Dad In 1963

Dad in Toronto - 1963After dad saw my images of the Toronto skyline, he sent me a photograph of himself with Toronto in the background. He thinks that it was taken around 1963. If that is correct, then he would be 19 or 20 years old.

The difference is striking. Just left of center is the Royal York hotel; this used to be the tallest building in Toronto. Even here, new construction is beginning to dwarf it. Today, you would be hard-pressed to see the Royal York on a skyline.

Of course, my Photoshop nerve immediately started twitching. I knew that I needed to clean up that scanned memory and piece of history! So I set to work.

Dad in Toronto - 1963 (repaired)The dirt, scratches and mold could be easily cleared away with the Spot Healing Brush. That would be very tedious work but the most obvious starting place. I set the brush to Lighten mode rather than Normal since these flaws were clearly darker than most of the photo.

Naturally, I had to straighten the horizon. I used the girders of the building construction behind the Royal York as my vertical reference. I wanted to keep as much of the original photo as possible, so I made the crop from the straightening a bit larger.

This introduced a few empty zones at the picture’s edges. The Clone Stamp made quick work of filling in the missing sky or the roofing of the ferry deck.

I wanted to reduce the gross, yellow colour cast on dad. I am not sure if that is due to the photo’s age or if the sun was setting. The Color Balance tool let me add blue until the yellow diminished. I added a layer mask so that that change only affected dad and his clothing.

For a final step, I tried out Topaz Labs’ new Adjust AI program. I don’t really buy into the artificial intelligence hype that Topaz has been pushing lately. But I do like their products. I found some settings that helped make the sky and water pop.

I’m still thrilled with flipping back and forth between these two photos.

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