Photoshop Alchemy and Thrashed Image Restoration

Photoshop Alchemy and Thrashed Image Restoration

Everyone knows what Photoshop is. And everyone talks about Photoshop as if everyone has it. But a single license of Photoshop can run upwards of $500. So I’m doubting most people who say the words, Just Photoshop It”, or “Drop It Into Photoshop”, really know what that even means. I have come to suspect that what it means to them is alchemy or the likes of some dark photo magic that takes a photo with power lines in it, and removes them instantaneously. Or its some sort of deep alchemical chaos attached to a GO button, and then its done.

And this is wrong, because everyone should really know what “To Photoshop it” means, because it really is doable.. and worth learning. Photoshop is a great skill to have… and just the basics are easy to pick up in a few hours. But even that, “few hours” baffles, because now a days we assume that the computer does it all for you. You pay this $500 so that you can drop your photo into it and then hit the go button. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Photoshoping something still requires hours and hours of work and effort.

Here’s a sneak peek of something I just started working on in Photoshop to put out on my society66 gallery – I have a long way to go – but its been fun playing with the idea that I see in my head all the same… and gives you a feel for the infinite possibilities available to you. Your mind really is your only limitation inside photoshop.


Or better yet, this elephant reminds me of the time when I converted a giraffe into a zebra-stripped giraffe just for kicks and giggles. What is it with me and animals all of a sudden? What have I become??! Anyway…


But occasionally I run across people who are über – like truly über – in their photoshop brilliance. Anyone who colorizes ANYTHING is a jedi-master in my mind. It sounds easy, but it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to accomplish. But to couple colorization with a deep deep restoration? You just took it to a whole new level. This is a time-lapse video from Argentinian photographer and retoucher Joaquin Villaverde who demonstrates his Photoshop abilities by giving new life to a severely damaged black and white portrait. And at the same time proclaims his photoshop kung-fu the best.

This video took Joaquin two hours to complete – and as you watch you can see just how hard it is to restore something like this. And here is the beginning and end results.


He is basically repainting it from the ground up. Its really quite amazing what he is doing here. And so a yield the floor to Joaquin and say, your Photoshop Skillz are epic good sir. Keep up the great work! And to the rest of you, if you want to try Photoshop, but don’t want to shell out the cash necessary… try gimp first… its free, and is very similar.