Project 3—Grandad, Dad, and Aunt, 1942.

Original image—notice the serious fading,  scratches, and fingerprints.

Before—faded b&w print suffering from cracking, fingerprints, and a small amount of age or mold spotting. Particular problem areas were the sky, the faces, and the uniforms.

Retouched image of Grandad, Dad, and Aunt .  the image is much clearer, particularly in  the facial details  of  Dad and Aunt.

After—Levels, a curves adjustment layer set to multiply, judicious and tedious use of the healing brush and stamp tool, a gradient layer to mask out the sky along with parts of the figures while the rest was lightened, a selection of the sky to remove the mutliple cracks running in several directions (using the “float and move” technique from Eismann), and some cropping resulted in the above improved version of the image. Unfortunately, there were some areas where little could be done(such as the grandad's face.)

Vignette of the retouched image with sky  blurred to neutral so that it would not be a distraction.

Vignette—I used the marquee selection tool with gaussian blur to make this vignette. I then decided to do a little bit more to the sky so as to get rid of the distracting tracery of branches by using the blur tool and a curves layer.

Colorized vignette with  branches removed from in front of figures.

Colorized Vignette—In this version, I colorized the image by converting it to RGB and using the marquee tool to select the faces and clothing of the figures. I put each selection in a different layer and added color using the paint brush tool, using either the pin light or soft light blending settings for the color layers.