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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Huge family photo restoration project

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Old 08-06-2010, 12:39 AM
Brentnauer Brentnauer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 11
Huge family photo restoration project

I'm finally getting my old family photos back!

These photos (about 900 of them) are MOSTLY from the late 70s through the early 90s. I'm unsure of their condition as they've been kept in a cardboard box on which cats were allowed to pee... Not sure what thought process this individual took to allow this.

Worst case scenario is a whole bunch of them are horribly stained. I can probably fix that in PhotoShop, but what I'm really worried about is doing all of these in a consistent and timely manner.

I just purchased an Epson V300 on Amazon (on sale) and have a good amount of experience in Photoshop doing medium level restoration. This isn't a project I want to work on for years though... I want to scan, restore and archive the originals somewhere in a Smithsonian style vault or something.

Does anyone have experience with large projects such as this? What was your workflow that allowed you to complete this in a timely fashion?

Any tips for achieving the best possible results without spending years doing this would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:27 AM
spotter spotter is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: England
Posts: 96
Re: Huge family photo restoration project

I do batch scanning and retouching for my work.
I use Vuescan. Set up the options for all of one kind e.g. all the colour pics first. Do all the same size first so you can set up the crop and then lay each new picture in the same place and just click scan Let it scan to file. Then any grey scale, the same procedure . You can manage at least a hundred in a day if you just keep it systematic and organise the prints before you begin to scan.
If you want to do all the retouching in photoshop, you could scan to raw format and just do all alterations afterwards rather than trying to set up every scan to have perfect colour and brightness etc. PS has camera raw so that you can open raw files and they also have a raw converter thing you can download from their website incase you dont have it incorporated.
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:51 PM
TPF TPF is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 19
Re: Huge family photo restoration project

An old thread I know, but I thought I'd chime in anyway

For that number of images I would have used a good bulk scanner. I have done this in the past and it saves HOURS - even on smaller projects. Well worth it.

As stated above, batches of size, colour and any other grouping you want to use is important as it allows for easy storing and retrieval. Especially with a bulk scanner as you can automate the naming and storage location of the current batch. i.e. Scann 100 photos and have the automatically called c:\Family Photo Restore\Black & White Medium Size\image0001.jpg for example. Use whatever format you are comfortable with.

If you have stored them as jpg's or whatver, you can still (in CS5 not sure about earlier versions) open as a RAW image. Very useful.
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