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Cincy Gal 12-31-2004 08:41 PM

Can a copy (xerox) of a photo be turn back into a "real" photo?
Hi! Newbie here. :wavey: (everyone says "Hi Newbie!")

I have a photocopy of an old (i.e. 1920's) family portrait. It is very dark and the facial detail is limited because of the darkness. It was a poor photocopy job, obviously. Unfortunately, the originals are no longer available. My question is: can it be reversed and turned back into a "real" photo and the detail restored?

I have Photoshop and PaintShop Pro. (and I'm not afriad to use them either, so watch out!)

Anyone have some suggestions?

Cincy Gal

Noelf 12-31-2004 11:34 PM

You might be able to clean up some of the detail, but you will never restore it to a "photo".

The definition of a photocopy doesn't have the amount of information necessary to even begin to restore the print to life unfortunately.

Again, you can probably enhance what you have, but you really probably can't restore it.

- Noel

Gary Richardson 01-01-2005 02:12 AM

Have to agree with Noel, you are unlikely to get quite what you want. That is not to say that there is no improvement to be made. Try posting your photocopy, so that we can see it. There are people on this site who can get amazing results from the worst of originals, the only way to find out is to give it a go.

Cincy Gal 01-01-2005 02:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Okay, I fiddled with it a bit today. Nothing that really looked like much of an improvement. I'll take Gary's suggestion and post this photocopy and see what folks out there can do. Thanks in advance.

This is my great-grandfather and his family. Eleven kids in all. All survived to adulthood. This pic was taken about 1915.

Let me know if this is big enough or not.

Axleuk 01-01-2005 04:37 PM

To me this looks like a good sample from which i am sure that many of the talented individuals on this site can surely help you with.

The quality looks like it can be greatly improved upon, and whilst you will never get it to the original standard, with todays technology, I am sure you will have something that is defintely worth the effort.

Cincy Gal 01-01-2005 04:46 PM


Originally Posted by Axleuk
and whilst you will never get it to the original standard

Gads I love those of you from the UK. You're the only folks I know of that can get away with using "whilst" in a sentence! LOL :wink:

I hope someone can "perk" up this old portrait. Two of the girls in that pic are still living and I'd love to give them a new "original"!

Gary Richardson 01-02-2005 03:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Cincy gal, Thanks for posting your Xerox, Have had a quick play with it, and attached copy. Its not great, but there is'nt too much detail to get good results without spending more time than I've got available at the moment.

Axleuk 01-02-2005 05:38 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ok, i'm no expert, but took it anyways and had a go at cleaning it up a bit.

Duv 01-02-2005 11:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, I wouldn't call it photo like but I just did some basic smoothing and adjustments for Shadow/Highlights so that not too much information was lost, especially in the shadows.


Cincy Gal 01-02-2005 08:28 PM

Thanks guys! :thumbsup: All three are better than what I've got at the moment.

Other than doing what you guys did, do you have any other suggestions as to what I might do to clear things up? Is there a professional process I might get done? Either that or I'm going to find an art student to do an oil painting of it.

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