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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Heavy ink on photo

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:15 PM
djohnston33's Avatar
djohnston33 djohnston33 is offline
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Heavy ink on photo

Does anyone know how to remove either digitally or physically a thick layer of old ink (fountain pen type) from a photo, photo taken in late 1920s to early 30s.
On several family photos my grandmother evidently "inked herself out of the family photos while angry at my granfather.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Diane Johnston
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File Type: psd ink on photo.psd (97.5 KB, 137 views)
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:58 PM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Heavy ink on photo

I doubt that there is any way to recover this digitally the ink has destroyed all the underlying information in all channels.

I doubt that physicall removal possible as it is highly likely that the ink will have penetrated deep into the paper fibres.

So unless someone else can suggest a fix it looks pretty hopeless to me
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:44 PM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: Heavy ink on photo

I'm with Tony on both counts Diane. No chance in photoshop. The only thing I could suggest is a cotton swab, a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, and a pair of those magnifying reading glasses. Start with the least important (most damaged) photo and start on a tiny area by the feet to see if, just maybe, it might work.

I can say that I know there are ways (extremely expensive and rare) ways to photograph the photo with different light spectrum's and xrays in order to see the information underneath the ink. I read about this recently regarding an ancient text that had been written over centuries ago and they were able to recover the original text underneath. Sorry, I don't remember the specifics. Reason I say that is to say, don't damage them in trying to fix them as you never know what technology is around the corner.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:04 PM
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sergio2263 sergio2263 is offline
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Re: Heavy ink on photo

The photo is such a small size you can't see much I've looked at the channels the red channels show something there might be a possibility but larger size are needed.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:33 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Heavy ink on photo

Welcome Back djohnston33

I used the color deconvolution plug-in available from to try and see through the ink..... and could not find very much under there..
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File Type: jpg ink.jpg (107.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg look-thru-ink.jpg (121.6 KB, 49 views)
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