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Looking for suggestions to repair severe cracking/mold without blurring photo!

New Here ,
Nov 08, 2022 Nov 08, 2022

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Wanting to upgrade a 76-yr-old, irreplaceable, black and white, wallet-size, wedding photo to at least an 8”x10” — ideally to a 10” x 13” or 11” x 14” — without having to blur/lose details. Enough detail is present to go that large but damage on 2 of 4 individuals is making this a real challenge! Photo was actually carried in a wallet at one time -- has severe crackle interspersed with “blue mold” (photo's reaction to leather wallet and/or something stored adjacent) when scanned in color at 4800 ppi. Scanning in color versus black and white, for me, creates an IDEAL, vintage look (just a hint of brown) that also makes flaws easiest to see/repair. However, willing to try from any approach at this point!

 
Tried so far: 
 
Scanning all the way down to as low as 150 ppi doesn’t resolve the problem. 
 
Too much damage exists to repair all that is visible at only 15 to 20 zooming — using spot healing brush (both proximity match and content aware) and clone stamping. Results in an unattractive, flat, matte finish.
 
Have tried correcting problem attire alone to minimize damage . . . cutting out damaged sections and substituting with best portions of fabric remaining . . . cutting out damaged sections and trying to recreate clothes via cloning . . . painting the cracks/mold . . . trying every filter in the Noise category . . . trying every Enhancement . . . removing as much of the blue as possible via Color Correction. The white is a little tricker since there’s a faint white pattern in the blouse.
 
Presently working with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022 but amenable to purchasing any online Photoshop program if something more powerful/capable can resolve this. Started with Pixelator and the damage exceeds its capabilities. 
 
Would still classify myself as a “Newbie.” Feel I know just enough to be truly dangerous!  🙂  Am I attempting the impossible? 
 
Sincerely,
Shawn
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Creative , How to , Mac

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Advisor ,
Nov 08, 2022 Nov 08, 2022

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This is what it looks like while editing in Photoshop.    I think it's fixable.  It would take me quite some time to do it up right.   what you see is less than 5 minutes of work in Photoshop.  

You could do it in PSE- it would jsuttake a lot more time. 

2022-11-08_064538.png


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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2022 Nov 08, 2022

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Glen or rather Obi-Wan Kenobi (if I may)!

 
Wow!!! I’ve obviously been working with the WRONG program! THANK YOU!
 
Could you please list the steps you initially took? Brief is fine — as in which option you chose to use first, second, etc.
 
THANK YOU!
 
Sincerely,
Shawn

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Advisor ,
Nov 09, 2022 Nov 09, 2022

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I used the photo restoration neural filter-- really that'swhat it's called.  Neural filters are nothing more than fancy actions that use a bit of A.I. to do there magic.   They are only found in the full version of photoshop-- which costs me only $10.84 a month.   

Neural Filters is a tool that empowers you to try non-destructive, generative filters and explore creative ideas in seconds. Neural Filters helps you improve your images by generating new contextual pixels that are not actually present in your original image.

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