dot of color that has defined edges. And it's really obvious. So this Grady it brush gives you a nice soft edge on everything you correct for this area that I'm going to fix on the cheek. I want a big bit of a bigger brush so I don't have to make ISMM any brush marks. I want to use the minimal amount of brush marks to fix an area. So as you can see, this is pretty much I'm going to work on this area here, and it's pretty much the color of this area over here and over here of the face. So I'm just going to use my option key, and you'll see it turned the cursor into a cross hairs, and that will allow you to pick a color area you want to use for your clone stamp, and then you'll see that it gives you a sort of a preview inside the circle of the color that you're going to be using. So I already have the color, so I'm going to stamp it and use it in this area. I want the color to be consistent, so I'm just going to keep using that same pickup for most of the area. You'll have to play with it because sometimes it's just going to give you. It'll start reproducing the defect instead of the clear area, so I just make sure that I get the area that I want and basically stamped with it. It's called cloning. You see, I got a little bit of a dark area because it's remembering where I waas. So I am going to do a Command Z, which is undo because I wasn't happy. But you see how it's got to start color in there. I don't want that. I want the nice, fleshy color, so I'm gonna hold down my option key and select my color again. And there I have my color. I'm just gonna go in here and refined this cheek area a little bit more for here. I don't want to use this color because it's a little more forward on the face. So I've been thinking that I'm going to use this lighter color here. So far, I'm really happy with how that's coming out. You can see it gives you a nice blend. Have a little bit of, ah, problem here where it's too light. So I'm going to use this air, this area to clone out that spot and maybe go up in into this area a little bit. And you just have to play around with the colors just to get the color you want. Now you'll see this area is like the jaw line, so I want to use a shadow area. So again you can see that I have a light. There's light area in the stamp. I don't want that. I want a little bit darker area, so I'm gonna hover over the color I want. I'm gonna press my option key and click, and that's going to give me a little bit of a darker color, you see. But I think that's a little dark for or where I want to be, So I think I'm gonna use this area instead. Yeah, so I'm really liking how that's changing. I like the color that it's giving me for that jawline and you can skip around and do, you know, do different areas. Just make sure you remember to pick up the color that you want to use. I'm not real happy with the way that looked, so I am going to grab some color from here. I like that a lot better. Okay, so I'm just going to continue doing this and you can watch as I do it to see how I blend the color. Always get color from Aske Llosa's you can to the defect so that the color will be as close as possible to what the area used to look like. So, like, for here, I'm gonna grab from here and go up from here and go up from here and go up and over. Now I'm gonna I'm kind of on the edge here between two color areas, so I'm going to kind of get a little bit of both and go up. That looks pretty good. Keep in mind, you can always come in and make little adjustments, as you like. Now you can see this area is pretty much covered with this paper that got stuck to this photo, and I really can't see what is going on in that area. So I'm just gonna have to recreate it using these colors here. So, first of all, I'm going to do just a basic recreation of this area by just cloning this color up a Sfar as I can. I'm gonna move over and use this color Move over to use this color, move over and use this color. It gives you a little preview inside the circle of how things were looking. I find that to be really valuable. No, I have this shadow here that's covered, so I'm gonna use a shadow from appear. Now, you see, I go up here, it's it's already got that previous color I was using. So I hold me shift my option key down. It grabs the color from here and now I see it's in there. And as I moved to this area, I can use that color in my shadow. No, I want to recreate this curl. So I'm gonna come and grab some of that color. Uh, this area here, I need to fill in with this darker color. It's a dark shadow under the hair. I think I'm gonna get a smaller brush. And I'm going to select some areas like here to fill in this curl. No, I have the rest of this kind of jaw area that I need to clean up a little bit. So I'm just gonna use this color a little more. I think I may get a bit of a bigger brush. See how this works? No. I could come in with a smaller brush, a much smaller brush for any little fill in details. Materially add some definition in this area so that it looks finished. I think my brush is a little small. Let me make it a little bigger. So see, you can always adjust. Don't be afraid to take your time. In other words, don't get in a hurry because you'll get you get going too fast and you'll make a mistake and you know you can undo it. It's not a problem, but we all want to do things as well as we can the first time. So we don't have to redo work, not gonna fix this area down by the chin and it gets just the same selecting areas near very near to to the actual area, so you get the same sort of colors. I could actually use a much smaller brush. I'd like to use the smallest brash as possible to avoid replacing too much of the photo, just what is needed. So it's really fun to see the correction start to happen. Let's see, I was using a color from an area that I didn't think looked right. I still not quite sure about that when you zoom in a little more just so that I can select the color just right next to that. Let's see when you zoom in, you can really see all the little defects, and he can fix them. You can get color from right next door so that it's very accurate. This is the thing that happens to our our vintage photos. Every day they degrade a little more. They lose a little more information. Color fades, color flakes off, so don't feel bad. You can really recover a lot of information when you skin your old photos. What a great project, though I mean and what a great gift that you can give somebody is to restore a childhood photo can you imagine an elderly woman, our man getting an image of them as a child and having it look nice and fresh and new and not cracked and worn. It's really quite a spectacular gift to give to somebody. And sometimes you can just let some flaws be there, because by the time you zoom out away, they're not gonna show up. Mostly I'm just doing all of these corrections. Just He can see the process of cloning an area so you can see how to match color. You could see when it goes wrong, how to make sure you get the color as close as possible to that area. I can't wait to see the images that you've all selected, the images that you want to dio. I can't wait for you to upload them and share them. It could be great. And don't feel bad. If you're not perfect at this right off the bat, you will quickly become very, very skilled. It's just like anything else. You just gotta practice now. Look how much better that area looks. Just cleaning up that mouth area. See, look at how clean that looks. Just looks really fabulous, says you meant a little look at the mouth area. It's all better. So let's work on the I. It is a very dark area. You really can't see much of what's going on in there. Here's the eyeball. But just like anything else, make sure you use a small brush for these small areas small stamp, tool and just used the area that's close by like this for this little spot. I'm just gonna grab the dark area and put it in there. That's obviously the eyeball. This is sort of a dark area, too, so I'm just gonna fill in. I don't have to really know exactly what the object is that I'm fixing. Just look at the color of the what's nearby and make it the same. The information will translate into whatever the picture. You know, whatever that portion of that picture is, I probably need a bigger brush for the bigger pieces. These bigger areas. I just want to do one click, basically or two to be done. Okay, so I have pretty much finished correcting the facial area of this photo. Um, you know, sometimes on photos, I may go in and fix every single flaw that I find I care on this cinder block. There's a lot of little areas that I could fix. But really, the most important thing is to fix the image of the person in the photo. So that's always where I start. And then if I want to do more, I can. As you zoom out, you might see, uh, things like, I don't like this little greenish area here, so I'm going to just take that out. I'm going to make myself a little bit bigger brush, and I'm just gonna grab a color that I like and I'm going to. I could get a preview by just hovering over there, and then I could just add it. And I think it looks pretty good. There's a little bit of a green area there trying to figure out I like that. Okay, there's a couple little flaws here and there. It's up to you to do as much as you want. I tried to not, uh, alter the images. You know, a xylitol is possible. I wanted to be as original as it can be. As you zoom out, you can see little things that maybe you didn't see when you resumed, weigh in and you can go back in and get those little things taking care of. Okay, so I'm gonna call this photo Done. 5. Color Correcting: and as my final correction, I like to change the mode to see him like a I do most of my color correction and RGB, which is usually what the skin is, what you scan it. It it saves in an RGB mode. RGB means red, green and blue, and that is the format for images that are displayed on a monitor. So this is the format you want for using photos for the Internet or viewing on the computer screen. However, seeing like a looks good, too, as I'm gonna convert to see him like a and you can see because we a little warning. Are you sure you want to do this? And you could see you pretty much look the same. But the nice thing about this is I can correct the photo and I will show you in depth and another video. But in this one, I'm just going to correct it right now. And you can just kind of see the end result. Basically, I'm going to my different channels. Well, they're not being displayed in colors right now, so let me go to preferences to General. Okay, so in your preferences dialog box under interface. If you look down at the bottom, there's a little option to show channels in color. And I want to click that on because this way I can look at the C. M Y. K. C is for science, which is blue Emma's magenta, which is the red yellow is the why and K is black. So if I go through my my channels, I can see the science, the magenta, the yellow and the black Channel. Um, with I'm using a command and the command one will give you a zoom in of your image command till D Wait a minute. Okay, Command to will give you the image in In full color command three will show the Science channel for the magenta five. The yellow and six is the black, which is labeled K imprinting. Ah, so I'm just going to do a quick color correction to brighten up this photo. I'll show this in depth in a in a future video so that you know how to do some color correction. So it's a little yellow, so I'm gonna take a little or I can add some red back in mostly what I wanted to do was Lighten it up a little bit. I can show you my original. Let me let me do a save as I'm gonna say this as my corrected photo Kathy corrected. Okay, so here I have, ah, comparison of the photos. They both worked. This one's a little bit lighter. This one's a little darker. It just all depends on what your preferences. 6. Rotating & Cropping: Okay. Now you should have your photo in front of you. In my case, my photo is ah, little crooked. So I want to rotate the image to straighten it up. So I'm going up here to my menu image menu, and I'm selecting image rotation, and I want arbitrary because that means I can put in the percentage that I want to move it . So I am going to tell it to move three degrees clockwise. Let's see what that does. That's a little too much. So I'm going to go back about half assed much, So I'm going to do 1.5 and I'm gonna say counterclockwise because I want to go back the other direction. Well, that's pretty good. So I think I'm happy without, so I'm going to keep that rotation. Okay, so now that we've finished our photo correction, the last thing I like to do is to go ahead and crop. So here's your cropping tool in the toolbox. It looks like two triangles on top of each other. So go ahead and select that and you'll see it already made a cropping of your photo. But you don't want to do that. you can just hover over and then just start where you want to crop and just draw your rectangle right on wherever you want a crop and it will select your photo and then you just hit return and they're your photo is all cropped. 7. Saving Your Photo: So once you have your raw image, um, go ahead and leave that by itself. Um, go ahead. And when you open a do a save, as that would be under file, save as. And then you can save the photo as you know, a different name. You could say in my case, mine is Kathy raw for the raw photo and the corrected Lindus. Kathy corrected. I've already done that. So they canceled that the reason I do this is so that I can always save and keep the raw skin. That image has all of the data, all of the information of the original image when it was scanned without any interference by Photoshopped or any other editing tools. So it's, it's pristine, and it's in its raw scan form. So I always say that Oh, my corrected version. I rename it so that is a separate file, and I just find that to be really handy because technology changes and Photoshopped may come up as they always do with new features that aid in the correction of photos, and you would always want to have that raw image available to start fresh with a new the new technology. Okay, Now that you're photo is saved, it is ready for for you to submit to online photo printing companies or to your WalMart or Walgreens or, you know, however you want to use it. Um, keep in mind that with each vendor or each size that you're going to print or any ah, the various different manners of which you can print your photos Uh, you will have to prepare your photo according to what their requirements are. I hope you've enjoyed this class, and I look forward to to seeing you at other classes. Thank you. 8. Final Thoughts: so I wanted to talk a little bit about the value of restoring vintage photographs. You know, there's just something beautiful about seeing people in a time and era that's different from ours. And I have one experience I want to share with you. My son had a Cub Scout leader, and he had a photo of his grandmother and her four sisters, and through the years it was probably taken in the late thirties, early forties. They were all dressed in the beautiful clothing of that era. There's all sitting on a bench. It was just a beautiful photo, but over the years somebody had folded it or something. It happened Teoh, where it was folded, right middle, right in the middle of his grandmother's face. And so that information was missing in that photo and he came to be in said, Is there anything you could do about this photo? Could you fix it for me? I looked at it and I thought I could, but, you know, I was worried, but I scanned it in at a high resolution, and I looked at it from the information in the rest of the woman's face. I was able to recreate that portion of the photo that was damaged, and I was able to recreate her clothing in that little area all the way down, all the way up and down. And I have to say that it was so gratifying because they gave the Finnish photo to him. He cried, And that is a great reason to restore your vintage photos. They make wonderful gifts. Whether you get just a little for my six or if you get a big portrait meat, it is an invaluable gift to give to somebody. So I hope that you enjoyed this class, and I hope you'll check out some of my other classes. You can learn, Lot said. Great techniques for photographs for illustration, for laid out pages, a bunch of other things, too. Go ahead and follow me on skill share, and I hope to see you at my future classes. And I hope you've learned a lot today. Thank you