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Sepia photo restoration

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Sepia photo restoration

Postby Pedro55 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:45 pm

Hi,
I'm new to Paint Shop/Restoring photos so don't know if this is an obvious question.
I have some old sepia family photographs which I intend to scan and restore and convert to black and white. The Corel tutorials on YouTube say it's better to scan everything in colour as this gives you more options when restoring.

Any advice on whether to restore the photo as a sepia image then convert to black and white or convert to black and white first and then restore, or doesn't it matter either way?

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby cosmicDread » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:19 am

Here's a video I watched a while back, but came to mind when I read your post:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lTzK6TnSO0

I know very little about colorzing photos as I'm color-blind.

Regards,
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby JoeB » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:23 am

Pedro55 wrote:Hi,
I'm new to Paint Shop/Restoring photos so don't know if this is an obvious question.
I have some old sepia family photographs which I intend to scan and restore and convert to black and white. The Corel tutorials on YouTube say it's better to scan everything in colour as this gives you more options when restoring.

Any advice on whether to restore the photo as a sepia image then convert to black and white or convert to black and white first and then restore, or doesn't it matter either way?

Thanks for any advice.


I would suggest that you scan in RGB Color and restore the image first (and I assume by "restore" you mean fix scratches, fading, etc.). It seems to me that you would be better off obtaining - and using - as much data from the scan when restoring that is available.

Just a technical note: You are actually going to convert your scanned image to greyscale, not black and white, although the latter term is widely used and accepted by many to describe photos that aren't in color.
Regards,

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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby Pedro55 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:03 am

Hi.
Thanks cosmicDread (Charles). Watched the YouTube link you posted. Very informative. A little more in-depth than I needed but will give it a try as I get more experienced.

Thanks also JoeyB. Didn't really know the technical difference between B+W and Greyscale. Will give both approches a try and see what the results are. Also when I said "Restore" I did mean removing the scratches/rips/speckles etc.

Thanks again :D
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby leahcimi » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:42 pm

You could alway try this too:
https://akvis.com/en/coloriage/index.php
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby Pedro55 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:07 pm

Hi, leahcimi.
Just bought Photoshop Pro 2018 Ultimate. They had it on offer at Currys/PC World here in the uk (Probably because 2019 is out) so I can't justify spending any more. Think it'll do everything I need (and more).

Thanks for your reply anyway. :D :D

Pete
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby Ken Berry » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:06 am

Pedro55 wrote:Just bought Photoshop Pro 2018 Ultimate.


Umm... I think you meant you bought PhotoPaint Pro 2018...
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby JoeB » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:26 am

Pedro55 wrote:Hi.

Thanks also JoeyB. Didn't really know the technical difference between B+W and Greyscale. Will give both approches a try and see what the results are.


For most practical purposes when using a graphic editor the difference between the two terms won't matter too much. That's because when you use a graphic editor or a plugin within that editor and choose an option to remove the color from your image because you want what's known as a black and white photo, the filter or filters you will use will generally be labeled "Black and White" or B/W or B&W. That's because that is the distinction that almost everyone except techie people use and because that's how people have always interpreted the look of a photo when it doesn't contain "color".

But when you use a scanner to scan a color image you will find that the scanner interface that opens gives you a dropdown or a radio button selection for you to select how you want the image scanned, and the options are Color, Grayscale, and Black and White. And the difference in output is radical. That's because actual Black and White means you get a scan that only has two available color values - black and white, with no gradations between them. Examples of using that choice is for scanning text or simple line drawings, where you expect - and want - the text or lines to be black and the background to be white.

However, when you look at a "black and white" photo, you see much more than either true black or true white. You see many, many gradations - depending on the subject of the photo - between pure black, through a whole range or scale of gray values, and on to pure white. Put simply, you're seeing a whole range - or scale - of gray values starting from the darkest gray (black) to the lightest value for gray (white). That's why it's called "grayscale", because it can scale through all of those values. That's as opposed to the abrupt transition from pure black to pure white with no other values in between which is what the "Black and White" option on your scanner interface provides. And the reason I pointed out the difference was because you said you were thinking of scanning in "black and white."

But, as I said, while you need to be aware of the difference between those two terms to select the proper option for you scanner when scanning a color photo, the term "Black and White" in a graphic editor or plugin filter will almost always provide a graduated, greyscale type of image which is what is commonly known as a black and white photo.

By the way, that's one area where scanner software uses the correct terms for what your output will be. One term they always get wrong is the box provided where you can set what the scanner will always call "dpi". Scanners, and software editors, cannot set a DPI value. That's because DPI refers to "dots per inch," and that's something that is a printer specification only and depends on the specs of the printer and how it lays down ink. And those specs are determined solely by the printer manufacturer. What that option actually sets - despite what it says - is PPI (Pixels per Inch), which is information embedded in the image which tells the printer how many pixels of your image to print on each inch of paper when you send the image to a printer. That's why PSP or any good graphic editor only has an option in the Resize dialogue to set PPI, not DPI.
Last edited by JoeB on Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
Regards,

JoeB
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby Pedro55 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:30 am

Thanks again JoeB.
I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it in...erm...black and white, or is it Greyscale!!? :D
Explained nicely.

Ken Berry. I meant PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate! Just me being dumb!!

Thanks for your help and replies.

P.S. Expect to hear from me again with more dumb questions!! :D :D
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby Jean-Luc » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:47 am

B&W, Greyscale, PPI ....
Very well explained, JoeB !
:)
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby leahcimi » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 am

Try this link and scroll donw to the 'Try Interactive demo' section.
https://richzhang.github.io/colorization/
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby hartpaul » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:38 pm

And for those that work visually like me. this set of diagrams shows the same image but converted in different ways

A the original colored image
B The image converted to Greyscale via Image > Greyscale
C a black and white image using Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Threshold which leaves the color channels available.
D a black and white image using Imade > Decrease Color Depth > 2 color Palette.

In each case I used a red brush to drag a diagonal line across each image.

So you can see that The original color image and the Threshold ( A and C) maintain the three RGB channels .
In D colors above a certain brightness are converted to white and the rest converted to black .
There are also a number of other ways of making an image greyscale but keeping the RGB channels - including Adjust > Hue and Saturation > Hue /Saturation > Lightness and sliding the Saturation slider to 0
Adjust > Color > Channel Mixer and Ticking the Monochrome box.

Image composite.jpg
Last edited by hartpaul on Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sepia photo restoration

Postby JoeB » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:30 am

Very good visual demonstration -plus the added info - Hartpaul!
Regards,

JoeB
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