Sunday, 5 September 2010

Hand tinting old black and white photos

I was given a photo of my parents wedding when I was visiting recently. It will be there Diamond wedding on the 30th and yes we are having a party. My mother had said that it was a shame that her wedding photo's were in black and white  as her day was a colourful one. The photo she gave me was a small 6x4 which had been varnished which meant that when I scanned the image it was speckled and faded slightly.


So transferring it into photoshop I endeavoured to restore the image as best I could. Using a combination of layers and the filter-noise-dust and scratches tool which can be found on the top tool bar under Filters. I managed to get a half decent image which I enhanced using curves and the sharpening tool. The result can be seen below.


I was quite happy with the result but thought I would have a go at hand tinting using photoshop. The secret is to gain as much information as possible. It was easy in this case as my mother and father naturally remember the day quite vividly. However I had to uses several images to sample the colours required to complete a tinted version. The flowers were Pink and White Carnations so I searched on line for images of said flowers and matched the colour. My Granddaughter has the same colour hair as my mother did when she was young so I sampled that from a photo of her. The skin tones I got from my Grandson and my fathers hair from my daughter. The church walls and pavement came from Selby Abbey in Yorkshire and the green was taken from some trees near the Abbey. The rest was guesswork. To do this in photoshop open the image and select the brush tool, On the top tool bar where it says Mode select Colour and set the opacity to 70% then paint away. Build the colours gradually especially skin tones. Do the highlights first then add shadow etc to make it look realistic. The opacity can be reduced for delicate areas such as the stonework showing through the wedding dress. The hardest part was the greenery some guess work was needed and a lot of patience as it can be tedious. However it is worth the effort and with practice looks pretty realistic.


I intend to give my parents this mounted and framed as an A3 print for their anniversary. I hope they like it, Together for 60 years isn't that great?

13 comments:

Robin said...

Congratulations to them. What a wonderful goal to reach.
And Congratulations to you on a wonderful job of restoration and adding tint. Great job.

Mersad said...

Amazing technique. I am currently trying this myself on a couple of old photos.

Sarah C said...

WOW that's an amazing transformation. Love it. Wish I had Photoshop so that I could do that for my Mum too. Maybe one day. Congratulations to your parents and hope their party is amazing for them.

Thank you for the comment on my blog post. You have a good point. x

Valerie said...

I admire your dedication to the task, and the end result. It is perfect. I'm sure your parents will be thrilled. Hope they have a happy day.

Sandra said...

perfect! i like the color and it looks like it came that way. i don't know how to sample colors. i love the bouguet she is holding. lovely photo and couple. they will be so pleased and what a wonderful gift.

Montanagirl said...

Wonderful job on the photo restoration! You did a superb job, and congratulations to them.

Vagabonde said...

I just found your blog reading Elaine’s Arctic View. She had a picture she worked with Photoshop Elements 8 which turned out very nice. I have had Photoshop Elements 8 now since spring and have done nothing with it as I am scared of it. Also I have been traveling and did not have the time to sit down and learn. I’ll come back to your blog as you know so much. I have many blogs to read now because I am behind, but I’ll be back – I am pleased to have found your blog.

wncmountainliving said...

What a lovely gift and you did the refinishing so well. great job! Thanks for stopping by.

One Woman's Journey said...

Beautiful - you are talented.
Thank you for visiting my simple sharing from far over the ocean.

Elaine said...

What a wonderful gift for your parents! You did a wonderful job of bringing back the color of their wedding day. I have a bunch of old black and white photos. I'll have to try to add some color with my Photoshop Elements, but as we are traveling now that won't be for a while.

pqueirozribeiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pqueirozribeiro said...

You have created a blog interesting. There may be no discussions but there are many explanations of technique. But the most important in this work was the affection with their parents that you showed in the process of revitalization and color. I would love that all the sons or daughters had the same affection. The colorful and beautiful days of the marriage of his parents touched me. Congratulations!

Petra said...

Both of the versions are wonderful, you must have been very patient.

Thanks to your description I found out there is a scratches tool in Photoshop Elements too and the brush has so many options...