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Wingsley December 12 2013 10:07 PM

Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
Just today, my family received a gift from one of my distant relatives in the mail: it is a hardcopy printout of a scan of an old photo of my grandfather from the Second World War, taken while he served in as a Navy Seabee.

The photo is typical of the time, black & white. The image is as clear as can be expected. There is a problem with the photo: the image was obviously scanned by one of those consumer-grade in-store kiosks and it has horizontal lines across it, much like an old CRT television picture. I scanned in the image with my old Epson scanner.

I scanned the photo in with my old computer (specs below) using Epson Scan. The newer computer that I just bought this past spring will not run the older scanner software. So at this point I'm scanning with an old scanner, running old software, with no access to newer stuff that may (or may not) offer tricks I could use to clean up this image.

Here are my current specs...

OLD MACHINE (primarily used as a file server)
iMac G4 1.25 GHz (Fall, 2003 vintage)
2 GB RAM, 300 GB hard disk (installed 2005)
runs MacOS 10.4.11 and 9.2
Adobe Creative Suite 1 installed, with Photoshop 8
EpsonScan 2.7.7

NEW MACHINE (main workhorse)
late-2012 iMac 2.9 GHz Core i5 (13,1; slimline DVD-less version)
runs MacOS 10.8.4 ("Mountain Lion")
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
(Adobe Creative Cloud apps currently installed, but idled, awaiting money for re-activating CC subscription)
iLife 2011

Epson Perfection 2400 PHOTO, connecting via USB 2 cable

Wacom Graphire3 4x5 connected via USB

Epson stopped supporting the 2400, so there's no way to install, much less run, EpsonScan on the new iMac. A friend who works in I.T. (and knows both Macs and PCs very well) said that I should buy a copy of VueScan, third-party software that will run on Mountain Lion and probably be better than EpsonScan. I doubt, though, that improved scanning will clear up this image.

Is there anything I can do with my weird mix of hardware and software to clean up this image? I have no idea what technique to use because I've never dealt with an issue like this.

Thanks in advance,


FreeSword December 13 2013 12:51 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
I am sorry, i did take a class in Graphic Design but it has been a while.... this is the best i could do.
Adjusted the Hue, Brightness and Sharpened it a few times, i will try again if you dont like it

Wingsley December 13 2013 03:34 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
Wow. In some ways, it improved and in some ways the image looks degraded. Nice try, though.

Vektor December 13 2013 08:53 PM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
I would consider taking the hard copy you have to a professional to have it scanned with as much dynamic range as possible. The image you posted has almost no contrast between his face and the background, for example. A better scan might improve that, or at least provide enough additional value information to further improve it in Photoshop.

As for the banding, I doubt that can be corrected in the scanning process or by any other automated means. I think it's going to require someone going in by hand and manually erasing them. The whole image could be dramatically improved with some manual retouching.

I have been known to do this type of work for a nominal fee. Drop me a line if you're interested.

Maurice December 13 2013 10:54 PM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
Have you tried contacting the relative and asking if they can have the photo rescanned by a more professional outfit? You might offer to pay for it.

Frontier December 14 2013 12:19 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
Yeah, this is a scenario where you only real hope is to obtain the original. Even if at cost. The scan can only be fixed to a point and... it won't be much good any way you do it. Scanners are tricky. You've got to have a good one to start, and then know how to work the software right to get a decent copy, and then you've still got to be a photoshop wizz to fix the remaining elements.

As it is... get a hold of that hard copy. It's your only hope. ;)

With a good scanner, that you know how to work well, and photoshop skills to boot, you can sometimes come out ahead:

Wingsley December 14 2013 02:20 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
We have our own photo, taken later in the war when my grandfather had another stripe on his shoulder. We may dig that out and try to scan it in.

wildstar December 14 2013 10:30 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II

Wingsley December 15 2013 02:28 AM

Re: Non-Trek -- Photo from WW II
^ Nice!

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