Old 03-12-2008, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Is this image worth saving?


Newbie to the list here.

Anyway, I've been having trouble tweaking this image scanned from an Ektachrome slide.

First rejected as soft:

Then some rejected for noise after various tries at masking and selective sharpening:

Final rejected as bad color AND noise:

I think part of the problem is the relatively low resolution of the scan. I had a local photo shop do the scans, but when I got the disk back I found out they were not at max resolution, and were jpegs. The shop wanted $5-6 per slide for hi-res.

Anyway, do you guys think any more tinkering might help?

And, failing that, is the pic interesting enough to make it worthwhile to rescan as a TIFF at higher res and bit depth?


ETA: After looking at the rejects again this morning, I can't disagree with the screeners. I just want to know if I should junk this one and "move on", since I am at a loss at what to try next..

Doc H.

Last edited by ExNavyDoc; 03-12-2008 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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You have tried masking and selective sharpening, but have you tried noise reduction? The noise on the passenger car on the left is really strong. If you haven't tried that, you really should before you move on.

Otherwise, it looks like a no go. I like the shot, and I know RP readers love the old stuff, so a re-scanned shot would be most welcome.

Should you give it one more chance, I suggest you at least try to do something about the color. I've done a few slides of that vintage, so I know how hard it can be, but I think you should make a bit of effort, even though that hasn't been given as a rejection reason.

Here is my most recent slide scan upload:

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Old 03-12-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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I have scanned some very badly faded or color shifted slides using digital ROC in my scanner and it does an amazing job of fixing the colors. It gets it close enough that I can do the final tweaking in Photo Shop. Any camera store worth it's salt should have software with their scanner to correct for faded photos.

How many slides do you have to scan? At $6 per slide, it might be worth just buying a slide scanner. I've never regretting buying one!

Michael Allen
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I think I will try a little selective noise reduction and adjustment of the color balance and see if that helps.

I also noticed some of image seems out of focus. I'll have to look closer at the slide to see if it is truly OOF iin the corners, or if the slide itself is a little bent and was scanned OOF.

I only have about 40 slides that I kept from my high-school railfanning days. (The rest were so obviously crap, even to me, they went into the trash a couple of years ago.) A couple I saved I tried to submit, but some were rejected (probably rightly so), but a couple did get accepted. I'll have to price scanners and see if it might be worthwhile to buy a scanner, scan what I have, then peddle ithe scanner on Ebay.

Doc H.

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Old 03-13-2008, 02:19 AM   #5
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Hi Doc,

Looking at the first rejection the major problem with focus seems to be attributed to the quality of the scan. If you have a number of slides to scan I would do as Micheal suggested and buy a film scanner even a second hand one of eBay would still do the job.

Here's my go at the first one, color is easily corrected but the slide would have to be rescaned to get the focus back into shape.


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Old 03-13-2008, 02:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ExNavyDoc
(The rest were so obviously crap, even to me, they went into the trash a couple of years ago.)
No, no, no I didn't just read that! I'm sorry for butting in a thread and going off topic, but I am an advocate for keeping crap. I have absolutely horrible shots of the East Broad Top from the mid-90's where I have cut-off part of the engines and their tilted but if I had simply thrown these out when I realized how bad they were, I'd be throwing away memories and rare photos since 3 of the four engines are currently out of service. If anything the shots are good to remind us of our past outtings and remember little things that make this hobby fun not just the trains. I don't know thats just my opinion but everyone is different.
-Andrew Blaszczyk a.k.a. AB(2)
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:04 AM   #7
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I totally agree with Andrew on this one. I never discard anything. Storage space for negatives and CDs is cheap. I have thousands of shots from years past, most of which wouldn't stand a chance here, but I still think they are pretty good and they are all I have to remember my wanderings on this planet. Plus, I spent lots of $$ on avgas to get to those places. They are some expensive photos.

And yeah, I've got shots of EBT just before the FRA hammer came down....and as much as I miss those engines, they all needed some work to keep the operation safe.

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
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Another thought...... if you only have about 40 slides, do you know anybody who has a scanner and would lend it to you, or even volunteer to scan the slides for you?

With regards to throwing photos out, I very rarely do so - even the really awful stuff. I think that most of us have some sort of emotional attachment to our photos, not least the memories that they invoke.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #9
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Doc H - Yes, it's worth saving . Great shot. I used to love going down to that yard when I could get a ride, never seemed to get it in nice sunlight like that though.
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