Picture Fix Techniques

There are a lot of picture fix approaches.  These are a few examples of the way we fix pictures.

Sometimes stuff happens and pictures get torn into a lot of pieces like this one. Fortunately there is a way to fix it.

  1. There are many ways to select parts of a picture using Photoshop® but for a job like this, I prefer the pen tool.  It’s a little difficult to use but worth the effort. It uses Bezier Curves to allow you to select pictures or parts of pictures with great accuracy.
  2. After each piece has been selected, they need to be on individual layers so they can be moved together.
  3. Once the pieces have been placed as close as possible, it’s time to get rid of the cracks using the healing brush, rubber stamp and brush tools.


Another example of willful damage to a picture.

This one isn’t actually as difficult as it looks because of the contrast between the skin tones and the marker.  If the marker had been red, it would have been almost impossible to fix this picture.  In a scanned photo there are 3 channels or colours – Red, Green and Blue which in conventional printing represent Cyan, Magenta and Yellow respectively.  When you view the channels of the photo with the marker on it, the Red (Cyan) and Green (Magenta) channels still show the marker because the blue colour of the marker is made up of Cyan and Magenta.  When you look at the Blue (Yellow) channel, the marker disappears because there is no Yellow in the blue colour of the marker.

Photoshop® has a lot of tools that would work well on parts of this picture but the only ones I used to fix it were the brush tool and curves. Most of the difficult repair work on photos cannot be done well without the ability to draw and/or paint.  If you have a look at the mouth of the boy in this picture you’ll see what I mean.  It’s almost gone in the before photo.  The healing brush or rubber stamp wouldn’t have fixed it so the only way to approach it was to redraw it with the brush tool.

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