Long lost face of relative on old print

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dave West, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Dave West

    Dave West Guest

    Have just received in the land mail post a very small old style shiny
    surface black and white print of a long passed wedding group photograph.

    Since this is the only photographic record we have of a grandfather we would
    like to copy this photo and enlarge it with as much detail and quality as
    possible. Especially since this print is so small.

    I have been offered the use of some good equipment, Nikon Dslr, lights,
    tripod etc.

    Also the person whose lending all this top gear will PhotoShop any pictures
    I take. But he doesn't have the time to take photos of these prints, which
    I must do myself and don't want to trouble him with it.

    As a novice I would be grateful for any advice on how best to do this.

    With a shiny surface print am I better using natural light from a window or
    set up these photographer's lamps. Also I've been told that shooting in
    something called 'raw file format' will give me the most detail.

    Also some time ago we got some 'magnifying' filters that go on the front of
    a camera. (three filters that screw together, so you can use just one or two
    or three depending on how much magnification you want). These are the wrong
    diameter for the Nikon, but in the essential quest for as much detail as
    possible of a single face on this print, would it be an advantage to tape
    these magnifying filters over the front of the Nikon even, if they are not a
    proper fit, since I presume the edges can be edited out?

    Grateful for any tips on how to best set up the equipment to take these
    pictures. Thanks.
     
    Dave West, Apr 29, 2013
    #1
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  2. That might work, but it is not nearly the best way to
    accomplish this task, in particular given that you are
    not experienced at macro photography.

    The best, and by far the easiest, way to get a digital
    copy of the print is with a high quality scanner.
    Something like an Epson V700 or V750, though I'm sure
    that others are just as good. But given the importance
    of the image, don't settle for just any old average
    scanner; make sure you find a high quality top end
    scanner. Then use the maximum resolution that it can
    operate at.

    You can generate a TIFF formatted image file. Then you
    can find any number of people who might be willing to
    make a try at enhancing the image as best they can.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Apr 29, 2013
    #2
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  3. Dave West

    Savageduck Guest

    Unless the individual using the DSLR is particularly skilled at
    photographic copying, I would suggest a flat bed scanner would be
    better to work with. This would insure against the introduction of lens
    induced distortions and light reflections.
    If the only option is to use the DSLR then shooting RAW will give you
    the best quality image file to work enhancement adjustments or fixes to
    damage. Otherwise, scanning at a high resolution to produce a TIFF file
    to make corrections and/or adjustments on.
    I would not use any of these add-ons as they will add to the correction
    work needed in Photoshop.
    Here is a scan of my wife's grandmother's bridal shot. The original had
    bad age/water spotting, aging of the toning, and a crease across the
    top left corner, all of which were fixed using photoshop.
    The original scan (down sized & saved as a jpeg):
    < https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/Evans-05w.jpg >
    ....and the fixed & adjusted version:
    < http://db.tt/fC5A3hDD >
     
    Savageduck, Apr 29, 2013
    #3
  4. Dave West

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Any scanner, even the scanner in a under-$100 3-in-1 printer, will
    probably provide better results than photographing a photograph by
    someone who is not experienced in this and using a copy stand.
     
    Tony Cooper, Apr 29, 2013
    #4
  5. Dave West

    Whiskers Guest

    [...]

    High-street photo processing and printing shops often have very good
    scanners which can digitise old prints (and slides and negatives); they can
    do good enlargements too, within the limitations of the original. Much
    easier and more reliable than the long steep learning-curve required to get
    tolerable results using an unfamiliar sophisticated camera!
     
    Whiskers, Apr 29, 2013
    #5
  6. Dave West

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:23:12 -0700, Savageduck
    :
    : >On 2013-04-29 02:53:57 -0700, "Dave West" <> said:
    : >
    : >> Have just received in the land mail post a very small old style shiny
    : >> surface black and white print of a long passed wedding group photograph.
    : >>
    : >> Since this is the only photographic record we have of a grandfather we would
    : >> like to copy this photo and enlarge it with as much detail and quality as
    : >> possible. Especially since this print is so small.
    : >>
    : >> I have been offered the use of some good equipment, Nikon Dslr, lights,
    : >> tripod etc.
    : >
    : >Unless the individual using the DSLR is particularly skilled at
    : >photographic copying, I would suggest a flat bed scanner would be
    : >better to work with. This would insure against the introduction of lens
    : >induced distortions and light reflections.
    :
    : Any scanner, even the scanner in a under-$100 3-in-1 printer, will
    : probably provide better results than photographing a photograph by
    : someone who is not experienced in this and using a copy stand.

    Mark this down: For once, Tony, Floyd, the Duck, and I are in absolute
    agreement. Copying documents (especially photographic prints) is one of those
    cases when ambient light is your enemy, not your friend. Use a scanner.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Apr 30, 2013
    #6
  7. And even I cannot disagree. Darn.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, May 2, 2013
    #7
  8. Dave West

    Robert Coe Guest

    > On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:16:18 -0400, Tony Cooper <>
    : >: On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:23:12 -0700, Savageduck
    :
    : >: >Unless the individual using the DSLR is particularly skilled at
    : >: >photographic copying, I would suggest a flat bed scanner would be
    : >: >better to work with. This would insure against the introduction of lens
    : >: >induced distortions and light reflections.
    :
    : >: Any scanner, even the scanner in a under-$100 3-in-1 printer, will
    : >: probably provide better results than photographing a photograph by
    : >: someone who is not experienced in this and using a copy stand.
    :
    : > Mark this down: For once, Tony, Floyd, the Duck, and I are in absolute
    : > agreement. Copying documents (especially photographic prints) is one of those
    : > cases when ambient light is your enemy, not your friend. Use a scanner.
    :
    : And even I cannot disagree. Darn.

    :^)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 3, 2013
    #8
  9. I had good results with a conventional flatbed scanner scanning an old
    35mm contact print at 1200ppi and then printing it at A4 (150ppi), it's
    surprising how much detail you can reveal that way, even though in this
    case the print was over 70 years old and the negs long lost (or more
    probably never in the person's possession).
     
    Gordon Freeman, May 11, 2013
    #9
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