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  • Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

    I've got some photographs of old magazines and comic books that quite often have foxing on at least part of the pages. I'd like to know if there is a good way to remove the foxing without affecting the colors on the rest of the page. See attached image for what I'm faced with. On the right is the brown foxing which varies in intensity from page to page. Sometimes it's more of a gray color. I've tried various things to get rid of it as much as possible, but the more I get rid of it the more the colors on the rest of the page start to look washed out. My typical method is to adjust curves which brings out the brightness of the rest of the colors, but also intensifies the browning. Sometimes I'll just whiten (via curves) the outside border which does a good job of camouflaging the browning around the colors.

    Does anyone have an idea of something that might work better? There might not be a "perfect solution" (I"m looking for something that can be done quickly either manually or via an action), but I know there has to be something that can be done to improve on what I'm doing now.

    Thanks!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

    Best way would be a quick whiz around with the pen tool and add some clean white. Feather selection to blend edges and ad a bit of noise and blur if there is paper texture to emulate.

    Its possible you can "quick select" it and feather and add some white but the edges may not be a as clean. By the time you've sorted those out the pen tool may be quicker.

    Alternative if you have wacom pen and skilled with a "brush" you could just paint over those problem parts with white.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

      I use the Pen tool already on major problem pages and I've tried using the quick select tool (not really practical), but both of those take time which is not something I want to spend when I'm doing 4 or 5 magazines a week. I was hoping for a faster solution. The problem with going over the problem areas with the regular brush is that the foxing does affect the color areas as well and not just the white areas so the colors are going to get washed out when I go over them with the Brush. I tried playing around with adjustment layers the other night, but I couldn't hit on a combination that really improved anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

        There's obviously going to be a little bit of manual work involved, but I believe your answer lies somewhere in channels. If you e-mail me a couple higher res image I'd be happy to try and work something out for you.

        [email protected]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

          Well It didn't take long to make a correction. First I set the foreground color to the lighter whites on the left side of the image. Next I selected the white area on the outside of the black frame and filled that area with the foreground color. Next I used the quick selection tool to select the areas on the right interior side of the image and filled that with the foreground color.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

            I think you are pretty much on the right track with curves but you may want to try using a curve layer with graduated filter mask revealing just the right hand side of the image. Then you can selectively reveal other areas as needed by painting directly on the mask. The attached just limited the curve adjustment to the right hand side covering up to and including just past the girl.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

              Originally posted by Kaine View Post
              ....... The problem with going over the problem areas with the regular brush is that the foxing does affect the color areas as well and not just the white areas so the colors are going to get washed out when I go over them with the Brush. .........
              Hi Kaine - I suggest posting an image with foxing covering the colored area as well. The example you shared did not really have that issue so is considerably easier to fix by several techniques

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                Thanks guys. I'm out of town until Wednesday so I'll post another photo when I get back. I was having trouble getting under the 100k image limit so that's why the one I posted is so small. I'll reduce the overall size of the image and try to get a bigger one or one with a better view of the foxing over the colors. Tony W mentioned something that I think is what I was thinking about, but couldn't figure out how to do which would be a gradiated curve layer, but I didn't know if that was possible.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                  Here is an especially egregious example of a page which has been adjusted via curves so that the bottom right corner looks great, but as you move to the upper left the foxing gets worse and worse. The yellow in that corner has been dulled by the brown foxing and I would assume the other colors as well even though they aren't as obvious. I thought if there was a way to do a gradiant curve that the "intensity" (not sure what the right word is here) of the Curves adjustment would get greater as you moved up the page. You can't have the same Curves adjustment in the bottom right as you have in the upper left otherwise the upper left would look fine, but the bottom right would be washed out!

                  Again, I'm hoping for a quick adjustment here or something that I can automate or do via an Action. I'm part of a group of people who preserve various types of old public domain ephemera and spending hours on a single comic or magazine slows efforts way down.

                  Thanks!

                  Example art with foxing: Master Comics #73, page 26

                  Original of above without any editing: http://i62.tinypic.com/2n20njm.jpg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                    a large part of your problem is uneven lighting and warping paper. have you tried a flatbed scanner for a more even scan?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                      A scanner damages the books which can be quite valuable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                        I have considered that lighting is a problem in the past. Right now I use 2 Promaster studio flashes with softboxes directed at a 45° angle on the top and bottom of the pages (approximately 2-3 feet away from the pages). In the beginning I played around a lot to get what I considered the best f-stop and shutterspeed which for me has turned out to be f/11 @ 1/4s. I've used f/8 but I think that's just a tad too much light.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                          I cannot think of an action that could accomplish what you want automatically due to the fact that the affected areas need to be recognised and that needs the human touch.

                          If you want to use curves then you will have to look at seperate areas depending on the original. There is no reason you cannot also paint on the mask with a reduced opacity brush revealing more or less of your overall adjustment to specific areas.

                          Quick example in the attachment - note I have not tried for any colour accuracy but just to illustrate one way. This type of adjustment should not take more than a couple of minutes
                          Curve 1 - get the overall colour and density about right
                          Curve 2 - add a gradient mask to the top area and adjust to balance image
                          Curve 3. - applied to the outside edge only
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                            Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. I appreciate everyone taking the time. I think the gradient curve adjustment layer is going to be something to use. I just used it on some new pages and it looks pretty good by and large. Getting this all down to a quick Action was a hope of mine, but not a necessity as long as I can still do a page every few minutes.

                            My last resort fix on books that have extreme foxing is to use the Pen tool to make a selection around the art panels, select the inverse and just turn all the brown to white.

                            Maybe I'm missing something, but the suggestion that I use a low opacity brush isn't working for me. I'm probably not doing it correctly though!

                            I have one last question. These books tend to usually have the worst of the foxing on the same parts of most pages of a given comic, ie. always in the upper left corner for a given book. I had been told by someone a while back that I could make whatever adjustment layers I needed for one page and then drag and drop all the other pages through those layers.

                            I don't know how to accomplish that! Can someone enlighten me please?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Remove foxing from photo of old magazine page?

                              Originally posted by Kaine View Post
                              Maybe I'm missing something, but the suggestion that I use a low opacity brush isn't working for me. I'm probably not doing it correctly though!
                              The idea is once you have made your layer adjustments and formed your mask that you may need to make small adjustments to local areas that the black mask has concealed or to tone down locally the effect of the adjustment. By painting on the black parts of the existing mask directly with a white brush will reveal more of the underlying adjustment. By adjusting (lowering) the white brush opacity prior to painting on the mask will help you to build up the effect up to the maximum level of the adjustment layer. Similarly if you need to tone down the adjustment layers effect paint directly on the white mask with a black brush with lowered opacity

                              I have one last question. These books tend to usually have the worst of the foxing on the same parts of most pages of a given comic, ie. always in the upper left corner for a given book. I had been told by someone a while back that I could make whatever adjustment layers I needed for one page and then drag and drop all the other pages through those layers.

                              I don't know how to accomplish that! Can someone enlighten me please?
                              IF all the pages have been shot the same way and are identical in size then you could either drag the new image into the old as a new layer (below your adjustments) or drag your adjustment layers to a new image. With both images open and displayed click and drag either the screen image you need or the layer and drop it into the new image
                              Last edited by Tony W; 05-12-2014, 01:18 PM.

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