Here is our starting image of Catherine with lighting and color adjustments:
Lightroom is always my starting tool for photo repair. I try to do as much as possible there and then, if necessary, move into Photoshop Elements for further editing. The Clone or Heal Brush included with Lightroom is quite effective with small damaged areas. Here is a closeup of one area that needs fixing:
With just a few clicks of the Clone Brush these small dots disappear:
Before cloning or healing a larger damaged area like the background, first I like to use the Adjustment Brush set to Clarity -100, which smooths out some of the funky marks and pixels. You might remember that one of the challenges with editing this photo is that it was scanned at a low resolution and is therefore a small file with pixels easily visible upon enlargement.
|Before Clarity Brush at -100|
|After Clarity Brush at -100|
This shows the background before and after the clarity brush set to -100 has been applied.
Next I used the Clone/Heal brush on the background.
Looking good! Here is the image with all of the healed areas marked.
Now onto the challenging tears. This tear I was able to fix with the Clone brush in Lightroom:
The larger tear really needs Photoshop. You can see how it looks using the Lightroom Clone tool. To undo the changes, just select Ctrl Z for each change you want to delete. Then right click on the image and choose Edit in Photoshop, and then edit a copy with Lightroom Adjustments.
Here the tear has been repaired with a similar tool in Photoshop called, you guessed it, the Clone Stamp.
In Photoshop I saved the image as a copy, then went back to Lightroom and opened the new image. Just three more steps; 1) smoothed the skin on Catherine's face, neck and arms with the Adjustment Brush, Clarity -50, 2) lifted the highlights in her hair and eyes with Adjustment Brush, Sharpness +35 and 3) applied a light vignette.
Here are the final and original images:
Don't know why, but that crooked grin reminds me of someone else. I can't help but smile when I look at her. She was so young and pretty. Believe it or not, those are not blond highlights in her hair, but white. The story goes that her hair was completely white by the age of 25. I won't tell you who in the family has her genes.
Hope that these photo repair steps were helpful. If you have any questions, just give me a shout.