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Scanning Textured Surfaces

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  • Scanning Textured Surfaces

    I've always had LOTS of trouble dealing with textured surfaces. Many old photos I've had to work with had surface texturing that could rival the Grand Canyon! N surfaces, and especially E surfaces, make me crazy...

    I ran across this tip the other day on a newsgroup (unfortunately I can't remember who posted it in order to give credit to them). Since I've often used water on prints for various other things, this method sounded perfect and I decided I'm going to try it the next time I have a problem surface to deal with. It sounds like a real winner to me, so I thought I'd pass it along.

    You need 2 sheets of glass for this.

    Soak the print in a pan of water for 30 minutes. Take the print out of the water and place it face down on one of the sheets of glass, smoothing the back so no air bubbles are formed on the front. Place the other piece of glass against it so the you have a sandwich. The water fills the dimples in the print and creates a glossy surface. Dry the outside of the glass sandwich well and place the whole thing face down on your scanner and scan it (you can also shoot a copy neg at this point if you want).

    This is where the instructions ended, but after scanning I'd rinse it and treat it just like a freshly processed print for drying...

    And if you've ever had a client come in with a photo in a frame that little Johnny spilled a vase of flowers on a year ago, you already know to get the print off of the glass before there's even a hint of drying!

    I wouldn't use this method on prints that have had their surface treated, colored or sprayed...

  • #2
    Re: Scanning Textured Surfaces

    Originally posted by Jakaleena
    I wouldn't use this method on prints that have had their surface treated, colored or sprayed... [/B]
    I wouldn't use it on old gelatin prints either. The gelatin is prone to swelling, and in some cases, lifting off the paper from soaking with water.

    I used to use a darkroom tray filled with water, then submerge a textured print (held down with glass) to be copied with a camera. It worked pretty well. The water diffuses the light very well, reducing or eliminating the textured appearance.



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