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Scanning photographs on matt paper

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2008, 04:43 PM
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline
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Unhappy Scanning photographs on matt paper

I am scanning some 60 year old prints on matt paper - negatives long since lost. Quality is very poor compared to scans of prints on gloss paper.

Can anyone tell me:

How one can obtain better quality scans of matt prints?

Whether one can improve the quality of scans of matt prints using Photoshop?

And if so how?

Bill Forster
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2008, 10:36 PM
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Damo77 Damo77 is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Hi Bill, welcome to the forum.

Photoshop can certainly work wonders, but I think it all comes down to the quality of the original scan, and therefore the quality of your scanner. You haven't mentioned what kind of scanner you have, but it's certainly true that cheap is nasty. You might want to consider finding a local printer or photo lab who offer scanning on a higher-end scanner.

Having said that, feel free to post a scan in the Image Help section, and plenty of wise people will offer some advice.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:18 AM
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Have now discovered a similar thread which offers a Photoshop solution at: http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...tt-finish.html

Plus a tutorial at: http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=185

I have an EPSON PERFECTION 4870 but I do not think it's not a scanner issue - but thanks.

The only advice I had found elsewhere on the web was to get gloss prints! Not very practical when negatives were lost 50 years ago!

Bill
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2008, 11:58 AM
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

The TUTORIAL at:
http://retouchpro.com/tutorials/?m=show&id=185
sounds great!

BUT I am an Apple Mac user. AND it would appear that there is NO SUCH FILTER for the Mac! SEE: http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?14@@.59b653d9/2

I am NOT an expert - and never will be! - but I have agreed to scan ten years of school leavers photos from my old school from 1939 - 49. Many of the ex pupils are marked "killed in action". And all of the photos are on matt paper. The scans loose all mid range tones due to being printed on matt paper. I want to be able to send the "old boys" - or their families if dead - scans by e-mail suitable for producing portraits.

Simple straight forward advice on whether this technique will work with Photoshop on my Mac would be greatly appreciated.

And on where to find a suitable filter!

Bill
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:35 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

ImageJ is a free stand-alone program with FFT capability that works on a Mac. Its interface can be daunting, though. I think the tutorial technique can be adapted to ImageJ, but haven't tried it exactly that way.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:10 PM
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Thanks for the rapid response.

Googling ImageJ led to: http://imagejdocu.tudor.lu/doku.php?id=gui:process:fft

but I can't understand a word of it!

And can spot nothing on its use for improving scans of photographic prints on matt paper.

Do you know of a simpler clearer guide which may be of help?

Am really out of my depth!

Bill
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:18 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Bill, welcome to RetouchPRO!

Could you post a less than 100K sample of what you mean , you could also post a link to a site that is hosting a larger version, using any of these other host options or one of your own:
ImageVenue.com (3Meg max, free) or pixentral.com (2Meg max, free) or photobucket.com (1 Meg max free,... 5 Meg PRO) or Flickr.com (5Meg , free).

The following links may help you post a sample!

Attaching Files or Images to Threads or Posts

Size and quality for Attached Images!
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:49 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Bill,
I can't tell from your post if you really want to use Photoshop, or would rather the scanner do all the adjusting. If you are well versed in PS, then it will/can do all that the scanner can do. If you prefer the scanner do it all, it can. Third party scanner software has endless capabilities and can recover much of that mid-tone contrast.

Another thought is to photograph these pictures, not scan them. Newer digital cameras can reveal as much detail as a scanner. The resulting images can then be batch processed in an application like Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) which comes with PS, or in PS itself... although ACR offers more flexibility and is much faster.

Just a thought. Give us some feedback on what you prefer.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2008, 05:54 AM
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

I need to give some thought to these two suggestions!

The School will not allow the photo album to be removed from their premises & have promised to scan it page by page and send me on CD so that I can crop out individual portraits, enhance with Photoshop & send by e-mail on receipt of requests.

I guess I need to either:

1. Get them to photograph instead of scanning the album

OR

2. Use FFT filter or other features of Photoshop to eliminate the matt pattern after they have scanned it.

If I was allowed to remove the Album I would FIRST try re-photographing the Album (which requires less expertise) but since I can't ....

Shall mull over the options before proceeding further but might try uploading a ample for the Forum to consider.

And may need to discuss options with the school.

Bill
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2008, 11:26 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Scanning photographs on matt paper

Had a similar situation where I could not remove the documents, so I talked them into letting me photograph at their location. They watched me, I gave them a CD with copies on it for free, they responded by asking if I would be able to copy a whole bunch more of their stuff (at my place) and it turned into a nice job where I was happy and so where they!

Never hurts to think a bit outside the box and float some ideas around....
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