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Learning Photo Restoration; Or, Almost Almost, But Not Quite Yet

Sunday • January 22nd 2023 • 9:03:04 pm

Learning Photo Restoration; Or, Almost Almost, But Not Quite Yet

Sunday • January 22nd 2023 • 9:03:04 pm

I got quickly overloaded by all the new technologies, and my first Photo Restoration project, didn’t work out so good.

The person requesting the restoration var very kind, but more work needs to be done.

I have created 100 variations of my original work, and I may still need to mix an match lips and eyes from different photos.

Before using my own judgment, I asked the person requesting the photo restoration for help.


There is no guarantee that a photo is the correct representation, but creating 100 variations is a step towards the right direction.

I expect I will return to the drawing board, and start from the beginning.

The process is somewhat simple, first I remove the damage…

And this time, I will restore the top and side of the face.

I try to be really careful in what I change, but finding the original face is very challenging.

I can’t even blur one of my variations, to see if it matches up, this is not a computer vision problem.

This is the realm of art, if I was restoring moving pictures, the story would be different.

But, a single blurry photo, is an invitation to create, a beautiful work of art.


The photo restoration site says, there are plenty of automated tools – don’t pay anyone.

I found out, none of those tools actually work, the only thing that will work, is rediscovering the face…

And creating, a proper, painting, be it with the help of Generative Art Tools or Manually/


As to the Photo Restoration purists, who say I am changing the rules.

I am sorry, multiple strategies, and a hundred hours of effort is required to do things right.


Ultimately, I think we can all agree that capturing the correct face, requires a back and forth with the family of the person in the photo.

I suppose there may even be a disagreement, and to make everyone happy multiple works will have to be produced.


To further demonstrate the problem of accuracy, when I look at the portraits of George Washington, I don’t see one person.

I see a bunch of friends that used to go to school together, and happened to have pronounced Whiffers, for some reason.

And Adolph Ulrick Wertmuller’s works, tell me that he is trying to send a secret message, that the nose was a LOOOOOT larger than what the paintings show.

Walter Robertson’s 1790’s work tells me, shows that Buterfingers moved the hair layer, before hitting the print button.

And James Sharples probably just painted himself in a mirror, as a freaking prank.

This must be avoided, it is not about the restoration of a photo, but capturing a the face.


If the photo does not have enough information to restore it, then we must stop… because it is no longer a technical manual but a poem.

And collaborate with the family, to create an accurate painting.

Artwork Credit