There is a recurring theme in my life…so many (blank), so little time. I have a pile of books in my house to be read, thus so many books, so little time. There are so many photos waiting to be included on scrapbook pages. There are so many ancestors waiting to be found. And there are so many photos waiting to be fixed and shared. Yesterday’s post about visiting my great grandmother Catherine’s birthplace began with this lovely although extremely damaged photograph of her at toddler age:
Three corners are missing. There are tears, creases, spots and stains. Is this photo a keeper? Absolutely, it’s my great grandmother! It does belong in an archival sleeve for storage to minimize any further damage, but a scan at 300 dpi will give us an image we can manipulate and also will serve as a visual index of the original copy.
When scanning your old photos, it is good to make use of the properties setting for the new image. Good photo indexing starts with giving all newly scanned photos descriptive names including a date (can be an estimate), last name, first name and sometimes birth year of the subject. Then, after saving the image with that descriptive file name, right click on it and choose properties. Click on the details tab (in Windows 7). Under this tab additional information regarding the photo can be added including title, subject, tags, comments and date acquired.
It's time to get back to the task at hand. First I opened the photo in Photoshop Elements 8 and cut out the areas of the scan that were not part of the picture:
The largest missing area on the lower left required some creativity in order to rebuild the missing parts of the wooden chair. I used the selection tool to copy a piece of the chair and paste it over the missing corner to continue the line toward the bottom of the photo. It looks a little funky to start, but it will get better.
Here I continued the process of selecting, copying and pasting pieces of the chair.
Here I have finished rebuilding the chair with both the the selection tool and the clone tool. Both tools are almost as easy to use as the cut and paste tool in a word document. My result is far from perfect on close inspection, but it is a big improvement.
The clone stamp tool easily repaired the upper left hand corner and the tears at the top middle and upper right corner.
Catherine’s face, hair and dress somehow remained undamaged. I did erase a couple of spots on her face and a stain or two from her dress using the clone tool in lighten mode.
I lightened the staining and spots on the rest of the background, again with (you guessed it!) the clone stamp tool. This photo is a little larger so that you can more easily see the details.
Because I couldn’t leave well enough alone I used the smudge tool on the background to clean it up more. Not sure which is better and I haven’t actually used the smudge tool for this purpose before. With more practice I think the effect could be subtler. Here is the finished photo with the damaged photo for comparison.
And because I really can’t leave well enough alone and because I don’t like how the color is looking in my finished photo, here are two more options that I like:
The possibilities are endless and it’s great to have options. This is a photo that can be put on a scrapbook page without worry about damaging the original. It can also be endlessly reprinted to share with all of Catherine's children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Although Catherine is no longer living, her spirit and memory live large in her descendants.
Hope this has given you ideas for your own old and damaged photos.
#apgen 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy 97th General Hospital Adobe Photoshop Elements Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Album Analysis Ancestral Ancestry Android Apps Army Association of Professional Genealogists atDNA Bailey Beginning Genealogy Bichon Frise Blog award Blogging Book Review Brainard Brisk Bristol Bristol CT Bubba Bubbaisms Bubbie Burrell Butzbach Carnival of Genealogy Cemetery Certification Christmas citations Civil War Clift collaboration community conference Conferences Connecticut connection Correlation December Dell Streak derivative Digital Digital Images DNA Documenting Sources Dropbox ebay education Evidence evience Family Family Finder Family History Family History Centers Family History Story Family Tree FamilyTreeDNA Favorite Photo Fearless Females feedly Feeds Feldman Fishing for Family Fishing Friday Food Footnote Friday Footnotes Forenames FotoBridge Foxboro MA Frankfurt Freshford Kilkenny Ireland Genbank Geneadaddybloggers Genealogical Genealogical Education Genealogical Goodness Genealogical Organization Genealogical Proof Genealogical Proof Standard Genealogical Research Genealogical Serendipity Genealogical Success Genealogist genealogy Genealogy Beginner genealogy conference Genealogy Resources Geneamommybloggers GeneaScrappers Genetic Genealogy Germans Germany Gift Gift Idea Ginter Giveaway Glasgow Goals Going In-Depth Google Google Books Google Reader Grace Gravestone Gremley Hammond Hanukkah haplogroup Haplogroup W Heritage Hill History Holidays Holocaust Homes Horse IAJGS Image editing Images immigrant immigration indeterminable information Interviews Ireland Irish Jewish Jewish Genealogy Kiesel Kindle Kindle Fire Kindle Fire HD Lamb Learning to Blog Learns to Blog letters LibraryThing Maps Mary Massachusetts Melting Pot Memorials MGP Study Group 2 Michigan Microfilm Military Military Monday Minsk Motor Torpedo Boat MTB mtDNA Murtagh Murtaugh Music My Girls Mystery Photo Mystic NARA Navy NERGC New England New Year New York New York City Newspapers NGS Nook Color Northern Ireland Norwich CT Notes Old Photos Organization original Passover Photo Photo Clues Photo Edits Photo Organization Photo Preservation Photo Repair Photo Scanning Photograph Photographing Photographs Phylotree Places Poland Ponce Portsmouth NH Postcard Posterity primary information privacy ProQuest Providence Prussia Prussians pt boat Questions Reader Real Life reasonably exhaustive search Recording records reference notes Relatives Remembering Research Resources reverb10 Revere Revere MA Riga Latvia Russia Salt Lake City Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Saturday Stars Scanning Photos Scanning Slides Scrapbook Scrapbook Sunday Scrapbooking Scrapook Screen-O-Matic Second Life secondary information Secret Sentimental Sephardic Sephardic Jews Sharing Memories Shoer SLIG Smith social media Somerville MA source Sources Spanish Inquisition Speaking Spring Stonington Stonington CT Stories Story Sumbeg Surnames Tablet Tablets Tech Tuesday Technology Technorati Temple Israel Temple Jacob Thanksgiving The In-Depth Genealogist thorough research Tombstone Tuesday Traditions Transcription Travers Tree Tuesday's Tip UGA Utah Utah Genealogical Assocation Veterans Day Video Virtual GeneaScrappers Vital Records Washington DC Webinar Websites Weddings Windows Live Writer Wlh Wordless Wednesday World War I World War II Writing yDNA Yearbooks York ME Your Family Tree Magazine YouTube Zayde Zemanta Zinio