Wedding album restoration project

A lot of color correction on the skin tones and neutralizing the whites in the dress was needed to restore the damage caused by detoriation in the original color print

I have been working on a wedding restoration project for a former co-worker in California.

She saw that I was volunteering for Operation Photo Rescue and asked if I could apply those skills to her parents wedding album. After spending 20 years in storage, the color prints had badly faded, though the image data was largely intact. The scanning process was relatively simple. I was able to scan the entire album with 71 images in 2 evenings work. I used the Epson software color restore function to bring back some of the color balance automatically. Even after that helpful automated technology the resulting Tiff images were wildly different in their color swings.

I tried to color correct the images in Adobe Lightroom, but the color shifts actually occurred within different color ranges in the images. For example, skin tones needed different correction than the dress, than the background. This is probably due to the photo papers dyes deteriorating at different times and levels. What I found was the most satisfying was to prep the images in Lightroom and then apply adjustment layers that are masked specifically for each area of the image in Photoshop.

The first layer I make is for retouches- mostly dust and scratches on the prints themselves. But because the images were shot of film pre-Photoshop, I did do some facial retouching. Next, I applied an adjustment layer for the background color correction. Next a masked adjustment layer for the facial skin tone, and finally another for the dress white balance. The resulting images come close to their original or better than original state.

Color restoration and cleaning up dust & scratches on the original scan from the print

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply