I hope you are inspired by the book Photoshop Restoration & Retouching and that you would like to share your work with other reader's. Show us how you've taken the techniques in the book and gone further with them. If you send me before and after files (please keep them small, 1 MB in total) of the retouched image I'll post them here in the Reader's Gallery.

1950's to Present • Page One
1950's to Present Page Two
1950's to Present Page Three

Please mouse over an image to see the before and after.

Hi Katrin,

Here's a shot I got from Retouchpro.com - they have some pretty sticky challenges on that site. The first thing I did was a channel mixer adjustment layer. I set that to the green channel and clicked monochrome. This gave me a nice b&w version. Whenever an image is really messed up I always start off by making a good black & white version of it. For me it is easier to airbrush, and clone starting out with this limited grayscale palette. I know I can always put color back in later.

I made a composite layer of just the grayscale and jumped a copy of the right eye & brow to a new layer (Command J). Then I flipped and rotated this new eye to become the left eye. Once that was done I copied the iris to a new layer and painted in the white of the eye on the underlying copy. Moved the iris over to the left and painted out the highlight and put a new one in to align with the light source from the right eye. Then on a new layer I used the airbrush tool and various shades of gray to paint in a left ear and paint in the skin where it had been torn off.

On another layer I painted in the basic hair shape for the left side. Then I needed to repeat some of the leaf & flower patterns from the dress so I highlighted the black and white composite layer and made various selections of patterns already there and jumped them to new layers. I rotated these and layer masked them to blend in.

Once most of the garbage was out I made a new blank layer for a composite of the visible layers (Shift Option Command E). Once that was done I did a gradient black to white layer for the background, added noise, Gaussian blurred it and used a black airbrush in multiply mode and made some gestured strokes over the background. I am also using a Intuos Wacom tablet, without which I would not be able to do much of this. I recommend it to anyone who is serious about photo restoration.
Then I started adding color using several adjustment layers and digital makeup layers. I copied some "chop sticks" from another photo and added them to the hair. I also stroked in some strands of hair with a 1-pixel brush. Once the color looked good I added a Uniform 2.4 noise to everything I merged to put back some grain. I copied this composite and Gaussian blurred this and set this layer to 30% opacity over the other one to give a slight softening to the portrait.



Hi Katrin!

I just bought your book "Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" and it's just what I've been looking for! I have recently completed a certificate course on digital publishing, and am trying to get some work doing restoration. After taking at least 5 courses in Photoshop - not one explored the field of photo restoration. I drove my instructors crazy! Your book has helped me so much.

I restored this image for a friend. As you can see, it was a real mess. Your chapter on levels was a tremendous help. I can't wait to explore all the tips and techniques described in your book.

Thanks - for all the help!
Norma C
Waterbury, CT.

Mike Almon sent me this beautiful restoration example with the following explanation, "I fixed this picture for a friend not knowing it was one of the few pictures of him and his older brother who had passed away years earlier. He just started crying when he saw it. This was a treasured photo and the only one he had. Thank you."

A colleague gave me a picture he scanned and asked if I could do anything with it.

I did everything to it!

Thanks again,
Bob T.
Camarillo, CA

As Suzan Charnock wrote: I am a self taught Photoshop user striving to achieve a firm foundation of skills and techniques required in photo restoration. I applied many of the techniques in your book to the two 1950’s examples seen here (above & below).  Both required the use of levels, curves, blending modes, cloning and painting tools to reconstruct missing information.

Please mouse over the image below to see the before and after versions.

Jeff Comella is a commercial photographer based in Pittsburgh and a self taught computer pixel mover. As he says, "I try to add value to each job by retouching and compositing." Jeff has a number of examples in the different reader galleries and they are all wonderfully executed. Above, is an image restoration he did of a portrait of his father and below he color corrected the image and really made it shine again.

We all have images like the original above in our drawers, shoeboxes, and basements. This is a great example of what a straight forward color correction can do to bring in image back from the brink. Please mouse over the image above to see the before and after versions.



Hi Katrin,

I think it is one of the most dramatic looking restorations I've ever done. The original is so yellowed and aged and faded that there isn't much apparent color information. The restoration has brought back as much of the original color, contrast, sharpness and depth considering the photo inks had bled and the photo surface was terribly cracked. It was basically a unique image which in more time would have been lost but was restored saved and preserved with digital technology!

Write more books - you're good at it, not just about restoration stuff but about life and philosophy stuff. I think you'd do well with that.
Dennis David

Peter Romano restored the badly miscolored image (above) with a combination of the channel replacement technique and color correction with Levels.


virgin brazilian hair

Dear Katrin,

First, let me say that your book has taught me more about Photoshop then those special effects books. I never understood levels, curves and color, not that I am a pro at it now but your book has pointed me to right direction. I am enjoying Photoshop these days thanks to your book. I have attempted to retouch and restore this photograph that I found in an old family album.

Best regards,
Kulraj Singh

Dino Carney restored both of these images. On the left, please mouse over the image to see the before and after. Below is a wonderful restoration of an old and damaged photo of his mother.

Hi Katrin,

Just thought I'd send you before and after. This was a photo of my wife's friend who wanted a photo of herself alone. Bye the way I'm still learning from your book!


I attended your lecture at the most recent PhotoExpo Convention in NY and bought your book.
WOW - it has really enhanced my understanding of photo retouching. Thanks again! Lee