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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Okay....how about this question

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  #1  
Old 01-01-2005, 04:34 PM
Cincy Gal Cincy Gal is offline
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Okay....how about this question

I'm in the process of working on my family tree. I'm trying to include pictures of my ancestors' grave stones. This is fine for most born before 1820, however......

What I'm having problems with is the stones that have degraded over time and have had some or most of their information eroded away. I've taken digi pics of all that I can find so far. My questions is: is there a way to manipulate the photo to make the worn writing more readable? If not, I'll just have to do a rubbing of some of these stones......now, if I can only firgure out how to explain to passers-by just what it is I'm doing wrapping a tombstone in paper like a Xmas present!! LOL
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:24 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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It may be very possible to bring out the detail. Why not post your pics and see what we can do?

Cheers
Dave
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:29 PM
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Axleuk Axleuk is offline
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The familty tree idea is very good, but sounds a bit morbid to me including pictures of the headstones, unless of course they are done artistically
I'm sure that Photoshop, or any other graphics package will be able to help you out.

Posting you images is a good i dea, so we can se exactly what you have to play with.
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:51 PM
Cincy Gal Cincy Gal is offline
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I've got Photoshop and PaintShop Pro.....just no patience today.

Actually, the pics of the gravestones are more for documentation purposes. It's a definate way of showing at least the year of birth and year of death. The morbid part was my husband and I searching for some of these older cemeteries over this past spring and summer! I never thought I'd hear my self say "Stop the car! There's a cemetery!!"
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File Type: jpg Mary2.jpg (99.5 KB, 69 views)

Last edited by Cincy Gal; 01-01-2005 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:09 PM
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Axleuk Axleuk is offline
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Oh my, if thats a typical example of one of the gravestones, you have your work cut out trying to salvage something, but saying that, it was Jesus himself that came here looking for ways in which to turn water into wine, and he left with a head full of ideas, so dont lose hope ( nor your hair ).
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Old 01-01-2005, 08:49 PM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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Gravestone pics

Cincy Gal, welcome to RP! It's good to have another genealogist to trade info with.

I, too, would be interested in what people come up with to bring out the information on stones. I've learned a couple of tricks for taking better shots in the first place and have played with "fill flash" and levels to help improve my shots but it is really difficult to bring out "white on white".

Axleuk, I had that "morbid" feeling until I saw the gravestone of my great, great grandmother and realized that I was connected to that person. All of a sudden she was more than a name in a family tree; she began to take on personality. Now, if she would just tell me who her parents were, I'd be eternally grateful.

Cincy, I doubt you will get too many odd looks taking a rubbing and it would be an opportunity to educate others in how to extract the information without causing further damage to the stone. Good luck!

MaryLynn
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:08 PM
Cincy Gal Cincy Gal is offline
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I know what you mean about that feeling of connection, MaryLynn. I've found out that my family is a lot more interesting that I originally thought when I was a child. We'll have to trade "war stories" sometime.

Maybe you can share your photo tricks as well. I'll say PM me so we can keep this thread on subject......unless there are some other 'closet' geneaolgists out there who'd like to learn too.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2005, 09:26 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Welcome aboard Cincy Gal. No guarantee, but if you load your pic into Photoshop (don't resample), then check the different channels in all modes, you should see the channel that has the best possibility. Using that channel, greatly increase the contrast with curves. Zoom in until it would be hard to read, then back away from the monitor, maybe 10 feet or so. This sometimes helps when trying to read something like this. If you get a chance to visit the cemetery again, try to get strong sidelighting on the stone. That might help enough so you can more easily read the inscription. I was lucky when I visited the gravesite of my g-grandparents. The monument was as easy to read as a new one! I expected to find something like you did. Good luck.

Ed
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2005, 09:43 PM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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Gravestones

We have a few genealogists on here who would probably give us their input or benefit from our experiences. If we keep to the subject of getting good shots and editing, I think we'll have no problem with sharing other tidbits as well. PM would be great, too.

I'm attaching a shot of my great grandfather's stone. Problem here is that it is north-facing and nearly always in the shade. My first attempts at this were very dark and unreadable. Since the grave is in Idaho and I live over 300 miles away, waiting for just the right light is not an option. I was trying to think of some way to "shed some light" on the gravestone when I spotted the reflective sunshield in the trunk of my car. Holding the shield at the right angle reflected light onto the face of the stone and I was able to get a much better shot.

I'm still learning about spot metering with my camera. This would be another way to improve your shot.
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File Type: jpg Grave-solomon-Stowe-copy.jpg (79.4 KB, 42 views)
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2005, 10:34 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Hi MaryLynn

Still working on Cincy's post but I think I see born June 20, 1834 died July 15, 1909 on yours. What did you come up with?

Cheers
Dave
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