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Restoring a tiny print of my grandmother

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Old 03-21-2005, 05:11 AM
Caitlin's Avatar
Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 494
Restoring a tiny print of my grandmother

Another one from me! (I can't help myself now... Every photo I see I want to try to restore!)

At a family barbaque yesterday a cousin brought out a tiny 5cm square print of my grandmother Dotty, one of only two photos we know of that exist of her. She had had blow up prints made (to 4x6) but they were unsurprisingly very dark and lacking in detail.

So I rapidy spirited the print away to do a quick scan, and have been playing around with it today. It's not the original unfortunately (Which we presume no longer exists), and is very dark. Obviously being so small there just isn't all that much detail there to work from.

Following a tip from another thread I downloaded Neat Image, and ran a denoising filter which seemed to clear up the noise quite well. I then did a fair bit of unsharp mask, with an extra go at the face area to try to bring out more detail.

Also set level and contrast adjustment layers, and curves focusing on reducing the shadow on her face a bit. (I changed the contrast levels as I found that the regular level settings were leaving the image too contrasty)

I've made about 5 versions of this now - all with different results, and am getting to the stage that I've forgotten what did and didn't work!

So basically if anyone has any tips or thought on better approaches I'd really appreciate it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dotty restored_s.jpg (93.7 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg dotty unrestored_s.jpg (96.3 KB, 81 views)

Last edited by Caitlin; 03-21-2005 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:55 AM
Juliana Ross's Avatar
Juliana Ross Juliana Ross is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 92
Honestly it is a wonderful candid and I quite like it the way it is
(with your general clean up work)
No need to improve on a nice shot
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:57 PM
BayCanuck BayCanuck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 7
Neat Image

Hi Caitlin. That's a nice picture, and you've done a great job of enhancing it. However, I think you might want to try controlling the effect of neat image a bit.

Neat Image is a wonderful tool; I use it quite a bit. However, one thing I find is that it's often too aggressive in removing noise.

What I do is create a duplicate layer of my image and run neat image on that. Then, I pull down the layer opacity to between 50-70% to allow some of the grain and subtle gradiations to still show through, while still removing most of the "bad" grain.

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