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Need writing enhanced on old post card

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2008, 07:33 PM
nrotonda nrotonda is offline
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Need writing enhanced on old post card

I have an old post card with presumably a picture of some of my relatives on the front and on the back I can see what appears to be a name and address written in pencil.

I have a guess as to what I think it says but would like to figure out a way to enhance the writing so I don't have to guess.

I have scanned the back of the post card at 600 dpi and was able to bring out the writing a little with picasa but not nearly enough.

The image is attached. Any ideas/help appreciated!

Nancy
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File Type: jpg postcard_unknown.jpg (109.0 KB, 171 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:16 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Take a look at this one and see if you can read their writing. I think I can, but I'm not sure.

Best of luck !
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:22 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Here it is
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:30 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

The writing appears to say something like Only you old people need sign card.
Unless you are referring to other writing that your scanner did not register, that's all I see.
Regards, Murray
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:30 PM
nrotonda nrotonda is offline
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Thank you so much for replying! I should have been more clear on what I couldn't read. Although, I am interested in knowing what you think this part says anyway. My guess is "Only two lg people.." and I have no idea what the 2nd line says. Short hand of some sort.

I will attach another image of just the part that I want to enhance and see if you can help. There is a name, a city and state and also a code of some sort like G79-7. (NOTE: ignore the blue writing)
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:01 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Sorry, not much there. I have seen many old photo's that pick up slight residue from other images, papers, envelopes, etc. they lay on. Normally, these faint marks are that, not writing. All writing in those days were pen or pencil which hold up very well over time.

Then again, our eyes & brain are the best guide.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:56 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

It must be explaining something on the picture side.. is it of fair quality..if so maybe you could post it.

Butch
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:57 AM
nrotonda nrotonda is offline
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

The Name and address is there and visible with the eye when you turn it sideways and reflect light just the right way to see the pencil markings. I just can't make out some of the letters and thought there might be a way to digitally enhance it.

If anyone is still interested in seeing the front of the postcard, I can post it this evening but it won't help in reading the name and address. Three of the people in the picture have Xs under them which I think is related to the "Only two lg people... " written on the back.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:05 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrotonda View Post
The Name and address is there and visible with the eye when you turn it sideways and reflect light just the right way to see the pencil markings. I just can't make out some of the letters and thought there might be a way to digitally enhance it.
In a dark room, apply oblique, or glancing light, to the furrows of indented writing. Photographing with a combination of multiple exposures while moving the light source will fill in the available indentations with shadow and should effectively reproduce the indented writing.

OR.. lay a thin piece of paper over the writing, using a #2 lead pencil and using the side of the lead rub it back and forth over the surface of the paper and see the invisible/indented writing appear

Last edited by 0lBaldy; 10-09-2008 at 12:21 PM. Reason: added info
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2008, 12:26 PM
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Re: Need writing enhanced on old post card

Thanks Nancy,
Yes, unfortunately digital restoration is not quite as advanced as seen on TV and such. There is no magic algorithm to bring it out any more. There are many creative ideas that come from many of the users, sometimes revealing a bit more information. It could also depend on the scan. But, I think your scan was pretty good and certainly should have shown some information if it was there. Sometimes a higher resolution (1200 -4800) can help as it brings out subtle differences in adjacent pixels that we can enhance.

More often though, a spectral or chemical technique works better. The carbon in the pencil marks do not react with ultraviolet or infrared light. So, when you shine ultraviolet light on the paper, the paper will fluoresce slightly, making the pencil marks look darker. The same is true with infrared. The paper will look light and the pencil dark. Ultraviolet lights, not the black lights, are very common and can be purchased on-line or around town. Plus, you just use your eyes, no special detector needed. You can also photograph the resulting luminescence. Just be aware that the older papers did not contain (or add) fluorescent additives as we do today. Hence, they don't fluoresce as much. It seems to be random, some do some don't.

Hope that may help some. Best of luck.
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