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Please help decipher faded writing!

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  #1  
Old 05-23-2008, 04:24 PM
smitty_ap smitty_ap is offline
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Please help decipher faded writing!

This is my first post, please go easy on me ;
I found an old photo of my grandfather (one of only a few of him). I started to write his name on the back until I realized there was some faded writing that I had almost written over. I have been unable to make it legible. His name was Leland Stanford Smith. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance, Patrick
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http://www.mediafire.com/?gf1stxlnndn
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File Type: jpg Leland Stanford Smith.jpg (78.3 KB, 85 views)
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:42 PM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

This was as far as I was able to take it. There is something there; but, while not an expert, you may need something more than Photoshop to bring it out.

dc

I added a second try. There is a lot of magenta garbage in the second picture (one on the right) and in removing it you take out some of the writing. Someone may suggest the Forensic Color Deconvolution Filter. I do have this and tried various settings and did not get satisfactory results. However, a forensic expert might have a few extra tricks up their sleeve and might be able to get better results than I did.
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File Type: jpg FadedWriting.jpg (174.3 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg FadedWriting2.jpg (182.9 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by DCobb; 05-23-2008 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:42 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

Smitty, I was never great at reading handwriting so perhaps you or someone else can have a try. A quick 1st pass indicates the writing should be quite legible. I am going to try another technique but for the moment, what I read on the lower line appears to be L Stanford S. I can't quite make out all the letters above it. I will try my next pass and see what comes up. (I had to reduce resolution to upload but if I can manage to improve it, I will post a hi res version somewhere.

Regards, Murray
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:16 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

OK, on 2nd try it is clearer. The top line appears to be a signature. You have written over what looks like the initial C then followed by something that looks like Karl? and the last word may begin with an S or L. But as I said I have never been great at decoding writing.

If you want to play with the high res version yourself, try the following.
Convert the image to LAB color space. Hit Ctrl+3 to view the B channel. Hit Ctrl M to bring up the Curves dialog box. Set two points - one on the darkest part of the faded writing and the other on the nearby background. Then pull the points apart to separate the grayscale values and create contrast.

This is the kind of image where a very good quality scanner may be the difference between able to recover the writing easily or not.

Good Luck and regards, Murray
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:19 PM
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

Good sleuthing, Murray! You've done a super job of pulling out detail. Can't make head nor tail out of the top line of cursive writing - though I'd say the last word starts with 'S'. The second line is likely 'of Stanford'
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:19 PM
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

Lurch, thanks for the compliment. Staring at the cursive a little longer, it appears like the last word on the top line might be Photo or Photos which would make the sentence ? photos of Stanford S. Perhaps the 1st word might me Party? Well if Smitty ever comes back, perhaps he/she can shed some light on it.
Regards, Murray
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:08 PM
smitty_ap smitty_ap is offline
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

I attached the actual picture for reference. The word "Photo" would definitely make sense with the second line "of Stanford". I've been playing with the high res version and haven't been able to pull anything else out.
Thank you for all of the time and help this far

Patrick
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File Type: jpg Front.jpg (56.4 KB, 40 views)
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:01 PM
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

What's the chance your grandfather went by the name of Stanford? I had a grand-uncle named Grover Cleveland Appleton who used Cleveland.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:08 PM
smitty_ap smitty_ap is offline
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Re: Please help decipher faded writing!

Very good apparently. I just called my father and he related that as long as he could remember, his dad went by "Stan."
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