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  • problem image

    Greetings to all. This is my first post to the list. I have been reading a lot of the threads and think this may be just the place to acquire some good info about restoring photos.

    I inherited 14 slides my father took in Tokyo in 1952. They are on a film called Eastman 34. I believe it is like Kodachrome. The colors are still quite vibrant.

    The slides are in various conditions. Some are very clean and some are a mess. Some were mounted in glass/paper mounts that were taped on the edges and some were mounted in a two-piece metal mount sandwiched between glass.

    I have been using Photoshop 5.5 to try to restore them so I can share them with my family. I think my mom would be greatly surprised.

    An example of what I am looking at is attached. First the original, then the original with auto-levels done. I have been trying to figure out how to deal with the discoloration on the sides, but don't have enough experience to know what to do.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Here is a copy of the original with only auto-levels done.

    Thanks to all

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Keith and welcome. Yes, you've definitely come to the right place to get help and advice!

      I'm afraid I'm probably not the right person to offer you much assistance, though, as I have no experience whatsoever of either scanning slides or restoring slide images. But I have had a look at this photo and fiddled around with it a bit.

      Having done my best with levels adjustments to each colour channel, I don't seem to have got much further than you did with "auto levels". The quality of the original and/or scan is not very promising - there is horizontal banding across the entire image which I feel would be extremely difficult to sort out. I would tend to forget about trying to fix the colour banding at the edges, as it would be way too much work for too little reward! It's that wide green band down the right edge the really bothers me and I would suggest that your best course of action would be to crop it off altogether, along with the thin dark border around the other three edges.

      I've attached an attempt I made to salvage something reasonable from this. Having cropped the photo dramatically so that the man and child were the main subjects, I had a look at the channels and found that the green channel was awful, while the blue channel, although far from "good", was the best of the three. I copied that and pasted to a new layer. Then duplicated the original, pasted that as a new layer over the B&W one, with blend mode set to "color". Then duplicated the original again, but this time used "lighten" blend mode & reduced the opacity a bit. Merged those three layers. Then ran the "despeckle" filter on each channel. To sharpen it up a bit, duplicated the layer, ran a "high pass" filter and set the blend mode to "overlay". Merged. Slightly darkened the green channel using "Levels" then increased the level of Yellow using "Color Balance".

      I didn't feel there was much more that could be done, so I quit there.

      I hope someone else can offer your more constructive help here. But my gut feeling is that you won't get very happy results from these slides unless you can get cleaner scans from them.

      All you slide experts - come on over here!!! You're needed!!!

      Best of luck, Keith!


      • #4
        Sorry - forgot to attach the pic!
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Sam is right about the scan. You need to boost the gamma in your scanning software before you fiddle with the image in PS. The dark edges around the outside look like the edge of the slide. I'd also just crop it.

          Are you using a film scanner or a flatbed? Only the middle to top-end flatbed scanners can do reasonable scans of slides and negatives (assuming that they have the adaptors).

          Good luck with your efforts!


          • #6
            Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. The original scan was done on a Microtek 4800 with film adapter. Resolution was set at 600 at 200% and saved as a tiff. This image is a medium res jpeg I made to demonstrate the problem. It is by no means the raw scan.

            I really want to try to restore the entire image, mainly because the shooter was my father and he is no longer with us. The GI on the left edge of the photo depicts the US presence in Japan and I believe adds to the historical significance of the image.


            • #7
              Some of the problems may be a result of the scanner. There does not appear to be much detail in the shadows and considerable noise as well.


              • #8
                I have to agree with the others. If you want to get the best out of these negatives, you will need to get better scans to start with. The better the info gathered from the scan, the less trouble you will have fixing them. You could try adjusting the gamma up on your scanner so the details come out better in the shadows as BigAl suggested.


                • #9
                  How does one go about adjusting the gamma on a scanner? I am using Microtek Scanwizard 5 for my software.


                  • #10
                    It depends on your scanner software. Some times you can't if your software doesn't give you the controls to do that. When you are making a scan what are the controls you are able to adjust manually to make the scan look better than the scanners auto settings?


                    • #11
                      With Microtek ScanWizard 5 I can set white/black points, curves, brightness/contrast, color correction, sharpening filters, and descreen.

                      The original scan of this image was scanned without any changes.

                      Thanks again.


                      • #12
                        Then I would say, try scanning them again and setting your white and black points and see how the image comes out. Play around with the settings you have to get the best image possible. Forget about sharpen though. Most of what I have read says never sharpen in the scanning process.


                        • #13
                          You may want to check if Vuescan works with your scanner. If it does, it's worth the $40.


                          • #14
                            How are you planning to share your pictures? If the idea is to show them on a computer screen, you may be OK, but if you are planning on printing them, 600 dpi will only give you tiny pictures. You'd be better off having a PhotoCD scans made, or even having the slides professionally printed then scanning the prints.

                            Most flat bed scanners just don't have the dynamic range to scan slides effectively. Most reflective prints have a dynamic range of 3.0-3.2D, Slides can go up to 4.2D. So there is a lot of potential to lose information in the shadows.

                            One way around this is to do multiple scans; one for shadow and one for highlights, then combine the two by masking off the light part of the dark scan and blending that with the light scan. There is even a plug in to automate this from [/URL] PowerRetouch but it doesn't come cheap.

                            Still, optimizing the scan may give you everything you need. For a general tutorial on how to get good scans check out: [URL=]A Few Scanning Tips


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