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Small pic problem question...

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  • Small pic problem question...

    When restoring old yellowed/faded photos, Especially small ones, I have run into the same problem twice now and was wondering what I can do to minimize it. It seems everytime I adjust for tone & contrast, I end up with a really grainy looking image. The only thing I can think of thats causing this, Is the fact that the originals that Im scanning are very small photos. SOme times as small as 1x1 inch. Is it just the fact that there arent that many pixals and im getting a small case of "pixalization' in way?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Perhaps you could give a few more details, particularly in regards as to what resolution you're scanning these, and any other pertinent info.
    It's possible to get good scans from very small pics, provided the original pic is of fairly decent quality.
    I've attached a scan I did not too long ago as an example. The actual dimesion of the photo itelf is less than 1/2 inch tall. It's actually a button/pin my gg grandmother had. I was scared to try and remove the photo from the button, and to be honest I'm not sure how it was even put together so I just gave it a shot and scanned the whole thing as it was. I scanned at 300 and 450 at first but it didn't give me much size to work with, so I increased the resolution to scan at 900 and it gave me something workable. being the size it was, the high res scan still came in at well under 500k file size.
    So the first thing I'd try would be to increase the resolution at which you're scanning, small images like this won't be huge files, and it may help.
    Of course there are also many other variables that could result in the grainy look you're getting, photo condition, paper, age etc. in which case higher settings on scans would only increase the graininess.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      I guess what Im asking is, With really small photos, Does it make a difference if I scan them at a really high resolution (600-1200) vs scaning them @ 300 dpi?


      • #4
        Scan at the higher resolution, or set the output scan size to the print size needed @ 300 DPI. If your original is 1x1 and you need an 8x8 print you need more input resolution than 300 DPI...skip


        • #5
          100 DPI vs 900 DPI

          When I first received the photo that is attached it was at a DPI of 100. It was grainy and the details were not as pronounced as the second scan requested. I requested a DPI of 900 be made with the second.

          I used the FFT filter with much of the smaller smoothing being done with a slow process of smudging. The point is, with the photo scanned in at 900 DPI I was able to see the nuances of the photo - shading and different textures within the picture.

          Also in my search to improve this photo I found a lovely site that might offer you, as it did me, more versatility in enhancement.

          Yes, the DPI does matter.


          • #6

            welcome to RP!

            what the folks above are saying about resolution is true. however, i was curious about the grain in your image. the original didnt seem to have that much, or at least not enough to warrant what was in your vignetted image. so, i took a look and did some work myself. i'm not sure what it is you're doing, but i didnt result in that much grain in my first tests.

            attached is a first stage showing not nearly as much grain and the 2nd image is just a final cleanup.

            i've worked with images as small as 50x50 pixels with success and this is far greater than that.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Higher resolution will help you up to a point. You want to have enough resolution to accurately capture not only the image, but also any grain in the image. If the grain is undersampled, then it will alias. When noise aliases, you effectively distribute the noise to lower frequencies which makes it more difficult for noise reduction algorithms to remove. (Forgive the technical explanation.)

              You should also boost the contrast of the image in your scanners software. You want to do this because the scanner software will boost the contrast while it's still 16-bits per channel.



              • #8
                I decided to see how bad your posted image is. I was able to make it decent--looking. Rescanning at higher resolution and contrast will help a lot.

                I applied a curve, NR, and clarify with strength of 4. My result looks a bit soft because I had to remove jpeg artifacts. You won't have that problem.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Thanks for yalls input. I guess practice makes perfect, SO Im gonna continue to experiment with different phots and different methods for restoring them.


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