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slide restoration workflow / consistency

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Old 04-16-2010, 04:55 AM
fabgar fabgar is offline
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slide restoration workflow / consistency

Hi all,

Iím new to this website and it seems really cool, I already found loads of useful information.
I do have a question though about a topic a bit more specific (I think) I did search the forum and found some tips but not exactly what Iím looking for. Maybe someone can help me get going ?

I started to digitize my grandfathers slides of all his travels (about 1200+). I used a Reflecta DigitDia 5000, which is a great scanner imo, with digital ICE, etc Ö So the results are pretty good already.

But what Iím looking for really, is a tutorial or workflow to touch up the slides that havenít been corrected by the scanner. In every batch there are a few that are still too dark, the contrast is wrong or the colours are bleak.

Iím using Photoshop for some years now so I can adjust/repair these slides fairly well but to keep the overall look of the slide sets consistent, (normalizing or mastering would be the terms Iíd use in my music production) I find the hardest. Therefore I think a good workflow from an experienced user would be fantastic.

I did read the post from AdamZx3 (thanks btw) ( which was very helpful, and I created my own set of actions slightly based on those, but I dunno, somehow I didnít get it right, they donít seem to work quite as well for my scans.

So If anyone can help me out, point me into the right direction, has some links to some great resources/threads on how to do slide restoration , Iíd really appreciate it !

In the meantime Iíll keep looking Ö


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Old 04-21-2010, 10:49 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: slide restoration workflow / consistency

fabgar, welcome to RP.

the long and the short of it is, there is no one tutorial that will do what you want. you can try actions and batch processing and all the automation in the world and there's still going to be those images that just wont conform to your routine. each photo is unique. each bit of damage or aging is unique. there is no magic CSI-fix-it-with-the-twirl-of-a-button routine or machine. sorry.

however, if you do have something typical you can post, that helps us help you to figure it all out
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:32 AM
fabgar fabgar is offline
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Re: slide restoration workflow / consistency

CSI-fix-it-with-the-twirl-of-a-button routine or machine
Hehe, youíre right, such magical solutions rarely exist indeed. Maybe I emphasized too much on actions/batch solutions in my post. Thatís not really what Iím looking for. Well Iíd want to create my own set of actions anyway.

My pictures arenít really damaged, some just need a subtle contrast/tone/colour treatment before I will archive them. And the most important thing to me is that after adjusting some of them Ö the series should still look consistent. So that no images will Ďjumpí out.

In a forum like this there must be a lot of people that do photo restoration/retouching for a living, to be more precise, series of photos. So they must have adopted a certain way of doing things over the years. Each probably with their own workflow.

What I indented with my question was, maybe some people sharing these workflows, how they go about a restoration/retouching project. Not a lengthy step by step - holding your hand - tutorial Just some general pointers, tips, which processes need to go before certain others, etc Ö

Only because I like to avoid some fundamental mistakes I would later regret. Before I archive all these slides.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:08 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: slide restoration workflow / consistency


I once too had a batch to do and wondered the same. I never found that particular workflow. But, looking back that was just fine. At the time I felt it might be important to do just as you want... slightly retouch/refine each before archiving. But, what I found was that the more important thing was to simply capture them digitally for archiving.

I also found that it was easier to eliminate as many steps as possible. The idea being that when the day comes I do decide to restore some of them, I would do those extra steps then. If it's right away, I have an arsenal of software at my disposal. If years later, software will have advanced to the point it will be even easier.

In fact, I probably should have left off the Digital ICE as well. It just made it slower, with no long term advantage.

So, you may focus on slightly different workflow.... one that involves the scanner setup, temporary file locations, file naming conventions, post-scan quality checks, file archival, etc.... rather than automated restoration/retouch steps.

Just a thought. Best of luck with your project.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:25 AM
fabgar fabgar is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Re: slide restoration workflow / consistency

Hey Tommy,

Those are some very interesting points you made.

I must say I thought about it for a moment, to just archive the scans straight from the scanner and only touch up the jpegs that Iím going to use for a (slideshow) DVD. In my case Iím also going to give people the option to buy the original TIFFís for when they would like to have them printed, enlarged, etc Öso I should at least do some basic optimizing on them. So I donít have to do it whenever someone feels like having a certain batch professionally printed. I donít have that much random time

For me the digital ICE worked really well I must say, it solved a lot of issues I otherwise would have spent a huge amount of time on. But it took ages indeed. I was glad I rented that batch scanner

I really appreciate your input and your way of thinking, itís certainly helping me to decide which way to go about it.

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