Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Help with a photo?


Recommended Posts

Not a brilliant photo, I know. (You want to see the state of the original!!!)

This is from a (badly damaged) newspaper archive photo that I've been trying to improve. I've done a bit of work on it and this is the result. Unfortunately, I'm not too happy with it, but this sems to be the best that I can do.

Can anyone suggest any ways I can improve it further?

Thanks,

Dave.

post-1-1065224143.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

...by the way. For anyone who may be interested, the photo is of 10292 Pte.Thomas Skelly 1/E.Lancs. ,from Burnley, Lancashire. KIA 11/11/1914.

Dave.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave

I'm sure you could remove some of the blotchy bits with some photo editing software like HP Photosuite, but I think you run the risk of doing a silk purse/sow's ear job and creating a photo of someone else.....

Let's let Thomas Skelly exist as a 1914 newspaper snapshot rather than a 21st century digital Frankenstein....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Graeme.

I've used photo editing software to get the above results. Further "improvements" seem to give the impression of a "modern art" painting.

I'm going to show you the original with only slight enhancements. Let me know what you think.

Dave.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...the "slightly modified"(most "creases" removed) original...

post-1-1065227588.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Bluestein

Dave,

Good effort, looks good so far. Like to see the final product.

Maybe you could make some constructive suggestions on one of mine that needs some work...

David

post-1-1065229641.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wood

I can only give my experience of 'cleaning up' photos using Photoshop. If you look on the web, there are plenty of tutorials which involve using Gaussian Blur (in other words, the image will be softened). It's time consuming and, with my skills, a bit hit and miss.

However, there is a Photoshop plug-in (after market accessory) which is now being hailed as a vast improvement; it's called Quantam Mechanic Pro.

I am led to believe that QMP is very versatile and, if you intend to improve quite a few similar photos, well worth the money in terms of results and time saved.

If anyone is using QMP and getting good results, please let this forum know. Because I would also like to improve a few photos in my collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Pete Wood

I found a book that deals only with the restoration and retouching of photos, using Photoshop Elements 2.

It is called, aptly, "Restoration and Retouching with Photoshop Elements 2."

ISBN 0-7645-2474-7 by Laurie Ulrich, published by Wiley.

It has 225 pages of hints, tips, and demonstrations on preserving, scanning and enhancing old photos. It costs £18.95 (or US$24.99).

Photoshop Elements 2 is a stripped down, and much easier to understand, and cheaper version of Photoshop. "In some respects, PE2 is better and quicker at photo restoration than Photoshop...." says Ulrich.

The good news is that Photoshop Elements is now often bundled free of charge with a new scanner or camera. You can buy it, on its own, but I have no idea on costs (less than £50, I would think??)

The one tip that is mentioned in the book, and which I forgot to pass on the last time, is that you should (wherever possible) always scan your photo in colour. You've probably heard/know that your computer monitor works in RGB (Red, Green, Blue). So when you scan your WW1 photo, using the colour mode of your scanner, you record much more information than if you scan in greyscale.

Don't scan in black and white (even though that sounds like the obvious choice) as b&w is really only suitable for copying faxes.

Scan at the highest resolution that your scanner will allow. It takes longer but 'saves' more information.

So if you've scanned your vintage (includign sepia) photos in colour, you can then seperate the information of the photo, so that you now have three copies of your photo - the photo in 'Red' format (it will actually be grey), the photo in Green (again it will look grey on your screen), and the photo in Blue (grey again!!). You can then study the imperfections on each of the copies. For example, Dave's photo might look much better in the 'Red' copy, acceptable in the Green copy and terrible in the blue copy (so therefore, is the most damaged version). Simply discard the damaged (Blue in this example) version and keep only the best copy (copies).

Now merge the Red and Green, and you can then start using all of the fancy filters that remove scratches; healing tools; cloning tools (which copy good areas and overlay bad areas).

Once you're happy, you can then save the image and call it "skellycolour.jpg" or similar. Now you can make another copy and put it into greyscale format. Call this "skellygreyscale.jpg" and you should have a really good photo.

If you have ever seen a traditional photo lab, where they play with film (not digital), you may have heard about burning. This is where a technician would artifically darken small areas of a photo to reveal more detail - when the light is streaming through a window and it just look like a spotlight, for example. The Burning Tool in Photoshop is about the only tool that should not be used with colour scans; use it only when the colour photo has been made into a greyscale version.

Phew!! It takes so much longer to write this than to use Photoshop or PE2.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Phew!! It takes so much longer to write this than to use Photoshop or PE2.

I'm glad to hear it !!! :D

Thanks for all that. I think I'll start again ,using some of the tips mentioned,and see what I end up with (I've got several photo-editing programmes to play with).

I'll post the end result when/if I'm happy with it.

Cheers.

Dave.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...