Friday, March 13, 2009

Photoshop: Christine Collins Photo Repaired

When I see a photo marred by discoloration or other flaw, I get this desire to repair it in Photoshop. Earlier this week I wrote about the movie "The Changeling" starring Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a courageous mom in 1928 who took on the establishment in an effort to find her missing nine year old son.

The photo at the right is an actual picture of the real Christine Collins, who isn't quite as pretty as Angelina Jolie (but who is?). This photo is in several places on the net, but in the form below, in which part of the photo is blocked off as if someone were trying to frame part of the picture.

I removed the ugly frame and restored the photo to what it probably looked like in its original state. I used the clone tool and the healing brush almost exclusively in this effort. Photoshop is fun and a very useful tool. My restoration is in the public domain and free for the use of anyone who wants it.

Update: A reader directed me to the 121 photos of the crime that are available online at the Los Angeles Public Library (go here and put "Northcott" in the search window). Many of the photos there had been similarly defaced. It appears that in those early days of print media, newspapers would "frame" the part of the photo that they wanted to appear in print. In many other cases they would paint in a white background or dark background, depending on the photo, to make the subject stand out and appear more clearly in the news photo. They would also outline the subject (as they did above) for the same purpose, i.e. to make the subject stand out against a similarly colored background.








Top Photo: My Photoshop restoration.



Bottom Photo: Flawed photo found on the web.

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