Fun with Photo Editing, Scanning, and Colorizing

It's been a while since my last blog post and I figured it was time for an update. I've been keeping myself busy with all kinds of photography from working at my University's newspaper as a photographer, to working on a special photo project to be released, hopefully, around February 2016. Those topics are for another blog post. This blog post is all about having fun with scanning and digital editing. 

Recently, I've undertaken the process of scanning old family prints and old black and white negatives from my darkroom days for some retouching.  This is exciting for many reasons. How cool is it to see an old baby picture of yourself or a picture of your Grandfather in his Navy uniform digitized and restored? It's incredible. I've always been an advocate of getting your pictures printed to have a non-digital copy. The same is true for those old prints without  digital copies. To work with these old photos and then restore them is an unbelievably satisfying feeling.

This blog post will be a tour of all the fun ways I've been manipulating and restoring these photos. 

Now on to the fun! 

The white circled areas are the main places that need some TLC. Scratches, scuffs, and dust litter this photo. The most obviously glaring problem is the color and general darkness of the photo.  The color looks like a gray yellow. 

Let's see the fix!

The color balance is corrected, no more of that gross yellow-gray color. With the light correction, you can actually see the details on the faces, and those obvious scratches and scuff are removed, putting all the focus back to the wedding party. 

The next photo has similar problems. 

What jumps out first are all the scratches and damage to the print, black scratches, white scratches, and white spots that appear throughout. If you look closely, on the dark jacket there is a thick, black colored line. It almost blends in but once you look closely, it definitely jumps out at you. 

Time for the edit!

Scratches, scuffs, blemishes, and spots all removed! 

The picture is very old and as a result is faded and has scratches and rips in the photo. 

The picture is very old and as a result is faded and has scratches and rips in the photo. 

The new version fixes all the issues that tome created.  The actual paper the image is printed on is very flimsy, almost like a thick sheet of paper. I was very happy to see that it had survived all these years to even get to this state. 

Now it's back to the wedding again for one more photo fix. 

Just like the other wedding photo, the color is off, an unappealing yellow/green/grayish nightmare. There are specks of dust and what looks like a big water stain to the print in the right hand corner. 

Just like the other wedding photo, the color is off, an unappealing yellow/green/grayish nightmare. There are specks of dust and what looks like a big water stain to the print in the right hand corner. 

The skin tone looks healthier, the yuck color is gone, and blemishes were removed. The focus is back on the bride and groom and away from the color/dust issues. 

We're going to take a break from these and move on to some colorized photos. These were scanned black and white negatives.  

The mask and the suitcase are the subjects of this colorization. 

The mask and the suitcase are the subjects of this colorization. 

Fairly simple! It speaks for itself. 

The next coloration: 

Some spots and scratches on the picture. Easy fix of those and then the color!

This next photo is an older print from the late 1950's to the early 1960's. 

The boy on the right needs to be brightened, the border will be removed, and the circled portion on the left will also be removed. Although not circled, the three black lines on the right will be removed as well.Then some fun color will be added! 

While this photo is fun and I'm pleased with it, this most likely won't be the final form. There's a little bit of a story behind this. The subject on the left wasn't all too happy to be wearing this outfit for church on Sunday, hence the frowning face. The outfits weren't comfortable and were what said subject thought was ugly. To be true to that imagination, the outfit was colored to look 'blah'. 

The edited minus color! 

On to the next picture! 

The circled areas are distracting and unnecessary for the planned edit. So they will be photoshopped out in addition to the special edit this one gets. 

I've edited this photo in so many different ways in the past. This was the first time doing something like this!

The next photo is one of the biggest challenges in this process. It's a photo from ~ 1929 of my grandmother and her father and their family car. 

Since this photo is so old, it's only natural that there would be a lot of fading and scuffs and scratches. 

The border was removed, spots and scratch taken care of, and the blacks and whites look better. The biggest change is the front tire. In the original it appears as if there's a faint outline of someone. Since it wasn't clear, I removed her and restored the tire. 

This next photo is from a black and white negative. 

This photo has two problems, scratches and the face of the subject is a little dark. 

Scratches gone and a bright and beautiful face. Perfect. 

Now we're at the end of this blog post! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, be sure to leave a comment and let me know.