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  #11  
Old 10-10-2005, 10:57 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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thanks for the higher res, bill.

i'm fairly convinced now that the 'cousin' is correct and that the 'stewart cook' is correct. but, i see something different for the '15 yr'. and i also see something different now for the 'friend'. for the '15 yr' i'm seeing something like 'Byrd'. if you look at what's being called the '5' of the 15, the top part curves left and joins the '1', making what looks like a capital B. and also if it were '15 yr' then that 'd' at the end makes little sense.

i also said 'friend' or rather 'friend of' and i'm no longer convinced of that. it now looks more like 'first' to me. there is also a line directly below 'cousin' and to the left of 'stewart'.

i'm starting to get the feeling of another 'tubgirls' here (tubgirls was a picture and thread in this forum that was badly damaged)

the worst part of this puzzle is that there's no hidden solution we all get to look at at the end of the contest

Craig
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2005, 05:21 PM
Billfields Billfields is offline
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I followed the tubgirls discussion but never attempted to work on the picture. I knew it was beyond me!

I've fiddled with this inscription a lot and have only managed to decide that what I thought was "Mary" is not.

I think Cousin and Stewart and Cook are for sure. You may be right about the 15 but I still see it as that: it reads "15 yrs old". That is where the "d" comes from. And I think it is "friends". The word after it may be "of" but it may also be "for"Also the word above it that starts the third line appears to be a low looping letter like a lowercase f. p g q or y. This shows up on your version even more clearly---it looks more like find

Now I think the word before Stewart I thought was Mary begins with a capitol B P or R...maybe an E. And I think it ends in e

I'm stymied as to how to get it clearer. My best was very close to what you have.

Bill
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2005, 09:53 PM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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I'm following everybody else's suggestions except for the word "friends". I multiplied several layers and to me it looks like "first" as in maybe "first communion." Purely a guess. Also, the girl looks younger than 15.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2005, 09:10 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ya gotta love a good mystery

the thing with the '15 yr old' is, there's not enough room for the 'ol' of 'old', from what i can see. also, the curve at the top of the '5' goes the other way, like a '3' would, or a 'B'. on the other hand, i did have one attempt where it did look like a '5', so, i'm not writing anything in stone here

the 'f' and 'd' of 'friend' seem right in some attempts, but on this latest one it looked more like 'first', so again, nothing in stone. there also seems to be something in front of the '15 yr old', like a large curved capital letter.

and the 100k limit is making showing some of this difficult. i may cut up the image later so i can post a higher res.

also, one thing on the original, bill. you may, and mind you i say this with caution, be able to chemically treat the back to bring out the old print. we used to use carbontetrachloride on postage stamps to bring out the watermarks on the paper. possible something similar exists for this type of situation. just be careful of the original photograph if you do try this. you might also be able to put it under a stronger magnification of some kind and read extra stuff.

Craig
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2005, 04:39 PM
Billfields Billfields is offline
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Craig,

Where would one get this carbontetrachloride stuff? And how do you use it? The actual photo is mounted on a heavy cardboard frame/backing. It is this backing that has the writing on it so I don't think it would be too risky to the picture. It would only go on the backing and if it works on stamps maybe it would work here. I could at least give it a go on the "cousin" word we all agree on and see.

It's silly I know but I REALLY want to figure out what this says! Somehow it seems erasing someone's words from the back is almost a worse defacement than say, drawing on the front.

Bill

Last edited by Billfields; 10-12-2005 at 08:56 AM.
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2005, 03:14 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Did the writing leave some kind of indentation in the cardboard? Maybe you could smear graphite over it? Just taking a wild guess. Saw it on a detective show once. I think it was Monk.
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2005, 03:32 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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bill,

not sure where you can get carbon-t these days. you used to be able to get it in hobby stores or maybe pharmacies, but with all the 'security' around these days they may have tightened up on things like this. it's a liquid and is VERY flammable! it's sort of the same sort of liquid type as ether, being that it evaportes VERY quickly. so, if you can find it and do use it, use it in a very well ventilated room with no flame! and remember, i have NOT tried this on photos and it WILL soak in very deeply, being that it is a very 'thin' liquid. so, yes, i wouldnt even test it on the photo you're interested in. i'd try it on a junker first and see if it eats the film surface. i shld also point out that i dont know what it would do on your markings on the back. it might eat them also. hehe, i'm trying to think of ALL the caveats i can here, being that i've never used it for the purpose being discussed. dont drink it! dont let kids around it! dont wear it as perfume! wear eye protection! keep your pets out of it! dont use it to spike the punch!

ok, i think you get the idea.

if you know any stamp collectors or have a stamp collecting hobby store around, they might know where to get it. any place that sells chemicals might have it, and surely would know where to get it if they dont.

and again, i stress, i have NOT used it for shownig up old pencil or pen marks on the backs of photos, so it may all just be a bust too.

and, if you're feeling real adventurous, you might try just a single drop of water on one of the marks. it might give you enough contrast or show something up enough to make it out. but again, do this at your own risk.

Craig
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2005, 02:14 AM
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KevinF KevinF is offline
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Have you tried getting a peice of 16lb bond paper, laying it over (on the front and the back) the photo, and drafting lightly over it with a pencil to see if you can get an impression?

Also, you may be able to see different details under UV light, or by taking a photo of it with an IR filter in place over your digital camera.

edit: Just noticed emarts post... try it
except don't put anything on the original, use the overlay paper

Last edited by KevinF; 10-13-2005 at 02:54 AM.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2005, 11:15 AM
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Steve Conway Steve Conway is offline
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Even if you can find where to get Carbon Tetrachloride, DON'T!

It's highly toxic. We used it at the TV station where I worked to clean the video and audio tape heads. When we learned of it's toxicity we never used it again.

Check this out from net website:

How can carbon tetrachloride affect my health?

High exposure to carbon tetrachloride can cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. These effects can occur after ingestion or breathing carbon tetrachloride, and possibly from exposure to the skin. The liver is especially sensitive to carbon tetrachloride because it enlarges and cells are damaged or destroyed.

Kidneys also are damaged, causing a build up of wastes in the blood. If exposure is low and then stops, the liver and kidneys can repair the damaged cells and function normally again. Effects of carbon tetrachloride are more severe in persons who are heavy consumers of alcohol.

If exposure is very high, the nervous system, including the brain, is affected. People may feel intoxicated and experience headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and nausea and vomiting. These effects may subside if exposure is stopped, but in severe cases, coma and even death may occur.

Steve
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2005, 04:51 PM
Billfields Billfields is offline
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Everyone,

Thanks for your suggestions!

Emarts, if I could find a phone number for Monk I’d give him a call!

Kevin, I did try the rubbing early on and got nothing although I may have been using a paper that was too thick. But when I examine it under a magnifying glass I really don’t see any indenting. The graphite powder is a possibility (I think it was on Monk—I think I saw that one—It was a suicide note or something) but I would want to do that after I had tried everything else.

And I tried the watermark fluid. Thanks for the warning Steve ----I will certainly be careful although I don’t know if this stuff is actually Carbon Tetrachloride. The label doesn’t say what it is only that it is “NEW!” and is “Now Benzene Free”. The good news is it didn’t harm the photo at all nor did it make me sick. The bad news is that it didn’t help much. One problem is that it evaporated VERY fast, a matter of seconds really. It is gone so quickly that you can’t get a high res scan done before it drys out. Just looking at it, I think it brings out some marks and it does confirm “Cousin, Stewart and Cook” for sure but there were no great revelations. The word before Stewart and under Cousin is tantalizingly close! Sometimes I see "Sarah" sometimes "Amanda" but I don't know. Remember once I thought it was Mary. And Craig, I now think the 15 may be 13 or B too...one step forward two back!

Below is the best of the "wet" scans with the curves adjusted some. If anyone wants to try the higher res version of this I’ll add it to my web site.

Thanks again!

Bill
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File Type: jpg inscription-2.jpg (96.5 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by Billfields; 10-14-2005 at 09:16 AM.
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