19 October 2010

Bubba the Sailor Man - Photo Edits

This picture of Bubba is one of my favorites of him. I love his mischievous grin and would love to know what the photographer was saying to him. Actually, it would probably be better for me not to know. A photographer, taking photos of thousands of sailors heading off to war, was probably saying some pretty raunchy things to get them to smile like that. 
Tear Below Chin
I scanned this photo a while back, but have never repaired it. I opened it in PhotoShop Elements 8 (there is a new version, but I just recently upgraded to 8) and went to work on the most glaring damage, the tear under his chin. I used the clone stamp tool, set to normal, for this area. Be sure when using the clone stamp tool to repair a large area, that you constantly take new samples of photo. The clone stamp tool is definitely my go to tool for photo repair.
Chin Fixed!
The next most obvious damage involved Bubba's hair and eyebrows. You might have to look closely to see the areas. Again using the clone stamp tool, but this time set to darken, I cloned different areas of hair and simply stamped over the damage. I also corrected some damage to his left eye and brightened the catch lights in both eyes. It takes some time and practice, but really isn't a difficult process. 
Hair, eyebrow & eyes fixed! 
Looks pretty good already, but that uniform could certainly be a little brighter. The tie has many white specks that also could be removed. Stamping with the clone tool set to lighten does a good job cleaning up the white uniform and cap. Stamping with the clone tool set to darken on the tie cleans that up. 
Uniform is clean and pressed!
Bubba is looking pretty spiffy now! All that is really left is to darken up some damaged areas and dust spots on the background. 
I could just leave it as is, but there are some areas of the photo that are just a bit too yellow and I would really like those whites to be whiter. De-saturating the yellow in the photo does the trick!

Here is the finished photo with the original untouched scan for comparison.
Actually I am kind of torn. Maybe I should have left a little more yellow in the photo to retain the aged look. The beauty of digital photography is I get to have my cake and eat it too! Here is a copy with the original coloring. Which one do you like best? 


  1. I like it with more of the yellow- gives it the dated look!

  2. I agree. The dated slightly yellow would be my choice too.


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