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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011, 05:48 AM
HEFF75 HEFF75 is offline
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Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

Hello Folks, i was wondering if anyone could give me any handy tips or advise on gettting this picture improved, I'ts the best available picture i have. Thanks in advance
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:38 AM
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Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

Welcome to RetouchPRO. There are some questions before deciding on the best course of action.
1. What software are you going to use?
2. Do you have the original copy which I guess is a newspaper cutting?
3. Do you have a scanner to do this yourself?

The size of the image you posted is obviously quite pixelated therefore if you have the original then you will need to scan again. This time crop to fit your image only (you can do another if required for the text) and adjust contrast to get the best image with the most detail. Some scanners have a descreen function that may help get rid/blend the dots.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:26 AM
HEFF75 HEFF75 is offline
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Unhappy Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

(1) Word 2007 (2) No original (3) yes i have a scanner what next?
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

Hi Heff and welcome to the forums

That is a tough problem to do with Word 7 (not sure how). It might be possible with Photoshop Elements (I would have to double check that since I only have Photoshop).

I agree with Tony about having a higher quality scan of the original. That may be possible since this looks like it may have been a half tone image from a newspaper article. Finding those archives may be harder than the time you want to put in however. The reason that I mention that, there are some retouching techniques that can work quite well with half tone images.

I used those techniques on your image so the results will not be as good as a better scan or minimally an image that is not JPEG compressed (as this one needed to be for posting). The following is a before and after of what is possible with just your image so you can have an idea of what is possible with the right tools/techniques.

There may be other members that know some Word 7 tricks, yet other than that, it would be getting other software or hiring a retoucher.

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blacksod5FW.jpg
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:53 PM
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Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

Very nice example John considering the quality of the image you had to work with.

Heff this will be problematic at the editing stage, Word 2007 will just not cut it for photo editing and you really do need some proper software to do this. There are freeware applications out there that are pretty good e.g. The Gimp. The problem with this is unless you have some photo editing experience the learning curve is quite steep.

So it seems like you have a photo copy or a print of the original newspaper cutting and as luck would have it also a scanner.

I would suggest that you rescan this image but this time scan at the highest ppi your scanner will support (without interpolation) this may be 1200 or 2400ppi. Also scan as 48bit colour (sometimes shown as 16Bit).

First run a preview scan and then with the scanner software crop the image to include only the picture area as this is the most important part - the text can be typed out again or if you must you could scan this seperately.

If the scanner software options has a descreen function try this it may help to get rid of the dots! Also use the scanners software to adjust density and contrast. Save the file as Tiff - particularly if you are likely to want to perform further edits and save again

If you are very lucky you will end up with an image that does not need additional work in a photo editing program and can be imported directly into Word
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:32 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

Image Analyzer 1.33 (Freeware for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7) from MeeSoft works very well in removing the halftone dot pattern.. but it works best if you have a crisp clean scan with nothing done to it at all..

If you are going to use software like Photoshop, Gimp, Image Analyzer, etc it is probably best to turn off all automatic scanner enhancement settings and anything that auto fixes. No sharpness, no levels, no tone or saturation adjustment, no brightness or contrast adjustment, no dust & scratch removal, no descreen or denoising or despeckle, no color adjustment, no auto anything. (although I DO LIKE the automatic 'Bring Back the Color' when doing old slides that have faded away) But other than that I have found that when you let the scanner automatically do any processing on the data, it will most likely round off or clip/lose some information which may be useful to applications which have the capability to process high bit depth images.

If you do not have any other means to fix the picture/scan then by all means try out whatever you have available to you... try and get the best possible rendition.. rescan it till it pleases you.. adjusting the brightness/contrast settings.... de-noise... sharpen... and any combination of which gives you the most pleasing result...

BTW.. I am offering a VERY BAD example... If you are using Image Analyzer or any other FFT program for fixing Halftoned pictures or paper texture or for removing chain link fences or power lines or whatever.. Just cover the bright spots judiciously and don't draw lines like I did.... When other than the dots are covered you are covering good, usable information from the picture and even some of the bright dots may have to be left un-covered because they are important to the photo.... experiment and use the preview... you can always start again.. Practice Cubed! and don't do as I do/did!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:46 AM
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Re: Help! Nostalgic Photo Needs Improving

I have had success to remove/reduce a halftone-pattern using this FFT-plugin. Example from a recent image attached.

It is exactly the same technique that 0lBaldy showed with Image Analyzer, but I prefer this plugin (only downside is that it doesn't have any preview; but filter+undo works ok).
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File Type: jpg after.jpg (95.8 KB, 19 views)
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