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This is a precious family photo, but it was stuck to the glass, resulting in this weird scan, which is all I have to work with. I can't figure out how to "reveal" the grandmother - I'm sure there's enough pixel data under the damage to work with, but everything I tried added color or altered the color, obscuring her more.

Is there a way to "erase" the blot while leaving the underlying color and details intact?

enter image description here

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  • if no one gives you a way to do it yourself, you could try to ask on the Photoshop Requests subreddit? reddit.com/r/PhotoshopRequest Generally speaking they are quite helpful.
    – cetequ
    Oct 17, 2018 at 7:07
  • Hi NanBarnes, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. I took the liberty to edit it slightly for legibility and a bit of formality (we're not a forum, so texts like 'thanks in advance' are discouraged, better left to the comments). If I ended up butchering it beyond your recognition, feel free to edit things back to something that reflects your intention better. In any case, happy to have you! Have a look at the tour and the help center to know more about what makes this site tick.
    – Vincent
    Oct 17, 2018 at 9:25

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Unfortunately, it's going to take rather a lot of manual painting to fix damage like that. To begin the process of repairing it, you need to reduce the effect of the damage, since I don't think it will be possible to remove it completely in one step.

One method might be to create a curves adjustment layer, fill the mask black, and paint in the curves adjustment using white on the mask.

For example:

enter image description here

Obviously this is only a first step.

Once the majority of the damage has been removed, you could create a new layer - a copy of the visible layers (using Shift+Ctrl+E), and then begin to do more detailed repairs on that, perhaps using the Spot Healing brush.

For example:

enter image description here

And finally, a bit of Dodging to remove leftover dark areas, and some cloning, to clean up.

enter image description here

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