Cleaning up old photo scans

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obelisk
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:54 am

Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by obelisk »

I'm scanning some really old photos and I'm wondering what is the best practise for archiving this
so firstly I'm scanning without any colour correction because the scanner really stuff it up

I have two resulting scans:

front pile, the actual photos which are generally yellow with age and slightly faded. I don't have time to fix them individually I wonder if it's work doing any type of patch fix or to just leave it aas scanned?

back pile, some of the photos have things written on the back. Originally it would be blue ballpoint pen on white paper come on now it is slightly faded blue ballpoint pen on white and yellow paper. I feel like I should be able to clean these up in batch somehow. For example removing all the yellow should be simple. after that is there a way to enhance the actual text? If I use the contrast slider it actually makes the text become thinner so it doesn't help.

What actions would you suggest for this? I've only really used the actions for resizing in the past
cday
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by cday »

Maybe you could post some example images?
obelisk
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by obelisk »

Image
obelisk
Posts: 465
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by obelisk »

the front varies a lot some are under exposed some are yellow and some are purple
cday
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by cday »

I learned early in my scanning days that editing colours was whenever possible best avoided, fortunately the material I was typically scanning could usually first be converted to grayscale and then enhanced much more easily using a levels adjustment!

I have, however, taken a quick look at your example 'back' image, and used the Image > Adjust > Enhance colors... to obtain at least a slight improvement using these quick settings:

Screenshot from 2024-03-15 08-40-12.png

Resulting in this possibly slightly improved image:

Back_D4DIP0V_e1.png

Possibility of some further improvement with refinement of the settings used, a second similar adjustment applied to a selection in the lower-right part of the images seemed to help although with a slight loss of density in the blue text. As the immediate aim in this case is to be able to read the date that might be acceptable?

I suspect that an alternative solution might use a reduced colour palette, XnTriq?
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obelisk
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:54 am

Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by obelisk »

Since the back is literally text the first option is to magically remove all yellows and leave the written text

the second option would be to convert to black and white and hopefully that magically removes all yellows and leaves the text easily readable?

i'm also thinking i should leave the front since it varies so much


where is the screen that you used above? I'm using the batch convert script
cday
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by cday »

obelisk wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 10:45 am Since the back is literally text the first option is to magically remove all yellows and leave the written text

where is the screen that you used above? I'm using the batch convert script
In XnView MP, 1,6.5 Image > Adjust > Enhance colors..., I'm not sure whether it might have been moved recently due to the on-going interface review. In XnConvert, at a quick look I see two options: Image > Replace color and Map > Color balance.
the second option would be to convert to black and white and hopefully that magically removes all yellows and leaves the text easily readable?
I would look at converting to grayscale, which will generally produce better quality text, you could then if you wish test a level adjustment.
i'm also thinking i should leave the front since it varies so much
They might have to be done individually, or maybe could be done in batches with similar characteristics?
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XnTriq
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Re: Cleaning up old photo scans

Post by XnTriq »

cday wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 9:08 amI suspect that an alternative solution might use a reduced colour palette, XnTriq?
actions.png
output.png

Code: Select all

nconvert -desaturate -levels 204 240 -binary nodither -out png -clevel 9 "X:/D4DIP0V.png"
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