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Renovating old photographs

370 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2013 7:39 AM by léonie RSS
Andrew Allsop Calculating status...
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Jul 5, 2013 9:43 PM

I do not know if this is appropriate for the forum, if so then my apologies. I have some old photographic slides which I have scanned and now have digital copies of them, some of them are well over 40 years old and the colour has deteriorated as would be expected. The main problem is that many of these have taken on a blue/purple cast, does anyone know if their is a way that I an reduce this blueness please? I have the Nic suite of plugins for Aperture, but I do not have Photoshop I do have Pixelmator which is a similar application. Thanks for any help.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,365 points)
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    Jul 5, 2013 11:00 PM (in response to Andrew Allsop)

    Do you mean, a cast like this (the image to the left)? A scanned slide from 1960:

    Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 07.53.07MESZ.PNG

    Aperture has many adjustments that can help with correcting colors - if it is a systematic shift, you can get a basic correction with the white balance tool (set to natural gray) - that is what I used in the example to the right.

    And then you can fiddle around with fine tuning the curves for all color channels. If all slides are corrupted in the same way, you can define an adjustment preset, that will be applied, when you import the images to Aperture.


    But usually it is preferrable to do the basic color correction right in the scanner software before importing into Aperture - that might give a better photometric resolution.




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,365 points)
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    Jul 6, 2013 1:14 AM (in response to Andrew Allsop)


    I like your idea to use the iPad torch app as a light table

    I'll have to try that myself! I am tired of the endless scanning time with my slide scanner.


    One more thing I found useful for image restauration when dealing with old scans - that might help with your setup, too:


    The "Curves" adjustment brick will let you change the slope of the characteristic curve. You will notice, that the adjusted image above now has a slight green tint in the lighter areas (the marble is green, not white) and not enough green in the darker areas - the leaves. You can raise the curve for dark green tints and lower it for the highlights, for example


    Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 10.01.09MESZ.PNG

    If all fails, you can use the brushes to locally brush in color adjustments.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,365 points)
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    Jul 6, 2013 4:16 AM (in response to Andrew Allsop)

    If you want more details let me know and I will photograph it for you.


    Yes, please - I would like to try something similar.  I have still thousands of slides to scan and my Nikon scanner will only work with my old Snowleopard mac.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,430 points)
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    Jul 6, 2013 9:23 AM (in response to Andrew Allsop)

    This is best done with scanner software, to use a Command to Restore Color at the time of the scan.  Most good models of HP and Epson flatbed scanners with top lighting built in  have such software and commands.  When this has not been done, I only have experience with Photoshop.


    Typically that software has been programmed to recognize specific patterns of fade and color change.  Does a beautiful job.



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,365 points)
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    Jul 7, 2013 7:39 AM (in response to Andrew Allsop)

    Thanks! Simple, but effective!

    I'll see, if I can reproduce the setup.


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