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Photo from 1931 Needs Help

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Old 05-22-2007, 09:45 PM
sources sources is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Concord, MA (USA)
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REVISED- Photo from 1931 Needs Help

I have a copy of a photo taken in 1931 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer while he was studying in the States. It is from an old book as a search for the original photo and negative have been fruitless.

Hitler personally gave the order to hang Bonhoeffer only hours before his own suicide by handgun, and two days before the Allies liberated his camp.

I need to make it look as good as possible and am having some difficulty. I would like to make it close to 4"x6" but when I enlarge it I both lose definition and inherit the noise of the original. Can anyone help me on this?

See the attached photos, if you think you can help. Actual photos are at

Best regards,
jack at studiolightplay. com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_5259-db.jpg (96.3 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5393-db.jpg (99.2 KB, 42 views)

Last edited by sources; 05-23-2007 at 06:30 AM. Reason: re-upload photos-new sources
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:36 AM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Re: Photo from 1931 Needs Help

Qualifyer: I'm more into "photo-art" than I am restoration, but hopefully my .02 will get the ball rollin' on this.

For openers search RP on keyword "moire" (show threads, not posts). For a boatload of more info Google:

photoshop correct moire

photoshop tutorial moire


Is the blue cast intended?

In the example I...
* Desaturated to zap blue cast
* Used Levels adjustment layer to set white, black points (more overall contrast)
(Google: photoshop levels set white black point)
* Merged visible layers onto a new layer
* Duplicated merged layer
* Applied Noise > Dust & Scratches (radius = 7)
* Lowered Opacity to 85%

Looks a little better to me, but...

Hope this helps.
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File Type: jpg jack moire djr.jpg (86.3 KB, 26 views)
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:44 AM
CathyH's Avatar
CathyH CathyH is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 714
Re: Photo from 1931 Needs Help

I used Neat Image, then noise/dust & skratch radius 2, ran that filter again, then hit it with a guassin blur at 2. Used a curves adjstument to darken and lighten it up some.
I didn't try to enlarge the size at all.
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File Type: jpg b&w.jpg (97.9 KB, 24 views)
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:21 AM
DCobb's Avatar
DCobb DCobb is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 557
Re: Photo from 1931 Needs Help

I used the despeckle choice on the Focus Magic Stand alone product--not on the plug-in to remove the moire pattern. Also, did a degrunge on the face. Tried to do a little selective sharpening. Good practice.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg db_web.jpg (100.1 KB, 13 views)

Last edited by DCobb; 05-23-2007 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:48 PM
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superkoax superkoax is offline
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Re: Photo from 1931 Needs Help

maybe try to use som higlights and shadows on this to ease up the contrasts? The noise looks to me like book print or newspaper print paper...

will try it later? what about colour? would you like it colored?

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Old 05-23-2007, 05:07 PM
sources sources is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Concord, MA (USA)
Posts: 3
Re: Photo from 1931 Needs Help

I truly appreciate your help. I'm a newbie here (and think I drove Doug nuts with my silly complaining about log-in problems), but I've already learned a lot, especially about colleagues' generosity with their time and knowledge.

I found it especially helpful, Danny, the way you laid out each step.

re: the original: I found a class photo in a book, scanned it, cropped out Bonhoeffer and reduced the size of the scan to 100k. The "blue tint" is I guess a sort of artifact.

The original halftone photo in the book is nice and clear, as is the scan. But when I crop DB out of the class he balloons huge and "hyper-pointellated," if there is such a term. Is there a way to crop without enlarging?

Also, I see that there is now a 200k limit. Should I upload with the new limit?

Color? I never imagined that it would work. I'm fascinated that you are able to improve a picture like this and am grateful for showing me what can be done. I look forward to more. I'm going to try to follow the steps that you all have taken to see if I can arrive at a finished product I can use.

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