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158 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 237640 11-Jun-2018 11:06
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I have some old photos that I would like adjust,  they are from old photo album family members took a photo using my phone.  And I would like to try and revive them is this a mammoth task with freeware software, or is it easier to take to a photographic shop and get them to do it?


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sxz

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2033579 11-Jun-2018 11:48
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I believe google photos has this built in - scanning photos (by photo from phone camera) and adjusting photos accordingly. 


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  Reply # 2033606 11-Jun-2018 12:09
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Is there a specific task you want done?

Some common tasks:

* resizing (not recommended, since you'll almost always lose quality)

* cropping (really can't automate)

* adjusting color balance and lightness (can be moderately successful in a batch, but a knowledgeable person will do better)

Adjusting imagesen masee don't usually return the best results, unless they were all shot in the exact same conditions.

There's is freeware irfanview, that will do batch processing, but I wouldn't call it friendly.

https://www.irfanview.com]

Learning something like CorelDraw "Paint home and student edition" is well worth the trouble, and it's a one-off non-subscription expense.of NZ $135

https://www.coreldraw.com/en/product/home-student/

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2033622 11-Jun-2018 12:41
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Hi - as indicated above - yes, this is certainly achievable either by yourself, or someone else. It'll depend on how badly faded the prints are and then there's the usual cost versus time argument.

 

If doing this yourself I would suggest that a copy set-up was used (2 lights at 45 degrees to the print being copied) and a camera that was capable of capturing a raw file rather than just a jpeg. A jpeg file has already chucked out colour and tone information it didn't think would be useful, but a raw like keeps all this data that should help give a much better result.

 

Most software capable of reading the raw file (either from the camera manufacturer, or Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) will have an auto-adjust setting that will probably do a pretty good job of restoring colours and contrast to the image....YMWV

 

Good luck.





Cheers,
Mike

Photographer/Videographer clickmedia.nz


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  Reply # 2033625 11-Jun-2018 12:44
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@clicknz would a scanner work better than a camera? 





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2033637 11-Jun-2018 12:58
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As @timmmay suggests - a scanner would work pretty well (I would say better than a phone or most point & shoot cameras), but I think that capturing a raw image on a decent DSLR camera would be better... but maybe overkill in this situation...?

 

It's amazing how much more important old family photos become the more years pass.... 





Cheers,
Mike

Photographer/Videographer clickmedia.nz


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  Reply # 2033646 11-Jun-2018 13:05
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Any apps/programs that let you adjust the colours and other aspects of old photos usually requires quite a learning curve. I recall trying GIMP - Its free and very powerful - but quite difficult to use.

 

I eventually managed to tweak up a couple of old b&w photos that had gone a rusty brown back to a fairly respectable b&w again - and also managed to re-inject some colour into a photo that had faded and lost a lot of blue. But its a very powerful program with a confusing number of options.

 

Wont cost you anything to try though https://www.gimp.org/

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 2033665 11-Jun-2018 13:27
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With Photoshop ACR I tend to hit the auto button then tweak - but I do understand it well so that helps.





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  Reply # 2033670 11-Jun-2018 13:41
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I recently scanned all our old family photos (some dating back to the 1800’s and my Grandfather’s WW1 photos). Used our cheap HP Envy 4500 printer/scanner on high dpi settings (600 or 1200).

The resulting jpg scans were then ‘cleaned up’ using the built-in editing tools in Apple Photos on our relatively new MacBook Pro - manually remove spots and blemishes and physical tear damage marks, crop, adjust colour etc. I guess these tools are pretty basic compared to some of the pro tools mentioned above but for ‘ordinary home use’ I thought they were pretty good. Certainly fairly shallow learning curve.

I had no prior experience or knowledge of such things - total noob - but experimented and got really good results. It took a long time because I had hundreds (maybe a thousand+) photos and scanning is a physically slow process. Then the editing is also a very slow process and becomes a labour of love.

One thing that speeded up the scanning a little was that the software on the MBP supported ‘edge recognition’ which meant I could place three or four small photos on the scanner glass and scan them into separate images in one scan pass. Another thing I liked was that the scanner worked wirelessly with the MBP which must have had the HP drivers preloaded. I simply turned the scanner on and the MBP recognised it, the software was there and it all ‘just worked’.

I not only scanned photos but also all old family documents - birth and wedding certs etc back to 1800’s and all sorts of other misc stuff.

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  Reply # 2034878 13-Jun-2018 10:42
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I've gone thru the same process as @ercode - my parents / grandparents documentation, school books, exam results, school reports, and thousands of photos.

 

Fortunately, I have access to a Kodak scanner that zips thru bundles of photos and paper in a pretty quick fashion.

 

Most I have left untouched, but the really faded photos, especially the instant photos, and many of the colour photos from the 60 and 70's have really faded - lost much of the greens and blues.

 

I can tweak most of them with Irfanview's colour corrections, and create a template with those settings that can be applied to similar photos.

 

Trickier ones I use Adobe's Lightroom - it's a steepish learning curve, but the results are better than Irfanview - some of the photos have writing on the back that is faded. These can be enhanced to make them readable.

 

 





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2035924 13-Jun-2018 12:23
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clicknz:

 

As @timmmay suggests - a scanner would work pretty well (I would say better than a phone or most point & shoot cameras), but I think that capturing a raw image on a decent DSLR camera would be better... but maybe overkill in this situation...?

 

It's amazing how much more important old family photos become the more years pass.... 

 

 

@clicknz, i would have thought that a decent scanner would be better, if only for the fact that any "decent DSLR" would likely require better than the usual bundled kit lens, plus there is some skill required for print reproduction.

 

@xyeovillian, there are numerous tools available from freeware to paid stuff to subscription models (adobe). assuming you still have access to the actual photos, you would definitely want a better copy of those than the ones from your phone. if you are going to spend time, and/or money, doing this, you might as well do it right. and the first step would be getting the best possible material to will work on.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2035925 13-Jun-2018 12:29
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The kit lens is usually better than you might expect. Stop the camera down to F8 and it'll be fine.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2035927 13-Jun-2018 12:33
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Scanners are always better as ambient light from light bulbs/sun does not reach the photo and light up certain areas.


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  Reply # 2036244 13-Jun-2018 22:34
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timmmay:

The kit lens is usually better than you might expect. Stop the camera down to F8 and it'll be fine.



yeah... but that's where it becomes subjective. if all you ever get to see is output from a kit lens, that's certainly good enough. in Nikon terms, 18-55mm kit lens might give you perfectly usable results... until you compare it with the output from a 60mm micro. in both cases you'd be at the mercy of how the subject is lit... which brings us to how much more consistent the results an inexperienced person's would get out of a scanner.

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  Reply # 2036311 14-Jun-2018 07:02
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nitro:
timmmay:

 

The kit lens is usually better than you might expect. Stop the camera down to F8 and it'll be fine.

 



yeah... but that's where it becomes subjective. if all you ever get to see is output from a kit lens, that's certainly good enough. in Nikon terms, 18-55mm kit lens might give you perfectly usable results... until you compare it with the output from a 60mm micro. in both cases you'd be at the mercy of how the subject is lit... which brings us to how much more consistent the results an inexperienced person's would get out of a scanner.

 

I'm a professional photographer (ex now I guess)... had a kit lens once, had macro lenses, have a scanner. Agree that lighting is the key to most things and a scanner will give best consistency, which is why I suggested it above.





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