Reconstructing the Past

My dad has been working on a video for a library’s local history video project that is focusing on the stories of those buried in the village cemetery dating back to the 1800s.

Due to time, weather, and collapse, it has been my task to reconstruct some of the gravestones so that they might be more usable in the finished video. One stone in particular presented a challenge. Below are my two starting images. As you can see, not only is the stone badly discolored, it is also broken down the middle of the name. Not an impossible job by any means, but it’s going to take some work.

Liverpool Public Library Local History Video Project - Broken Tombstone #1

Liverpool Public Library Local History Video Project - Broken Tombstone #2

Without getting into too much detail, there was a lot of cloning and healing going on, not to mention the hue/saturation and curves adjustment layers applied to the two halves of the stone.

But it didn’t stop there! This gentleman’s stone rests next to his wife’s stone, which is still upright. So, my next step was to stand it up once again. However, this stone was not as tall as the wife’s so I had to pull from her’s to add some height and apply some more healing to make the base look different enough that it was believable.

I know it’s not a perfect job, but in some situations, you don’t want perfection because it will look too manicured or polished. As it is, I don’t think it quite blends seamlessly together, but I’ve gotten some feedback where they couldn’t tell which was the Photoshoppped stone, so I guess my job is done.

Liverpool Public Library Local History Video Project - Fixed Tombstone from the Liverpool Cemetery

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