The wonders of Photoshop

I’ve worked with Adobe Photoshop since my years at the University of Michigan, mostly on web-related graphics. Yet it has been only recently that I discovered its photo retouching features, which for the most part have always been there (hence the name).

I am working on a collage of old photos, to be printed on a large canvas. My current “guinea pig” depicts a couple at a restaurant, circa 1950s.

The photo is taken in black and white. After reading some of the excellent tutorials at RetouchPRO, I re-scanned it with the following characteristics:

  • Full color (RGB) scan, 1200 dpi, all scanner software effects off;
  • 8 bit depth, forced by my scanner at this resolution
  • Saved as TIFF

Here is the result:

After working on it a bit with Photoshop, here is my current version:

Some of the salient tools used here involve a number of layer masks, the fantastic Levels filter, Dust & Scratches (admittedly with a heavy hand), some vanilla-flavor sharpening (although I have tested separately the High Pass filter, which is IMHO a superior option);  I also created a separate Levels layer for the woman in the figure to correct some overexposure in the original.

The masking applied is a bit sharp; in some places the halo produced by the blurred layer at the bottom leaks through to the top. Still, I am stunned by the amount of information I could retrieve from this scan via the wonders of Photoshop.


3 thoughts on “The wonders of Photoshop

  1. dcresti Post author

    Wow, you already found me! I thought I could mess around for a while before becoming visible…
    These people are my parents, circa 1950s. They had their 50th wedding anniversary in January, and my sisters and I are making a collage for them to print on canvas. This is one of their favorite pictures. The after version still needs some work.

  2. Brian U

    LinkedIn found your blog and told me about it. Pretty sneaky of them, huh? Great photo, though. I can see why your parents like it. They look like Italian movie stars caught having a quiet dinner.


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