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need help with old photo

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Old 02-11-2010, 07:08 PM
bananahoagie bananahoagie is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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need help with old photo

Hi im new here and ive been looking around on the forum. I have a old photograph ive been playing with in photoshot trying to get the writing to come out. Id love to know if any one can help me. Thanks alot in advance

Last edited by bananahoagie; 02-11-2010 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:25 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Location: NC, USA
Posts: 1,211
Re: need help with old photo

These are generally difficult. Other methods generally work better than digital restoration in Photoshop, i.e. revealing under ultraviolet or infrared light. Just begin with something non-destructive.

But, if you must try within Photoshop, view each color channel looking for a channel that may reveal more contrast. Then use a technique to improve upon that channel, i.e. channel mixer, apply image, curves, etc.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:37 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: need help with old photo

Bananahoagie, welcome to RetouchPro. With faded writing images such as these. it is important to capture every bit of detail possible. The image you uploaded is very low in resolution and heavily pixelated. I would recommend the following:
- Use a good quality scanner at high resolution (1200 dpi or higher). Scan (crop before or after) only the areas which have writing. There is no need to include the blank areas.
- Almost every scanner produced in the past 5 yrs provided 12, 14, or 16 bit data. Chose the largest that you have available. Again this will make the files very large but will maximize the info available and allow greatest latitude for image post-processing.
- Make a 2nd scan at 90 degree positioning to the first. That way you may capture any lines that are directionally reflective.
- The scan should be native scanner output with no auto adjustments (No descreen, no auto color, no auto levels). Auto adjustments very easily attenuate or destroy detail.
- Do not do any processing on the scanner output.
- If possible save the file as a PSD or TIFF. If you must save as a jpg save it on quality level 12 to minimize any compression loss.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:16 AM
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aartist aartist is offline
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Location: Mid-West
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Re: need help with old photo

Both mistermonday and TommyO offer good advice.
Knowing the context often helps.
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