Please Help! Fixing a light leaked image

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by dale_grice, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Hi all,
    The image below was taken 23 years ago and is the last image taken of the mother in the group before she passed away a couple of weeks later. I'm looking for some advice regarding possible photoshop techniques I could use to fix up the light leak across the centre of the image.
    Anyone have any ideas??
    Many thanks!!!
  2. Dale, here's an attempt just by playing with "Curves". It's difficult to extract information with such little contrast but at least the faces are more recognizable:
  3. This is difficult and I am not the person to do it, but if you look at the channels, the red channel is the most adversely affected. The blue channel is least affected, but the blue channel have most noise (this is normal). So maybe a black and white based on the blue and green channels and some noise reduction before adjusting contrast (which probably will be the most difficult part).

    I assume "light leak" means there is a negative or positive. A professional might get better results directly from the film. There might also be tricks that can be done during scanning, but I have no idea since I am not that much into scanning.
    All the best luck you can have!
    Frode Langset
  4. Like Michael, I suggest you might get a better result if you converted to B&W. Here is my quick go at it. With some more effort it might be possible to extract more detail.
  5. Attached images do not seem to be showing up at the moment! If it doesn't appear I'll try posting again later.
  6. The color channels are indeed pretty mucked up. The light leak isn't the only problem. It's just a really badly exposed frame. Anyway, here's a crude attempt at normalizing the center in one layer, normalizing the sides in another, and blending the two with a mask.
  7. Sarah, can you see Colin's post? I can't, and your image is showing up as a server error.
  8. For some reason my color image isn't showing up either. FAIW, I've played around with monochrome versions. The light leak shows up mostly in the red channel, and the blue channel is somewhat OK. However, there's not as much tonality in the blue channel. As a result, the rendering of everyone's faces is not as good as what Michael has already accomplished. But the image is less splotchy. I prefer Michael's result, but here's mine if you want it.
  9. Michael, I can't see Colin's post, and I get the same server error when I try to pull up what I posted. I also don't seem to have anything attached to the last post, so I'll try again...
  10. Yet another server error, but maybe it will show up later.
    I think this is all that can be accomplished with the photo without some very careful (and expensive) detailed retouching work. There are no easy solutions with this photo.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    It looks like has finally recovered from the problem for not being able to display attached images. This is Sarah Fox's fix:
  12. I have tried further tinkering but can't get much more out of it. If you have the original negative a better scan might help.
  13. I was impressed by Colin's tweak, enough to spend a little more time on another try.
  14. Like Michael, I had another go but the improvement was only marginal. My attempt involved converting to B&W with boosting green and blue channels and reducing red. Then working on the faces to try to extract a bit more detail using levels, blur and sharpening. This is a good as I can get it.
  15. I like Sara's color image.
    What a tough subject to work on.
  16. As others have suggested, converting to black and white is the way to go, as most of the color content of the image is noise rather than signal anyway. Still, any attempt to recover any sort of detail in the subjects' faces is probably futile, but as other posters have shown, it is possible to make this look like a pretty typical old snapshot taken in horrific light, if that is your hope.
  17. Sorry for bringing this up again, I was looking for examples of light leak restorations, mostly to challenge myself, and stumbled upon this topic. The OP likely won't see even see it (and after 4 years one can't blame him) but I wanted to give it a try as well, so here's my attempt.


Share This Page