just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facial Reconstruction

I can´t say in all honesty that I actually enjoy restoring photos though, if I´ve been successful, there´s a certain satisfaction afterwards in a job well done. It´s just as well that I get something out of such a tedious task because my family seems to have a long tradition of defacing, abusing, neglecting and for all I know maybe even wilfully damaging its old photos. Judging by the tea stains on some of them, both my mother and my grandmother appear to have used many of theirs as saucers and my aunt´s are so scratched they´re more a reminder of the various cats she kept than a family record.

I´ve had one particular photo in my album which I scanned long ago and occasionally open in PS with a view to restoring it then abruptly change my mind and close it again with a shudder. It´s a photo of my mother and, as far as I know, the only one in existence of her as a baby so it´s particularly dear to me. This is what it looks like after goodness knows what kind of child abuse it´s been subjected to.

Pretty bad, isn´t it? But wait until you´ve seen a close up of her face. No wonder she looks so apprehensive, poor baby. It´s as if she knew even then just how badly she´d be treated in years to come.

On a dull day recently while I was casting about for something to do, I came across it again and finally decided to bite the bullet and at least make a start on it. After a lot of frustrating trial and error using the clone/patch/healing brush tools this is as far as I got.

Large damaged areas with little detail are relatively easy to repair so many of the major flaws have gone and I can tackle the damage around the edges later on but that spotty white blotch at the side of the nose totally defeated me. I´ve had several attempts at it since then and it still defeats me. I don´t think there´s a quick fix for this but any advice would be welcome.


  1. What a precious photo. You did a great job and I KNOW how tedious that is. She's pretty symmetrical except for shading. You could try copying the right side of her nose, flipping it and changing the opacity to see if you can at least recreate the lines and nostril on the left side. That's my only thought and worth what you paid for it. ha! Good luck! Be sure to share the results if you work on it some more.

  2. Good idea. Thanks, Diane. I´ll try that out on the next rainy day when I have absolutely nothing that´s easy to do!

  3. Diane covered my thoughts on what to do. I have done several and know how tedious they can be. And it is good to work a while and then take a break from the task and come back to it with refreshed energy. Such a wonderful photo...it will be worth all you hard work once totally finished.

  4. You really have done an excellent job on the restoration. They only thing I can think of to add to Diane's advice is to look for a similar photo to use on the missing area. Diane's advice is probably better though.