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Improving scan of metal prints

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  • Improving scan of metal prints

    So, I joined to ask this, sorry of it's been dealt with before.

    I was helping my mom pack and found some of her old photos so I told her I'd archive them into digital and spiff them up a bit, I've done fairly well with this in the past.

    I found some metal prints and figured what the hell, I'll put them on the scanner. Considering how small and dark they are, I was delighted to seem how much detail could be recovered.

    So, now I want to make a serious project out of them and would like to improve the initial scans. Specifically, how to get stains off the surface (that resisted a light buffing), and flattening out creases in the metal. I scanned with abut 3'' of books on top, but you can still see where the creases are, don't know if they were still bent or if that's damage.

    Sorry I can't tell you much about the prints, it's ferrous metal, some rust in the corners, looks more painted on than etched into the metal. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Improving scan of metal prints

    Well maybe photographing the photos with good lighting and a polarizing filter might help. And there is always photoshop or similar app to straighten out the creases.


    • #3
      Re: Improving scan of metal prints

      Sounds like you may be looking at Tintype prints which are now pretty old (I think early 1900's they were out of fashion). Before trying to clean (buffing etc) or straightening. Make the best quality scan as a backup in case things go pear shaped. In fact it may be better to just scan and bite the bullet and know that you are in for a deal of restoration work on the digital image.

      As Phil said it is possible that photographing the image with a quality DSLR (and lens!!) may give the best results.

      An article here that may help

      You could always post an example of the problem. Some instruction here


      • #4
        Re: Improving scan of metal prints

        Thanks all.
        Previously I've scanned, but it may be better to sandwich the photo, under glass maybe, to flatten it, and capture with a camera. I don't know if that will improve the initial digital file or not, but I'll try it.

        Tony, thanks for the link, their description of tintype seems just right.