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Thread: Old Image Improvement?

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    Member exwintech's Avatar
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    Old Image Improvement?

    I might be a bit hopeful on this one... I'm doing some research for friends in Ireland regarding a relative who migrated here in the 1890s, and died in Sydney in 1921. So far I've located the grave, in the paupers' section at Rookwood, and his last address.

    They have his shipping documents copied, and there's a listing with no other information in the Catholic section office at Rookwood as to the grave location.

    The only photo of this person known to exist, was taken "just after the end of WW1" - and it was mailed to Ireland. The friends had a 600dpi scan done of it, and have sent me a JPG of the scan. They're hoping I can "do something with it" - that might make the figure in the shadowed doorway at least a bit more recognisable. There's very little information in the image, and I can't see how to "enhance" the figure to best advantage...

    If anyone has some knowhow or hints - any advice would be most welcome, thank-you. I have Gimp, Photoshop-7, and the usual lineup of tools in Linux.

    The image is attached to give an idea of what I'm trying to do.

    Thanks, Regards, Dave.

    Relative.jpg

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Dave. That's an interesting story and I'm sure we can help you "do something" with it.
    Straight away, though, two things:
    1) What does a 600 dpi scan mean? Could you let us know the actual size in pixels? That would be most useful in determining if anything can be done.
    2) Certainly, this image is too small and pixelates at the "roll of a mouse button".

    As a guide, a scan of 400-600 dpi on a photo about 15x10 cm would be good. Then, if he hasn't already, tell him to scan it in greyscale, not in colour. You can check all this in Photoshop 7 (I had it for years) using File - Image Size, and then Adjustments - Mode. (Yes, in Photoshop it says it's RGB color.)
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ameerat42 - Thanks for the reply. Sadly, I don't know the pixel-count size of the original photo. I don't even know if the 90-year-old original was done with a plate or roll film.

    The friends in Ireland are no longer young, not into photography, and aren't too "techy". They said they had the scan made at a "photo shop, at 600dpi". Perhaps that's printed on the jobsheet...

    The JPEG I have is 771 x 458. I suspect that cameras and photographic materials in Australia, just after a war that caused shortages in non-essentials, might not have been too good. Outdoor images might not have been as well done as those 'controlled conditions' studio poses of that time. And of course, the original might have faded a bit in the intervening 90 years, losing some of whatever sharpness and contrast it had.

    As you say - there's not a lot of 'meat' left in the image - so perhaps there aren't any "magics" that can do much with it.

    Regards, Dave.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    It's a bit of a pity, Wintech. If that's what you received, then IF it had not been reduced after scanning, the 600 dpi (IF actually done) means the original was a little over 1.25 inches. That even smaller than a 35mm negative.

    The seemingly "best" way to do something with it would be to have the original yourself and get it "really" properly scanned. Meantime, I had a go with just Photoshop's re-sampling but it wasn't very good. I will try with a Fred Miranda plugin, but if some "kind forumite" who has the likes of True Fractals could give it a go it might be better. That's for the enlargement stage only.

    (Meantime, any chance they could send you the original? - Just wondering.)
    Anon, Am.

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    Oddly enough, I got am email about a new tutorial up for photo restoration, just today. I haven't read through it properly but I'vefound other tutorials on this site to be really good so maybe this one can help you.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ampaign=news18

    If it asks you to register your email before you can view it, don't worry - they won't spam you (or at least, they haven't spammed me).
    Panasonic GH2 --- Pana 7-14mm --- Pana 100-300mm --- Pana f1.7/20mm --- Panaleica f2.8/45mm macro --- Pana 14-45mm
    Canon G10 when I want to pocket it.

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    Ameerat42 - Thanks, but as it's the only existing photo of even the 'shadow' of the relative, they had it scanned to send copies to current-day relatives a short time back, so doubt they'd mail it to me.

    I did quite a bit of scanning and photo recovery in the late 1990s and early 2000s (which is why I was into Photoshop - 4, 5, 5.5, skipped 6, then 7) and still have a 600dpi flatbed scanner, so I'm a bit doubtful that the scan they sent was at 600 - looks more like 180-200dpi to me, or not much more.

    I think their son, who lives close to them, does "photography hobbies" - so he might be able to do - or get done - a beter scan of the original.

    Irru - Yes, thanks, I've been going to the Cambridge-I-C site for a long time - it's one I reccomend myself. They've certainly never spammed me - but do seem to assume I'm using a Mac - it's Linux, actually...!

    Regards, Both, Dave.

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