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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

grain reduction, b&w negs

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2007, 04:30 PM
graham_ graham_ is offline
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grain reduction, b&w negs

I'm scanning some of my old negatives of ships. Some are rather grainy, which can be particularly intrusive in flat areas such as the sky. I want to keep fine detail such as rigging against this background. I've tried Neat Image, which helps a lot, but wondered if any layering/masking technique would help further.
thanks,

Graham
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:27 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

Hey Graham welcome to retouch Pro. I would suggest you post one of your old negatives so we could look at them. If you have white spots what you can try is to copy the layer and then use a darken blending mode. Then on that copied layer use the move tool and move the layer using your arrows one click up and one click to the side. Lots of other techniques so posting your photo would give viewers more specific ideas.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:56 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

welcome to RP, graham.

yes, posting an image really does follow the old adage of a pic is worth a 1000 words.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:11 AM
graham_ graham_ is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

Thanks for the replies, I'll try to post an example over the next couple of days

Graham
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:30 PM
graham_ graham_ is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

attached is an example (part of a photo) Definition is not too bad but grain intrusive especially in sky. I don't want to loose rigging detail. I've tried Neatimage but it seems to give blotchy or plastic appearance.
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File Type: jpg glocity_part2.jpg (93.0 KB, 44 views)
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:51 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

the pic is a little small, but i see your problem. that's quite some noise. and i agree, noise reduction is not the right answer here. since the noise is primarily dark and so is the rigging and parts of the ship, you're not going to get very good identification of what's wanted and what's not. you could mask and then use a noise reducer, but i think there's an easier way. it's still going to be a fair amount of work, though.

i think what you want here is not noise reduction, but rather edge finding. since the noise is fairly uniform in size and shape, this gives you some help. solids will not be hurt my by edge finding but the dots/noise will. it's still going to be tricky, though. psp has a filter called 'edge preserving smooth'. this worked fairly well or at least better than most things i tried. i also had some fairly good results in the 'automatic small scratch remover' tool, though, this tended to be a bit more destructive on small details.

and here's another trick you can use to preserve the rigging. before you do anything else, make a blank raster layer. take your brush and set it to the size of the rigging and set it to the same color/shade. now, simply trace over your rigging with the brush. in psp if you set a single dot on the workspace and then lift the brush, hold down the shift key and then place the brush at the opposite end of one of the lines and left mouse click, it will trace a straight line from the original point to the final point you set. do this to all of the rigging on the blank layer. essentially, you're just making a trace of all of it on a new layer. save that layer off for later. when you've done your other work, put this layer on top of all your other layers and there's all your rigging back.

and again, even using some edge finding tools, i think you're still in for some fine detail work. i've been playing around with your image for a bit now and whereas i've it a bit better, it's still got a ways to go.

and here's another thing that may work. make a new layer and simply clone all the rigging to that layer. save it off and use it later like i suggested with the trace layer. if you're good with cloning, this might work better than the tracing.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:26 AM
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

this was a challenge. i ended up doing mostly what i talked about in the last thread. i traced the rigging on a separate layer and kept it as my top layer. and i used the 'edge preserving smooth' filter to remove a fairly large amount of the noise. the rest was mostly hand work with the airbrush.

near the end, i did a clarify and then a usm of 2/100/5 but found them both, at least in conjunction with each other, to be too much, so i re-did that with just a light clarify to sort of dirty things up a bit.

and also at the end, the traced rigging was just a bit too clean the defined, so i used a soften brush to blur it a bit.

also, after the edge finding i found that a few things needed to be restored as they were. part of the side rails and also the name of the ship. for those, i made a new blank layer and cloned those things onto there.

it was very hard to tell just how much 'weathering' the original ship had, but i didnt feel it was a completely new one, nor a completely old one, so i went for something in between as far as giving it a bit of that worn look.
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File Type: jpg glocity_part2-1-k-1e.jpg (88.2 KB, 22 views)
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:28 AM
graham_ graham_ is offline
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

Thanks a lot.
I think I'd go for a look that was slightly less smoothed out, but I guess that's just a case of filter adjustment. I use photoshop and I can't see an obvious equivalent of "edge preserving smooth". There's an old version of pdp at work, I'll see if it has it.
The photo must have been taken about 40 years ago since the ship was sold and wrecked in 1968. I think I must have had a fast film in the camera for some reason and overexposed and/or overdeveloped it. Fast films could be awkward back then.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:37 AM
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Re: grain reduction, b&w negs

well, in my steps you could either reduce the amount of the filter or reduce the amount of the airbrushing to get a less smooth look. or both

i dont really know what the equivalent to that filter is in photoshop. perhaps someone else knows?
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