Photo Restoration – Texture synthesis

Did you know there are complicated Algorithms and Methods involved in Photo Restoration?

Although the algorithms are never seen, from the proposed equations you can tell how complex it was to get where we are today in terms of photo restoration.

Alexei A. Efros and Thomas K. Leung (Computer Science Division – University of California, Berkeley) developed a method and algorithm that, although initially intended for texture synthesis, has proven most effective for photo restoration problems.

The algorithm allows the image gap to be filled-in recursively, inwards from the gap boundary.

The Equation:

Output(P) = V alue(Q), P ∈ Ω, Q /∈ Ω, Q = arg min d(Ψ(P), Ψ(Q))

where d(Ψ(P), Ψ(Q)) is the Sum of Squared Differences (SSD) among the patches Ψ(P) and Ψ(Q) (considering only available pixels):

d(Ψ1, Ψ2) = X i X j |Ψ1(i, j) − Ψ2(i, j)| 2

Once a pixel is filled-in, the algorithm marchs on to the next pixel at the boundary of the gap, never going back to the completed Pixel (whose value is, therefore, not altered again). The results are really impressive for a wide range of images. The main shortcomings of this algorithm are its computational cost, the selection of the neighborhood size

12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated


Although photo editing has become more common in recent years, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography.

Amazingly here are some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history.

1. Abraham Lincoln’s Head on John Calhoun’s Body, circa 1860

abraham lincoln doctored photoshopped john calhoun body 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

This portrait of U.S President Abraham Lincoln is actually a composite of Lincoln’s head and the Southern politician John Calhoun’s body.




2. General Ulysses. S. Grant on a Horse in front of Troops, circa 1864

general ulsses s grant on horst doctored photosopped 2 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

general ulsses s grant on horst doctored photosopped 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Researchers at the Library of Congress uncovered this gem after extensive detective work. The image appears to show General Ulsses S. Grant in front of his troops at City Point, Virginia during the American Civil War. Investigation now shows the image to be made of three separate prints: (1) the head is taken from a portrait of Grant; (2) the horse and body are those of Major General Alexander M. Cook; and (3) the background is of Confederate prisoners captured at the battle of Fisher’s Hill, Virginia.


3. General Francis P. Blair Added to Photograph of General Sherman Posing with his Generals, circa 1865

general francis p blair added to general sherman photograph 2 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

general francis p blair added to general sherman photograph 1 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

In this famous photograph taken by Matthew Brady, General Sherman is seen posing with his generals. General Francis P. Blair (standing far right) was added to the photograph as he was not in attendance for that specific shot. His image was taken from the second photograph shown, which was taken during the same sitting.


4. Stalin Airbrushes Out His Enemies, circa 1930

stalin photoshop doctored airbrushed out enemy 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Stalin was notorious for routinely airbrushing his enemies out of photographs. As people fell out of favor with Stalin, so to did their photographic identity. In this image we see a commissar removed after falling out of Stalin’s good graces.


5. Mao Tse-tung Removes Po Ku, 1936

mao tse tung removes po ku from photo 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Mao Tse-tung, (Just like Joseph Stalin) was known for removing people after they fell out of favor. In this image we see Po Ku removed for just that.


6. Hitler Removes Joseph Goebbels, 1937

hitler doctored photoshop airbrushes removes joseph goebbles 1937 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Not to be outdone by Stalin and Mao, Hitler also liked to tamper. In this doctored photograph we see Joseph Goebbels removed, though it is unclear why Goebbels fell out of favor with Hitler.


7. Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King Removes King George VI, 1939

canadian prime minister removes king george vi from photo with queen for political poster 1939 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Prime Minster of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King, removed King George VI from the original photograph with the PM alongside Queen Elizabeth. The photograph was used on an election poster for the Prime Minister, so the theory is that an image of just Mackenzie with the Queen put him in a more powerful light.


8. Benito Mussolini Removes Horse Handler, 1942

benito mussolini removes horse handler 1942 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

Benito Mussolini had the horse handler removed from the original photograph to make himself look more epic and heroic in this iconic capture.


9. Watch Removed from WWII Russian Flag Raising Photograph, 1945


raising russian flag wwii watch removed photoshop doctored 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

The editor-in-chief of Russian Magazine Ogoniok, removed a soldier’s watch as they raised the soviet flag atop the German Reichstag building during WWII. The reason? If you look closely, the soldier has a watch on his other hand as well. This suggests that ‘looting’ may have occurred before this photo was taken.

10. US Olympic Hockey Team Adds Missing Players, 1960

1960 us hockey team wins gold medal photoshop doctored faces cleary mayasich 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

In this rather obvious tampering, the faces of Bill Cleary (front row, third from left), Bob Cleary (middle row, far left), and John Mayasich (top row far left), are superimposed onto the bodies of Bob Dupuis, Larry Alm and Herb Brooks. It’s unclear why those players were selected as ‘replacements’. The US Olympic Hockey team defeated the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia to win its first Olympic Gold Medal in Hockey.

11. Russian Cosmonaut Grigoriy Nelyubov Removed, 1961

1961 russian cosmonaut removed 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

On April 12th, 1961, a Russian team of cosmonauts led by Yuri Gagarin were the first humans to complete an orbit of Earth. One of the cosmonauts, Grigoriy Nelyubov, was removed from a photo of the team taken after their journey. Nelyubov had been expelled from the program for misbehavior.


12. Kent State Massacre Fencepost Removal, 1970

kent state massacre fencepost removal photoshop doctored 12 Historic Photographs That Were Manipulated

In this Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by John Filo, we see Mary Ann Vecchio screaming as she kneels over the body of student Jeffrey Miller at Kent State University. The Kent State Shootings occurred when National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine. The photo originally featured a visually distracting fencepost behind Mary Ann Vecchio’s head, but this was removed by an unknown photo editor in the early 1970’s. The modified photo then was published in Life magazine and other publications.

Photo Restoration Google Trend

Google Web Search Trends for Photo Restoration

The numbers represent search interest relative to ‘Digital Photo Restoration‘ & ‘Photo Restoration‘. It doesn’t convey absolute search volume but is a good view of the interest worldwide for the service.

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Whether you’re a reporter, a researcher, or an armchair trend-tracker, the Google Trend gives you a faster, deeper and more comprehensive view through the lens of the Google Search Engine.