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Deleting "silvering" particles from scans of antique photo prints

Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2019

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I have scanned many old photos from the early 20th century. At that time, they used silver oxide or something like that in priting black and white. The sheen from the silver in the print shows up as "silvering"/tarnish in the scan, i.e. bright blue particles all over the image. Is there a way to select only these bright blue particles and either delete them, mask them or replace them with what is around them? This is something that can be done using the full Photoshop or a program called Picture Window Pro, but the last time I checked (PSE 12?) it could not be done with PSE. I'd like to stick with PSE so I'm hoping that by now this kind of selection and restoration can be handled by PSE. Can anyone tell me if it's possible and, if so, how? Many thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Jeff Arola | Adobe Community Professional

Here's something you might try using two Hue/Saturation adjustments layers.

 

The goal is to desaturate the image to remove the cast caused by the silvering and then bring

back the detail that was covered by the silvering

 

The before image that i got from here:

http://bigdustup.blogspot.com/2010/02/fixing-silvering-in-old-family.html

 

Marie Linder Lotz Orig Scan reduced.jpg

 

 

1. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation ans set the name to filter and Mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-1.jpg

 

2. Make a second Hue/Saturation adj layer and name it film and in the Hue/Sat adj dialog move the

    Saturation slider all the way to the left to remove all color from the photo

 

silvercorrt-2.jpg

 

silvercorrt-3.jpg

 

3 .In this step the idea is to bring out the lost detail in the areas where the silvering particles are (bluish area)

 

    Click on the filter hue/sat layer and move the Hue slider to get the best image.

    In this example i moved the slider to the left.

    Change the Channel to Cyans and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

    Change the Channel to Blues and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

 

silvercorrt-4.jpgsilvercorrt-5.jpg

 

 

 

4. Click on the film hue/sat layer then press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E to make a merged copy of your layers

    In this example the result is Layer 1

 

silvercorrt-6.jpg

 

5. Click on Background layer and press Ctrl+J to make a copy of the Background layer. Then drag that copy to

    the top of the  layer stack. Background copy in this example.

 

6. Go to Filter>Blur>Average, then change the Layer Blend mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-7.jpg

 

 

After

 

after.png

 

 

 

All the screenshots are attached below if you want bigger views than forum offers.

 

 

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Deleting "silvering" particles from scans of antique photo prints

Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2019

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I have scanned many old photos from the early 20th century. At that time, they used silver oxide or something like that in priting black and white. The sheen from the silver in the print shows up as "silvering"/tarnish in the scan, i.e. bright blue particles all over the image. Is there a way to select only these bright blue particles and either delete them, mask them or replace them with what is around them? This is something that can be done using the full Photoshop or a program called Picture Window Pro, but the last time I checked (PSE 12?) it could not be done with PSE. I'd like to stick with PSE so I'm hoping that by now this kind of selection and restoration can be handled by PSE. Can anyone tell me if it's possible and, if so, how? Many thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Jeff Arola | Adobe Community Professional

Here's something you might try using two Hue/Saturation adjustments layers.

 

The goal is to desaturate the image to remove the cast caused by the silvering and then bring

back the detail that was covered by the silvering

 

The before image that i got from here:

http://bigdustup.blogspot.com/2010/02/fixing-silvering-in-old-family.html

 

Marie Linder Lotz Orig Scan reduced.jpg

 

 

1. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation ans set the name to filter and Mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-1.jpg

 

2. Make a second Hue/Saturation adj layer and name it film and in the Hue/Sat adj dialog move the

    Saturation slider all the way to the left to remove all color from the photo

 

silvercorrt-2.jpg

 

silvercorrt-3.jpg

 

3 .In this step the idea is to bring out the lost detail in the areas where the silvering particles are (bluish area)

 

    Click on the filter hue/sat layer and move the Hue slider to get the best image.

    In this example i moved the slider to the left.

    Change the Channel to Cyans and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

    Change the Channel to Blues and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

 

silvercorrt-4.jpgsilvercorrt-5.jpg

 

 

 

4. Click on the film hue/sat layer then press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E to make a merged copy of your layers

    In this example the result is Layer 1

 

silvercorrt-6.jpg

 

5. Click on Background layer and press Ctrl+J to make a copy of the Background layer. Then drag that copy to

    the top of the  layer stack. Background copy in this example.

 

6. Go to Filter>Blur>Average, then change the Layer Blend mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-7.jpg

 

 

After

 

after.png

 

 

 

All the screenshots are attached below if you want bigger views than forum offers.

 

 

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Dec 14, 2019 1
Enthusiast ,
Dec 14, 2019

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This 3 minute video demonstrates the ease with which the silver might be eliminated from your scan(s) using full blown Photoshop.  I'm not suggesting it can't be done in PSE, just that it may involve different steps and the use of a plugin (as an example).  I hope you'll find this info useful.

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Dec 14, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 14, 2019

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Here's something you might try using two Hue/Saturation adjustments layers.

 

The goal is to desaturate the image to remove the cast caused by the silvering and then bring

back the detail that was covered by the silvering

 

The before image that i got from here:

http://bigdustup.blogspot.com/2010/02/fixing-silvering-in-old-family.html

 

Marie Linder Lotz Orig Scan reduced.jpg

 

 

1. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation ans set the name to filter and Mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-1.jpg

 

2. Make a second Hue/Saturation adj layer and name it film and in the Hue/Sat adj dialog move the

    Saturation slider all the way to the left to remove all color from the photo

 

silvercorrt-2.jpg

 

silvercorrt-3.jpg

 

3 .In this step the idea is to bring out the lost detail in the areas where the silvering particles are (bluish area)

 

    Click on the filter hue/sat layer and move the Hue slider to get the best image.

    In this example i moved the slider to the left.

    Change the Channel to Cyans and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

    Change the Channel to Blues and move the Hue slider to the right to get the most detail

 

silvercorrt-4.jpgsilvercorrt-5.jpg

 

 

 

4. Click on the film hue/sat layer then press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E to make a merged copy of your layers

    In this example the result is Layer 1

 

silvercorrt-6.jpg

 

5. Click on Background layer and press Ctrl+J to make a copy of the Background layer. Then drag that copy to

    the top of the  layer stack. Background copy in this example.

 

6. Go to Filter>Blur>Average, then change the Layer Blend mode to Color

 

silvercorrt-7.jpg

 

 

After

 

after.png

 

 

 

All the screenshots are attached below if you want bigger views than forum offers.

 

 

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Dec 14, 2019 5
Enthusiast ,
Dec 15, 2019

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Jeff_Arola, I was just about to say that.  Just kidding!  Thanks for the very excellent tutorial, how amazing.  For any that may not already know, Hue, Saturation (etc) sliders can be feathered individually by highlighting their numeric values and using up/down arrow keys on the keyboard.  It came in handy today. 

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Dec 15, 2019 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2019

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Thank you so much Jeff for that very helpful detailed explanation. Now I'll be able to get all that horrible silvering out of my old family photos -- it really ruins the picture. It's so good to know there is a way to do this in PSE. And thank you Phinny for the additional information about feathering Hue and Saturation. I didn't know that.

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Dec 15, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2019

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This process worked perfectly! Thanks again, Jeff_Arola!

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Dec 19, 2019 0
New Here ,
Nov 14, 2020

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Hi Paulm,

At the end of the steps Jeff described, how do you combine all the layers into one layer to save? Merge down did not work for me.

Thanks in advance,

Judy

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Nov 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2020

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You can go to Layer>Flatten Image.

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Nov 15, 2020 0
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Nov 15, 2020

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Thank you, Jeff!

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