RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Image Help Got a problem image? Don't know where to begin? Upload images and ask our users what they think or if they can help

enhancing faded writing on old photo

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-18-2003, 10:33 AM
Blues_X's Avatar
Blues_X Blues_X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 39
enhancing faded writing on old photo

Long time no see all...

My workload has increased by about 200% this semester, so I haven't had time to drop in lately.

Now that it's the holidays and I do have a bit of time, I'm trying to help a co-worker with an old family photo. She has no idea who is in this photo.

While working on it, I noticed some very faded handwriting at the bottom of the image, and that's what I'm requesting help on today. The writing might help identify the people in the photo. (file is attached).

Does anyone have any good technique for bringing out writing like this? I'm playing around with various adjustment layers, layer blending, etc. While I'm getting improved results, I'm not finding any technique (so far) that really pulls out the information I'm needing in the image.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Holidays to all!



Lance Goins
Attached Images
File Type: jpg unknownfamily-writing.jpg (59.4 KB, 127 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 12-18-2003, 11:22 AM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
Welcome back Lance. I recently had a wedding certificate from 1879 that was in worse shape than this one. I scanned the signature at the highest optical resolution my scanner would allow. Then I was able to blow it up considerably (maybe 900%?). and from there I was able to make out the actual writing. At that point, I eliminated all the dirt pixels that were on the original. When I was finished, I could actually read the signature!

Here's an attachment of yours that I just used a curves adjustment layer on. The original scan would likely show up better than this. I'm guessing there might have been someone named Roxanna in the family?

Ed
Attached Images
File Type: jpg unknownfamily-writing_curves.jpg (77.0 KB, 130 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 12-18-2003, 11:41 AM
Blues_X's Avatar
Blues_X Blues_X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 39
Ed,

Thanks for that info. My problem is that I dont' have access to the original scan (it's in Germany), so all I received was the jpeg the cousin had sent to my coworker via email. At least it was scanned fairly large with 300dpi, so it could have been worse.

I'll let her know that the name could be Roxanna. I had part of the X, but wasn't sure if I was correct with that letter or not.

Thanks again,
Lance
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 12-18-2003, 11:56 AM
Blues_X's Avatar
Blues_X Blues_X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 39
Here's the whole original pic. I applied a level adjustment to brighten it a bit, and cleaned up the major cracks and stains.
I reduced it down from several megs to about 96k in size, so it is quite a bit smaller than the original.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg unknown-family-smaller.jpg (96.0 KB, 123 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 12-18-2003, 03:47 PM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
That's a very interesting photo, and it seems to be in pretty good shape. Too bad the people can't be identified. The shadows look good. Is there any way to pull more detail out in the highlights?

If the photo was made in Germany, the name probably wouldn't be Roxanna. That was a guess on my part. But it does look like it might be ??xanna. The might give some clues if you were to look into common names used in that period in Germany, if that's where it's from.

Ed

Last edited by Ed_L; 12-18-2003 at 03:53 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 12-19-2003, 12:46 AM
Mig Mig is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SF
Posts: 265
Do you have the original before any retouching?
I don't know what I see - a guess? dana, dane, sana, sane?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg unknownfamily-writing copy.jpg (34.6 KB, 68 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 12-19-2003, 09:58 AM
Blues_X's Avatar
Blues_X Blues_X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 39
Here's a link to the untouched version that I received (it's too big for the size limits here):

unknown family original jpeg - 351kb

I'm 99% sure this wasn't taken in Germany. The German cousin said he thought it was taken in the U.S., and the farmhouse isn't built in the German style. Also, the box under the little girl says "American" something in the label print.

I suggested to my coworker that her cousin check his original scan, and look at each color channel. If the scan was in color, one channel might show the original ink better than the combination of all the channels does. The image was already converted to grayscale when I received it.
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 12-19-2003, 10:30 AM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
Hmmm, now it looks like xoana. Here's a tip..when you have something like text of any kind that can't be read, it sometimes helps if you enlarge the image to the point where you can't read it (it looks worse). Then stand back from the monitor. I viewed this image (the original) at 200%, then stood back about 8 or 10 feet. It became a little easier to read. It doesn't work every time, but it's worth a try.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many people in that time period could not spell very well. Names have been changed completely because of this problem. Now you have two things. Handwriting that is hard to read because of deterioration or dirt, and a good chance of incorrect spelling.

Ed
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 12-20-2003, 01:28 AM
sage150's Avatar
sage150 sage150 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Yonkers,N.Y.
Posts: 65
It looks like it could be Elonora possibly.

Joseph
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 12-20-2003, 09:46 AM
SMETZ99's Avatar
SMETZ99 SMETZ99 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30
colorized, contrast adjust and level adjust, then I did a color replace on the known part of the text to darken it a bit.

Looks like sana or sona to me. Let's not assume it's an english name, Sona is a Swedish woman's name that is pretty common.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg unknownfamily-writing copy.jpg (17.0 KB, 86 views)
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Faded Photo - not sure if it's good enough dianajenna Critiques 4 05-12-2007 07:07 PM
Very faded old photo - any ideas? dianajenna Photo Restoration 12 04-18-2007 10:45 PM
Faded Colours: Old Photo I'd Like to Fix Up rflxion Image Help 9 08-13-2005 08:08 AM
Help with non-uniform faded and blurred photo jakevalltrades Image Help 6 07-31-2005 04:55 AM
Help with faded photo? JLC Image Help 4 06-08-2004 02:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved