Help! My Old Colour Photo has Turned Pink - 5 Minute Digital Fix
Almost all of us will have seen this particular photographic problem, namely, your old colour photographs appear to have taken on an overall pink or blue tint.
This is primarily due to the chemicals within the various layers of the photographic paper starting to breakdown, often due to age, and the way that the photographs have been stored.
In many cases it is due to reactants in the environment (remember acid rain?) causing a chemical reaction which results in the fading of certain colour pigments in the photo.
Pink and blue colour shifts are commonplace.
Luckily, these colour shifts can be easily corrected, using your favourite image manipulation software, in such a way as to be able to produce an acceptable corrected image.
In the example image on our web-site the "before" image of the house clearly shows a colour shift to pink.
Before we start using any of the image manipulation software tools we first need to access the photograph in question and determine the steps we need to take.
What do you know about the photograph in question?
Well ... it's a house with a front lawn of grass, a few bushes and flowers, what appears to be a blue rubbish or compost bin, and some (right now) pink edged clouds.
What else ... ?
If you know the actual house, as I do (it is my sister's), I can tell you the window frames are painted white/cream and the front lawn is always in good condition, lush and a deep green. The bricks are a sandstone colour and because this house is in the North of England it is fair to say that the colour of the sky when the photo was taken would most probably have been a bit grey/white and overcast.
The point of this exercise is to use "your mind's eye" to try establish what the original photograph would have looked like and the end result you want to match as closely as possible.
Basic Correction Method
The Basic Correction method described here can restore colour faded or tinted photos and eliminate almost all of a particular colour cast.
The simplicity of the Basic correction method is that it only uses one command from Adobe Photoshop CS, namely the Levels command.
The "After" image on our web-site does still have a slight pink edge to the clouds, but the final image is more than acceptable for printing.
The source of the your problematic image may have come from a scanned negative, scanned print or digital camera image all converted to an image format (most probably .JPG pronounced "jaypeg") that can be opened in your image manipulation software.
I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS, but almost all other image manipulation software packages have similar tools so the method described should be repeatable with your own software package.
Step - 1
Select the Levels command in Photoshop using Image->Adjustments->Levels.
A pop-up window will appear showing what appears to be a "mountain range" which is correctly called a histogram.
Below the histogram you will notice small black, grey and white arrow sliders.
What does the Levels Histogram tell us about the photo?
Well ... the black arrow to the left hand side is well away from the "mountain range" telling us that the photo contains no (or very little) pure blacks.
Similarly, the white arrow on the far right tells us there is no (or very little) pure whites in the photo.
We already know this because the white areas of the photo as we perceived the original to be (i.e. the clouds and window frames) have the pink cast to them.
Also notice in the bottom right hand corner of the pop-up Levels window there are three "eye-dropper" buttons, one filled with black, one with grey and one with white.
These can be used to "sample" your photo and pick out where it is perceived the original black, grey and white areas of the photo are. These eye-droppers are what we will use in the basic correction of the photo.
Which one to use I hear you ask? Well it depends on the photo. I tend to favour using the grey eye-dropper first since I can usually evaluate a photo and find a mid grey part to sample from.
If your photo has a definite area of pure black or pure white then try the corresponding eye-droppers.
Remember one of the best tools to be using here will still be your eyes.
In our example image on our web-site I am going to use the grey eye-dropper and sample the cloud just above and to the left of the house roof-line because I think in the original this would have been a mid grey in colour.
Step - 2
Click on the middle eye-dropper button and then moving the mouse cursor to the photo, left click on the bottom side of the cloud.
The histogram shape changed and you will notice that most of the pink colour cast has disappeared.
The clouds still have a tinge of pink to them, but on the whole the photo is starting to look like I think it should.
Overall though, the photo now looks a little flat.
Step - 3
Let's have another look at the histogram.
Notice the black and white arrows still tend to be at the far left and right of the "mountain range".
Left Click and hold on the black arrow and drag towards the start of the "mountain range" and watch the photo.
Repeat this for the white arrow on the right hand side.
The resulting photo has now been given a bit of a boost in contrast and more closely resembles what I think the original photo would have looked like.
In many cases, the technique of using just the Levels histogram and eye-droppers can produce an acceptable corrected image.
There is still a slight amount of pink in the bottom of the clouds of our example image, but the aim of the exercise was for a basic correction method using just one tool from Photoshop CS.
Less than five minutes of digital image manipulation to produce an acceptable corrected image.
If you find the steps being taken are a little hard to understand in this text based article, you can click on the link at the end of this article to see the same method explained on our website with the aid of example graphical images.
© Gary Wilkinson 2005 - All Rights Reserved
You can see this correction method complete with example images at Correction of Colour Faded or Tinted Photos
Feel free to re-print this article provided that all hyperlinks and author biography are retained as-is.
Gary Wilkinson is a photographer, photographic restorer and the owner of a photographic retail business. He is also the publisher of the http://www.restoring-photos-made-easy.com website, where other methods of correcting common photographic restoration problems are discussed.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Finalists Include Dancing Kangaroo and Church-Going Penguins - Inside Edition
Photography series explores mothers and daughters, and their relationships around the world - Washington Post
10 Steps to Buying a Digital Camera You Must Know
You are anxious to purchase your new digital camera! You want to get it in your hands quickly so you can begin to enjoy it. Are you going to go to the store right now and pick one out? Wrong! You must have some basic knowledge and know-how prior to entering into the world of salesmen and digital cameras! Here are the steps to buying the digital camera that is right for you.
Let Those Digital Photos Out! (You Don't Have To Print Them Yourself)
What have you done with the photos you've taken with your digital camera? Hands up if they are languishing on your hard drive waiting to be printed. If your hand is up you are not alone.
Photo Equipment Lists
You arrive at your photo shoot excited about the images you are about to take - that is, until you realize that you have left an important piece of equipment at home. You now will have to improvise, spend extra money or time to replace the item, or go without it for the shot.
The Venice Rookery
Love is in the air at the Venice Rookery. The birds (and the bees) are there doing the thing they are so famous for, and you can take pictures of it! Seriously, though, the Venice Rookery is an ideal spot to photograph birds mating, building their nests, fighting for territory and feeding their chicks.
CCTV Camera Tip: Apply Simple Common Sense when Picking CCTV Cameras and Lenses
Get a good face shot: Use Higher quality cameras at entry areas.Doors, gates and other entry areas need a good quality, high resolution camera to record a good 'face shot.
Start a Photography Business from Home
Anyone with the right camera equipment, and the necessary skills can set up a home business, marketing photography. You need only to convert a room of your house into an office, and then you can work immediately.
Make Your Digital Camera Batteries Last Longer
One technology that hasn't kept up with the rapid pace of new digital cameras is camera batteries. The more features a camera has, the quicker it seems to use up precious battery power.
Bracketing and How To Use Tt Correctly...
Olympus Digital Cameras - Digging Into The History
One of the oldest companies, Olympus has had a long and historical journey. Olympus digital cameras are being used all over the world today.
The Primer on Digital Camera Printers
Once you have clicked photos through your digital camera, then the next step is to turn these 'virtual' images into real photos. One way is to send the memory card to a digital photo laboratory and get the images developed there.
10 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Photographs from Infringement
While it would be nice to live in a house where you don't have to lock the door, it's not practical these days. Likewise, here are 10 things you can do to help safeguard your images from being stolen.
Getting Your Photos Ready for Sharing
One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best.
The Advantages of Underwater Camera Housing
You will need an underwater camera housing to keep your valuable camera dry. This is a very important piece of equipment.
Imperfect Photos And How You Can Fix Them
So your picture came out less then perfect. Blemishes or wrinkles, red eyes and wrong color balance - you can fix it all without having to learn or pay for Adobe Photoshop.
Where Do Great Ideas Come From?
At a Photo Club meeting I attended recently, the President made a comment on another meeting he had attended, where someone in the audience asked the presenter where to find good subjects to photograph. The presenter in question started giving specifics instead of identifying the core issues in question, Attitude and Perspective.
Megapixel Cameras: How Many Megapixels Do You Need?
Knowing which megapixel camera to buy can be intimidating. There are literally hundreds of models of digital cameras out on the market today.
Removing Spot Scratches in Your Treasured Photos - 5 Minute Digital Fix
Probably one of the most common problems you will be faced with in doing any type of digital photo restoration work will be to do with spot scratches on your old photos.When we first look at those old black and white or early colour photos they often have small scratch marks and spots on them from being stored incorrectly.
Choosing the Right Digital Camera
Choosing the right digital camera for general use can be more challenging than actually taking a good picture. Like all things technical, digital cameras come in a vast array of styles, sizes and abilities.
Should You Print Your Digital Photos at Home or Use a Photo Printing Service?
There are lots of options available for getting your digital photos printed, but which method is the best and most economical choice for you? Let's look at some of the options and the pros and cons of each.PRINTING YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS AT HOMEConvenience and instant gratification are two popular reasons for printing your digital photos at home.
How a Digital Camera Works
The digital camera is not something of a magic box that came out of the blue and made wonders! The digital camera is very much like the conventional analog camera, but the technology has been altered. It also contains most of the associated components that the conventional camera contains, like lens and a shutter for letting in light, however instead of reaching a photosensitive film, the light is made to fall upon array of image sensors or photosensitive cells.
|home | site map | Seashell Photography|