From the Book

brazilian hair bundles

From the first ediiton for Adobe Photoshop 6

In the following example, I started with a 35-mm slide original. As you can see in figure on the left, the slide has faded, shifted towards cyan and is covered with dust and mold. By applying the following techniques, I was able to transfrom the faded and damaged slide into the final version as seen on the right - making the image as clear and crisp as the day it was taken.



If you'ld like to work along with me please download the file ch4_berlin.jpglow-resolution 496 k or high-resolution 1.6 Mb.

Part 1 -Correcting Exposure and Color

After scanning in the image it is often tempting to zoom in on the most obvious problems in this case the dust and randomly cloning away. I recommend you avoid this distraction and really look at the image. Start by identifying and taking care of the worst global issues first, which in most cases will be exposure and color problems.

1. To correct the fading and color shifts, start by adding a Levels Image Adjustment Layer and define the sidewalk as a neutral gray area with the gray Levels eyedropper to remove the gray colorcast as shown in figure 01. Often this will take out the colorcast, but in extreme situations such as this one it is often very helpful to take advantage of Photoshop Blending Modes. When faced with very light or faded images such as this one, apply the Multiply Blending Mode to the Image Adjustment layer to darken the image and build up density. If an image is too dark or under-exposed use the Screen Blend Mode to make the image lighter and reduce density.


Part 2 - Dust Removal

After correcting exposure and color it is time to take care of the gross dust and mold damage embedded in this image. Try out the following techniques to remove a lot of dust very quickly and easily;

Method 1:
Duplicate & Move works very well on large even surfaces such as sky.

    1. Select the area with a 2-3 feathered Lasso tool as seen below (leftside shows a full view and rightside is a close-up). Please note making a rough ragged selection versus a perfectly straight helps to disguise the delineation between the moved areas and the untouched areas.

    2. Select Layer > New > Layer via Copy to copy and paste the selected area onto its own layer.

Making the Rough Selection
Close-up of Rough Selection

3. Activate the Move tool and use the down and right arrows on the your extended keyboard to nudge the new layer down and over 2-3 pixels.

4. Since the dust is darker than the sky you have offset it against use the Lighten Blend Mode to hide dark areas. In case the damage is lighter use the Darken Blend Mode to hide it.

Lighten Blend Mode


Method 2: Dust & Scratches works very well on surfaces where you need to maintain image texture such as the sidewalk in this image.

1. Select the area with a 2-3 feathered Lasso tool as seen below.

2. Select Layer > New > Layer via Copy to copy and paste the selected area onto its own layer.



Selecting the Sidewalk  

3. Select Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches and start by pushing the Radius setting up so that the worst dust and mold disappears.

4. Then raise the Threshold value up to bring the texture of the surrounding area back without letting the dust show through as shown in the left figure below. Balancing the Radius and Threshold takes a bit of going back and forth but with a bit of practice you can make the worst dust problems disappear, while maimtaining the film grain and image texture.

Dust & Scratches Filter
Dust & Scratches Filter Setting

Both of these methods work very well on areas that are not essential to an image. In other words I would never use them on someone's face.

Part 3 - Eradicating Mold

In this example, the mold damage is larger than the dust and does not disappear with the above described techniques. In order to remove large chucks of mold or dust on essential image areas careful handwork with the Clone Stamp tool is the best method.

I've zoomed in on the image area that reveals extensive mold damage. By using the Clone Stamp tool set to Use all Layers on the New Layer you can clone over the damage without touching the original data. In case you slip or clone over important image information use the Eraser tool to erase the mistake and go back and clone over the area again.

Mold Damage
Mold Removed

Closing Thoughts:

Whether you are new to digital restoration or are presently translating traditional skills to digital, respecting the original image by working on separate layers will allow you to build up the retouch without damaging the original data. In the end your very best work will always be invisible.


From the first edition for Adobe Photoshop 6

The torture we put our photographs through – storing them in damp basements, carrying them in wallets, folding, tearing, cutting, and pasting them into albums – all leave the tale tell signs of cracks, rips, tears, and misshapen corners. So if this is so bad for photographs why do we put them though the gauntlet of abuse? Because we value, treasure, and cherish them. We like carrying a picture of loved ones in our wallets or purses, we take pleasure in making the family photo album or collage, and sadly we often don't realize that the basement isn't the best place to store a valuable print.

So rather than relegating the damaged to a darker, more forgotten, basement corner - let's get them out, scan them in, and learn to:

  • Eliminate Scratches
  • Remove Wires and Clutter
  • Repair Tears, Rips, and Cracks
  • Make Stains and Discoloration Disappear

The tools and techniques we'll use to conquer these challenges include;

  • The Rubber Stamp tool
  • The Background Eraser tool
  • Levels and Layer Options

Download Chapter 6: Damage Control and Repair PDF



Download a PDF of the Table of Contents and Foreword by John McIntosh

Download a PDF of the complete Index



From the second edition for Adobe Photoshop 7

We are very sensitive to color and our eyes are tremendous tools to see and compare color. The emotional and subliminal importance of color in our world cannot be denied. For retouchers, being sensitive to color values can make the difference between a so-so print and a print that looks as vibrant as the memories it represents. The importance of color challenges us to work with our visual memory in combination with the best that Photoshop has to offer: Adjustment Layers, the Info palette, the Histogram dialog box, Painting and Selection tools, and Blending Modes.

In this chapter, you'll work with color images to learn

  • Additive and subtractive color correction with image variations and color balance
  • Global color correction with Levels and Curves
  • Selective and interchannel color correction
  • Correcting color temperature problems

Many of the tools and techniques used to improve tone, contrast, and exposure that are discussed in Chapters 2, "Improving Tone and Contrast," and 3, "Exposure Correction," will serve as the foundation for working with color. I highly recommend that you review those two chapters before diving into the wonderful world of color.

Download Chapter 4: Working with Color PDF

Download To work along, please download the chapter 4 tutorial images.



The PDF addendum to the second edition of "Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" addresses the most important features in Adobe Photoshop CS for retouchers and photographers. Please choose the one file that is best for you. PC users 'right click and save target' and Apple users 'control click and save as' the file to your harddrive.

For both Mac and PC users: 4.1 Mb PDF that is formatted in Microsoft Word with low resolution images - some of which are difficult to read.

For PC users: 17.3 Mb self-extracting stuffed file that is formatted exactly like the book with high quality images.

For Mac users: 17.3 Mb stuffed file that is formatted exactly like the book with high quality images.

For both Mac and PC users: 19 Mb PDF that is not stuffed and is formatted exactly like the book with high quality images.

To work along with the explanation of Adobe Camera RAW I have provided four Nikon NEF RAW files. Copyright © Katrin Eismann, 2003. All rights reserved.


Download the most recent version of Adobe Camera RAW

Download archives with four Camera RAW images (as seen below) to work along with Adobe Camera RAW.

All images copyright Katrin Eismann and may not be distributed or printed.

20 Mb Mac Archive: Control click and save as to your hard drive

20 Mb PC Archive: Right click and save target