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3.4 Fix Colour

All images degrade over time. In this lesson you'll learn how to fix the colours and tones in your image.

3.4 Fix Colour

Welcome back to tuts+ archival photo restoration. I'm Marie Gardner and in this lesson we're going to look at correct color and tones in an image. Fade in and general degrade in effect the original chemicals within an old print. So chances are they don't look how they used to. Scanning can enhance these changes, and so we need to make adjustments in order to get the picture looking right again. So as with the previous lessons, you can see I've already created a group up here called fix color because that's what the lesson's all about. And we're gonna start with an adjustment layer, so you click here at the bottom and selective color adjustment layer. So depending on the kind of photograph you work on, whether it's color, black and white or sepia. You can go through and you can literally drag the sliders about and just see what makes a difference. Now with this, obviously any adjustments on red or yellow, because it's sepia, it's going to make a huge difference, more than we actually want to make. So what we're actually going to do on this one is we're going to go straight to the whites. And I'm just gonna pull the color, all of the color out of the light, apart from the black. Now we're gonna go to the blacks, and gonna increase the Cyan a little bit cuz that's gonna darken the shadows and same with the magenta. And obviously the black itself. If I just move that out of the way and we'll zoom out, you can see the difference. So what that's doing really is to add contrast. If you look at the difference in the shadows in which darker and that background has come back considerably considering what it was. So that's made a big difference, you can also look at the neutrals to do that as well. So with the neutrals we're just gonna dip a little bit of the yellow out, because as I mentioned when you scan it in, even though the picture is sepia it means it exaggerates the color. So it's gonna put more yellow, more orange in than it should be, and it's gonna exaggerate those little blemishes of color that shouldn't be there as well which we'll tackle in a minute. So I'm just gonna pull a little color out, make it a little cooler with the scion. Not too much though I mean we still want it to look as if it's sepia. Now we're going, okay, so you can see the difference in the full image there, and I'll just zoom in so you can see it's really upped the contrast, it's improved the color as well. The next thing that we're gonna do is go to the vibrance and saturation, and an adjustment there again. And again, just pull a little of that sepia out, there we go. We don't want it to be too much otherwise it's gonna look black and white, which is fine if you want to make it black and white. But we're gonna stay true to what it is, so next up we're gonna fix these awkward little, spots of color. So hit Ctrl+Shift+N for a new layer, or Cmd+Shift+N if you're on a Mac, and we're just going to call that Color. Now, firstly you want to select a color, so we're going to use the eye-dropper tool, when I can find it, there we go. And we're gonna select a good area of color, so, kind of this brownie, goldy color here. It might not be all right, but that's okay, we can adjust it afterwards. And then, we're gonna select a brush, we're gonna change the blend mode of the color layer, and we're gonna make that color. And then we're going to paint over these patches, and then you can see, it doesn't look quite right yet. But let's give it a chance, cuz we're going to lower the opacity and just see if that makes a difference. Just checking out the brush is soft cuz you don't want to do this with a hard brush. And we're just painting over the bits that are majorly pink, and we don't want to go too wacky. So, let's just have a look at that, obviously it doesn't look good like that, but once we have, if we start the opacity at zero, you can see where it was, and then move just drag it up, creeping in that color. And there we go, I would say somewhere around 50 to 60% was right for that. And that's quite an improvement, and then, what we're gonna do is just apply that to the rest of the image. Wow, the color looks a little strange. Now you might find that when you color over somewhere else It's not as good a result as the first place that you colored. That's fine, in that case, you can do a new layer and start on that. But it's fine to work on the same layer, just change your color here. And then color over the top, I don't think that's too bad really. And then we've got some orange patches here, too. Okay, that's pretty good, if I just show you that whole change that we've made, so not just the patches, but the change to the color as well. [NOISE] You can see that really is a massive difference. So it's brought out all of that kind of exaggerated orange and sepia from scanning it in. We've got a lot of the color brought back and the contrast brought back even. It's not a color photo, and we've got rid of those unsightly patches. So that looks pretty good, so if I just go and hide everything that we've done, we can see that makes a massive difference. So it's basically taking all of that awful and exaggerated orange out of the sepia that's happened from scanning it in. And we've removed the unsightly orange patches that have just happened from general aging. And we've managed to bring a lot of background back by adjusting colors within the selective color layer. So that's looking a lot better, File > Save your work. Your image should be back to looking as good as it can, congratulations. Sometimes, if you've got a picture with faded colors or want to do something a little more stylized, rather than just restore, you can add color. The next section of our course is going to look at adding color to your image. Thanks for watching.

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