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Hopeless case?

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  • Hopeless case?

    Hi everyone

    I'm very new here...just happened to come across the site whilst looking for something completely different!

    Anyways, my grandad found a newspaper cutting of his father, as a child, in the BB. I used to be much more into photography than I am now, and I've never really done much in the way of restoration, just very basic contrast, dust & scratches etc.

    I don't know the limits of restoration, but to me this is a bit of a lost cause as it is lacking so much detail. I tried to fix it up about a year ago, but have since lost my work - thankfully still had the original scan! All I was able to do was make it look black and white instead of yellow, and fill in the hole in the top right.

    I'd really love to have the best possible restoration done before Christmas so I can give it to him as a surprise.

    I'm not asking people to do the work for me, but any advice will be unbelievably well received I have access to Photoshop CS4 at work, but that is it, and I know a lot of you seem to use other programs. Realistically I have to use Photoshop as I can't afford to buy any software at the moment.

    I uploaded the original scan to deviantart. Here is a link;

    Please get in touch if you have any advice at all

    Many thanks,


  • #2
    Re: Hopeless case?

    I've just spent an age trying everything I know, and it still looks awful. There is so little detail in the image that making it black and white, with a higher contrast is about all I can do with it. Grrr...frustration...


    • #3
      Re: Hopeless case?

      I can appreciate your frustration, as too many faces are mere smudges. I don't think I could achieve a result that would make me happy, and would tell a client to save their money.


      • #4
        Re: Hopeless case?

        haha, thanks

        That makes me feel a little better anyway!


        • #5
          Re: Hopeless case?

          Kenny, Welcome to RetouchPRO! Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, have fun!

          It sounds as if you do not have the original clipping any more. If you did, it would be nice if you re-scanned the clipping with all the automatic settings turned OFF ( Flair, Ice, sharpening, contrast etc,,) these can be done in Photoshop much more selectively and in restorations it is nice to have as much starting detail as possible.

          It looks as though the dust and scratch software within the scanner has obliterated a lot of essential detail.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Re: Hopeless case?

            Originally posted by 0lBaldy View Post
   would be nice if you re-scanned the clipping with all the automatic settings turned OFF ( Flair, Ice, sharpening, contrast etc,,)...
            Good eye. Agree... it almost appears to me as if the original was scanned with ICE activated.


            • #7
              Re: Hopeless case?

              Thanks olbaldy!

              As far as I know, it was just a straight forward scan. I have the original cutting, but it's a few hundred miles away at the mo! The print is from 1906, so I think the lack of detail is just how it is on the original, as all the dark areas have faded slightly, but also there seemed to be a kind of wear on the paper from where it had been folded, printed side against print... if you know what I mean?

              In brief... the original is no better


              • #8
                Re: Hopeless case?

                Originally posted by laelaps View Post
                Thanks olbaldy!

                As far as I know, it was just a straight forward scan.
                In brief... the original is no better
                In 1906 halftones had spread their wings and were pretty much universal and this print shows no vestiges of the dots.. thats why I thought the scanners automatic settings may have obliterated the halftones and caused a sort of blur.


                • #9
                  Re: Hopeless case?

                  Hmmm, I'm pretty sure it was that bad, but now I'm starting to doubt myself...
                  I can check when I'm back home for Christmas.
                  In the mean time, I might as well just do the best I can

                  Cheers for all the info OlBaldy / Southbay!

                  I'll let you know what the original was really like when I see it again


                  • #10
                    Re: Hopeless case?

                    seems the guys have pretty much covered things and i agree, get the original and rescan at the highest possible settings with nothing extra turned on on the scanner. you might also try taking a photo using a backlight, one that shines through the newsprint a bit and would thus possibly bring out some more detail. that's not a guarantee, but might work. you'd then use a camera to take the 'scan'.

                    i've never really done a survey on this, but offhand i'd say the biggest single problem we have with restorations here is the scan or the posting of too small a picture. your post on the other site was fine, so let's see if we can get a better scan


                    • #11
                      Re: Hopeless case?

                      Is there a clue ,what newspaper it was in.
                      They my have the picture in the archives.
                      The new Band my also have it.
                      Any way here is a small try.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Re: Hopeless case?

                        Cupcake that looks pretty neat! It looks tons better than I was getting.
                        Somehow it looks like there's a bit more detail whatever way you adjusted it.

                        Can I ask how you went about working on it?

                        Many thanks


                        • #13
                          Re: Hopeless case?

                          Sent you a message.


                          • #14
                            Re: Hopeless case?

                            Sometimes photos are too far gone to do a proper restore.
                            This photo is newsprint to begin with and is showing it's age.
                            If it's worth saving for historical/personal/family value then any
                            incremental improvements will be the best hope for it's final
                            display condition.

                            I find proper framing adds to it's displayable potential when restoration
                            falls short. I guess what I'm saying is, "don't go too hard on yourself
                            if the end product isn't what you initially had in mind for your grandfather".

                            He will love it in spite of the photo's imperfections, mainly because you
                            took the time to work on it and/or frame it to give it to him for his pleasure
                            along with protecting it for future generations of family.

                            Good Luck!
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by aartist; 12-22-2009, 11:27 AM.


                            • #15
                              Re: Hopeless case?

                              Thanks for the message aartist
                              I have pretty much done everything I can with it. I know it's not much, but my grandad was very happy, especially considering the original is now in pieces! (more pieces!!)
                              When I got back home for Christmas I had a look at the original, and it is literally just crumbling now.
                              It is true though that there is more of a halftone effect on the paper than there was on the scan. I don't even have that scanner any more, but I was totally unaware that there was any kind of processing going on :s If I had've known about ICE back then

                              Anyways, here's what I ended up with. I know it's not a pro job, but I've never really done anything like this before! Again hosted on deviantart...


                              I hope you all approve! Thanks again everyone, especially cupcake, you were an unbelievable help

                              Oh, and my grandad was really happy with it. At 92, I don't think he quite understood how it got better, but he apprecited it!


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