April '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 9 1 severe scratch or might be missing entirely. A corner might be torn, or an area of the photograph might have peeled or faded away (Figure 2). • e surface is textured. Many old photographs, especially those printed in the 1960s and '70s, were printed on textured paper. e removal of this surface can present problems during the retouching process. • Bad photography. e image may have superuous elements such as phone lines or portions that are out of focus. e image could have been shot at the wrong moment, the composition might be unbalanced, or the image might be under- or overexposed. Photo restoration can be extremely la- bor-intensive. Some images are simply beyond repair. Experience will show you which images are worth restoring and which would be a waste of time and ef- fort (Figure 3). SCANNING OLD PHOTOGRAPHS Before scanning an old photograph, exam- ine the image closely. Observe the darkest and lightest areas and see if there is detail that needs to be preserved. If so, adjust the contrast by using the scanner software's brightness and contrast features. Don't ex- pect to correct the entire image. Adjust the image just enough to capture the details. You can later make more rened adjust- ments when you open the image into more sophisticated software. On screen, observe the scan carefully. If you haven't captured the detail you want, rescan it at a dierent setting. If necessary, make multiple scans of the same photo at dierent settings and composite the best parts of each image into a master image. is technique, though labor intensive, Figure 3. Is this photograph worth the effort? Critical parts of the image are missing. There is hardly any detail in the highlight areas and it is blurred, faded, stained, and covered with scratches and dust.

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