Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rome Restored

Most of my Roman photos from 1971 have deteriorated severely and this one was the most faded. Only the murky purple of dead Kodachrome is visible. But here is Photoshop to the rescue, resurrecting old colors and bright contrast. Then what do you do when Photoshop is not enough? The details on the big  archway, as you can see from photo 1, are faded out almost completely, and there is nothing left to show from the sky, which as I remember was clear and blue that day. What do you do? You improvise and digitally paint in what you  remember, since I was there at the time of the shot. Photoshop offers many options in transparent color which I used like watercolors. I re-painted the tree green and edited out the ugly purple with a "color replacement" feature that turned it a more natural cool grey. And since the original detail on the arch was gone, I painted in not only the sunlit brick colors but all the details of the brick and stone archway, on my Cintiq's stylus screen. Remember that ancient Romans used tablets and styli to write with, just like my Cintiq, except that there was more stuff inside the modern computer tablet.

So is this a painting or is it a photograph? It's both I guess. I wonder whether my digital file will last as long as these buildings and the relics of Rome found by antiquarians and archaeologists. When I was a young kid living in Rome I wanted to  be an archaeologist when I grew up. Well I'm not digging in Roman dirt but at least I can restore the ancient images.

Photoshop on 1971 digitized image, March 14, 2017.


Mike said...

Excellent work! At first glance, I was confused how you managed to get the detail back. ;)

Darrell Burgan said...

Looks great!