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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:46 AM

Asking for help in restoring a photo of my parents, for their memorial service



AAARRRGGGG. I have tried, about twenty times, to resize this to put it in here. I am not having a good day.

Folks in the photo group - I need your help. This is my favorite photo of my Mom and Dad, taken after they were married a few years, but way before I came into the picture. See how in love they were before kids came along and took up all of their 'hugging' time? Lol.

Sadly, my beautiful Mom passed away in June 2012, and my hero in life, my Dad, he followed in December 2012.
It has just been a few short weeks since I lost Dad, and I have yet to cope with losing Mom. They were 93 and 94 years of age at their deaths. They had been married just shy of 66 years.

We are having a memorial service for them at the end of January. I want to put this photo in the remembrance folder at the church.
The photo is old, and has some scratches, some missing spots, and my Dad's forehead has some discoloration on it. I don't have photo editing software good enough to do this, or the skills. And I'm beat, trying to do everything that has to be done. I'm going to the cemetery tomorrow to make final arrangements. Both of my parents were cremated and Dad and I had decided to wait till he passed before we had a burial. I thought I'd have YEARS before I'd have to deal with this. Instead, it was six months.

So, wizards of wonder, can anyone make this photo look sort of new again? And, it is a weird size, not your normal 4 x 6.
I have to post this and run - to bed. Have to be up early to go take care of the details for the service. I probably can't get back
on DU till 4pm.

I want to thank anyone who can help me. I'm overwhelmed at the moment, but want to make things right for Mom and Dad's service.
So any help will be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you so much.
Dem2theMax

16 replies, 1341 views

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Reply Asking for help in restoring a photo of my parents, for their memorial service (Original post)
Dem2theMax Jan 2013 OP
rocktivity Jan 2013 #1
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #2
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #3
justiceischeap Jan 2013 #4
jerseyjack Jan 2013 #5
ManiacJoe Jan 2013 #6
MichaelSoE Jan 2013 #7
Dem2theMax Jan 2013 #8
Alameda Jan 2013 #10
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #9
Dem2theMax Jan 2013 #11
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #12
Dem2theMax Jan 2013 #13
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #14
Dem2theMax Jan 2013 #15
alfredo Jan 2013 #16

Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:12 AM

1. Here's a start




rocktivity

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:28 AM

2. I'm so sorry for your loss.

My deepest sympathies.

I don't have the skill to restore the photo but I truly hope one of our very talented members can help you.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:46 AM

3. Sorry for your loss..



Here's my effort, hope it helps.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:47 AM

4. Best I could do without degrading the image

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:55 AM

5. Sorry for your loss. That hurts.

 

There are photo stores that can do this.

Summit Photo
Springfield Ave
Summit NJ is one I know of.

It is not that expensive, except for the mailing if you need it quickly. There are likely photo stores in your neighborhood that can do excellent work.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:08 PM

6. Sorry for your loss.

Here is my attempt. My goal was to clean up the major damage without removing the nostalgic properties of the old picture. This should give you an idea of what is possible if folks can get a high res scan to start with.


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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:01 PM

7. My contribution and condolences



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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:17 PM

8. THANK YOU to everyone!

Today was a hard day, spending much of it at the cemetery, making plans for my parents burial.

To come home and see my favorite photo of them, looking like it should, instead of all worn out,
you have NO idea of how much this means to me. There is not enough thanks in the world
to all of you for helping to restore this photo. It has been my absolute favorite from the first time
I saw it. My parents would be so pleased to see it looking this way. Now I can use it for the church
service, and most of all, I can finally put it in a frame and smile at it each and every day.

THANK YOU DU'ers! You are the BEST.

Dem2theMax

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:37 PM

10. what a beautiful photo of your parents

Congratulations on having parents who stayed married all those years. They look so young and so much in love. It must be hard to loose them.

My condolences for your loss.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:34 PM

9. Here's something I don't get to do often.

Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:51 PM - Edit history (3)

It involves taking your picture apart piece by piece, and reassembling the newly colored layers back together one by one. Though it took a while, I had a lot of fun doing this, and I still have the editable PSF file if something isn't right.

If your mom's hair was a shade of brown, I can easily do that. I colored your mom's shirt to make it stand out, but if she hated yellow, we can change that to any pastel you want. I'll make it white again if you want.

I don't know if anyone noticed the wedding ring and the wooden case of what might be Miller and Black Label beer, with a black serving tray sitting atop. It's rested on another tray to catch the moisture in the warm weather. It must be a server's station. They really jumped out in the edit. That's your mom's right hand beneath the shadow of her left wrist:




You have beautiful parents, and it's true that I can see their love for each other in this wonderful image. your story touched my own heart. Though my mother died when I was rather young, their pictures are from the same era. It must have been a good time to be in love.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:08 AM

11. OMG!

How I wish they were here to see this. That HAS to be Dad's wedding ring. He was a mechanic, so he never wore it.
He said he saw too many men injured because they wore rings and got their fingers caught on moving parts of engines.

I never saw Dad wear that ring. It is somewhere in the house. I know I will come across it one of these days.
I just looked at their wedding photo. Neither one is wearing rings. I guess they bought them after they married.
Now I can't even ask them about that! They knew each other ONE week, and Dad proposed. They married at the end
of the second week. That is what being in WWII will do to you. They were both veterans.

Here is a photo of Mom, showing her true hair color.



That was her glamour shot. She rememberd that she had that photo taken especially for my Dad.
(I never noticed it till just now, but right under one of Mom's eyes in this picture, there is distortion. Anyone want to fix that too?
I'd be so thankful. How I missed that for all these years...must be something you only notice when it's on the computer.)

Dad's hair was brown.

And the photo was taken at my uncle's place. He had a ranch in Wyoming. If my Dad and Uncle had anything to do with it, beer had to be somewhere close by, for long, hot days.

My Mother's favorite colors? Yellow and green. I even have that in her handwriting. Not making this up.
I could swear you made her pants a green color.

I'm sitting here, shaking my head in amazement. How can I thank you for this? What a priceless gift.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:26 AM

12. Is this closer?

Last edited Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:25 PM - Edit history (2)

I want to mention up front that I'm not a photo restorer, just a compulsive editor. I'm not trying to pass these off as professional work, just an improvement that I had spare time for.

I'm often told I edit my pix too much, sometimes beyond good taste, but I enjoy it so. Like your dad, I too grew up around cars, and when I see a very old car that's had a better day, I'd like to see it restored to it's original showroom condition, or even mildly customized. Others will see the same car and appreciate it's originality, that it's never been restored. They point out that the faded paint contains historic patina, and that the threadbare cloth seats tell a story of where it's been and who was driving. They make a convincing point that it survived decades from the factory without a restoration, but I say say it's about time then.

Pictures are like that too. What one person could legitimately call charming original appeal of the camera's eye at the time, I often see as a candidate for an overhaul.

I hope this portrays the memory of your Mom & Dad better than that tattered and torn b&w image. PS: She has those beautiful blue eyes again:



It appears your Mom was perhaps just a couple years younger than mine by the time the war ended. Mine had already graduated HS and worked at US Gypsum in Warren Ohio during WWII:



I hope your weeks to come find you experiencing smooth closure and the strength to go on.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:13 PM

13. Absolutely beautiful.

And I see you touched up the other photo too. Bless you! I am wondering, if as a child, I somehow got my hands on
that photo and smudged it up a bit. I was known for doing things like that. lol?

I don't know if you can do it, but if you can, Dad's eyes were blue - women flirted with him till the day he died. He was 93.
His hair was probably a bit of a darker brown. Mom's hair was blonder. By the way, she was 94 when she died this year.
So that should tell you how close she was in age to your Mom.

There is so much paperwork when someone dies, it is mind-boggling. When Mom died, I looked at Dad one day, about a month after doing constant paperwork related to her death, and I said to him "it was easier to die 100 years ago. They just buried you in the family plot and that was it." Now you have to prove someone is dead, over and over and over, and it takes forever to get the death certificates to do so.

But I am at peace, knowing they are together. It was hard for my Dad to go on without Mom, even though I was here with him. I just wish they could have kept their deaths a little more apart than six months. I have barely accepted Mom's passing and now I have to start all over with Dad. Funny thing is, they used to get sick at the same time, and I would have my hands full. I finally asked them if they could PLEASE keep their illnesses six months apart, so I could actually care for them with all of my attention. It hit me two days ago that they did this as requested, six months apart. Kept their words to me to the end.

I'll be OK. The hard part is missing my best friends. My parents and I were blessed to have come to that point in our lives.
They were my best friends, and I will miss them every day. But I thank you for bringing them to life in this amazing photo. There are no words to express what is in my heart.

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Response to Dem2theMax (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:57 PM

14. I changed out the pic of your folks.

Just go back to the original post I made of them, copy, and save. It may be wise to have them printed at a Walgreens or somewhere so you can ask them to adjust the colors and contrast to your satisfaction. It's likely they have a better printer than yours, and family may want copies.

It may be hard to tell without a side by side comparison, but I darkened dad's hair a bit, and gave mom more blond highlights. It was a fine line to walk because her hair was beginning to take on a green hue and dad's was getting red, but I hope this is good. If not, perhaps you already saved the previous version. Since the light is from the left side of the pic, much is in the shadow and has to be darker so it doesn't look too manipulated.

When I got down to each individual pixel, I noticed your dad's eyes were not brown, and I guessed they might be blue. In this version I gave him a hint of that baby blue, but had to do so sparingly so he didn't appear unnatural (I hope).

They were fortunate to have you as a daughter, and through all your trials and tribulations over the years, I'm sure they knew that as well. I realize this because I was also the chosen one among my siblings. From the time I was 24, when I alone had to make unexpected funeral arrangements for my Mom, to 2003 when my father died in his lingering dementia, I was the one who was there for them, and I know they appreciated my attendance. That's a big part of why I felt inspired to help you with this lasting memory of your parents.

If there's anything else I can do for such a selfless person as you, or if you want copies of the other edits, just ask, and I'll keep them in my folder for a while. After working so much on this particular photo, and looking so deeply into their eyes, I feel I kind of know them myself now.

Good Luck,

JohnnyRingo
Cortland Ohio

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:40 PM

15. Will be sending you a PM.

It might take me till this evening to do so, but I will!

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:44 PM

16. Very good job on the arm. I would have cropped it out. Lazy, yes.

Resynthesize is my friend.

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