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I need some help here...

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Pa, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. My daughter is a middle eastern music scholar, and needs to translate this page from an article in arabic which she photographed in the Cairo library last summer (they don't have a scanner). Unfortunately it is a bit OOF. Does anybaody have any good techniques for improving it?

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    The original can be downloaded from http://fish-n-float.smugmug.com/gallery/505875/6/37482814/Large .
  2. Greetings:
    I gave this a go but i'm not sure if I helped or not.
    My version seems to be a little clearer but because I cannot read it i'm still don't know if its possible to.
    sorry I did not read that you posted a link to a larger version so I was working with the small on and that will not help.
    Hope I did some good.

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  3. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Hi Pa,

    Thought you were in Canada.

    Here is an attempt. But I have to say that when I enlarged the picture it looks like the camera might have moved left or right during the shot.

  4. Thanks. Your effort looks better than most. I'll pass it along to my daughter.

    Can you tell us what you did?

    I returned from Canada a week ago.
  5. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Welcome back.

    I tried several things, but I'm pretty sure this is what gave the final result. By the way this was done in PS CS. The steps are in italics.

    1. Converted file to TIFF. Just what I always do with JPEGs

    2. Used the crop tool to straighten the document. (I'm not sure, but in some of the older PS versions you may have to use transform)

    3. Changed to B&W with Hue/Saturation. (I tried the channel mixer, but never got what I was after.)

    4. Tried to whiten the paper as much as I could with the "white" eyedropper in a curves adjustment layer. It helped some, but not as much as I would have liked as you can see.

    5. Just used brightness/contrast to increase the contrast without obscuring the printed part any more. I also tried increasing contrast with curevs and levels, but none were any better

    Because of the "apparent" camera motion no attempts at sharpening helped.

    6. Resized and converted back to JPEG.

    I suppose steps 1 and 6 are not necessary, but that's just the way I work.
  6. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ

    I forgot to say that I should be able to send you a larger file by e-mail if this is too hard for her to read. Let me know in PM.
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    The previous examples were quite well done, however I've given it a shot as well, trying to optimize readability, not pictoral quality.

    Careful examnation of the motion blur that John found, reveals it to be the result of a single jerk during the exposure. This caused a doubling of the image, with a light region between the doublets. The angle of motion appears to be about -2 or -3 degrees from horizontal. The image is also noisy, with quite a bit of red-blue chromatic noise.

    'Grain Surgery' noise reduction in the default amount was applied, then the green channel was extracted and placed in a new
    RGB document. Then that image was curved, by lowering and exaggerating the high end shoulder. The amount of 'graying' of the white was determined to match the density of the area between a doubled line. This had the effect of smoothing out the 'jerk', and the doubling of vertical lines was less apparent.

    This effect was completed by giving a motion blur of 3 pixels in a -2 degree direction. What had previously been two six pixel wide, vertical lines spaced six pixels apart, was now a single vertical line, 18 pixels wide. The image was no longer doubled, but looked stretched horizontaly instead.

    Then a 7 pixel radius, 380 amount Smart Sharpen removing Motion Blur (also at -2 degrees) was applied. The fade darken was set to zero. Fade lighten was set to 50% as was the tonal width (I use the semi-dummy mode of keeping these equal unless there is a compelling reason not to) and radius to 5 pixels. This shrunk the horizontal dimension of vertical lines - making them thinner. Finally the picture was reduced in size by 50% using Bicubic Sharper. (This was done as much for web transmission (half a meg vs 2 megs) as it was for quality, however there is a slight increase in sharpness.)

    The doublet mitigation was not without loss though. Any natural doublets of lines spaced about one line width (~6 pixels), were obscured, as they would have looked just like the accidental doublets to the above routine. As the motion is worse at the top of the image, the repair is best in the middle of the image as a compromise between undercompensating at the top and over-compensating at the bottom (note the halo.)

    Here is my result - which is intended to be examined closely - possibly at 200% or more for maximum readability:
  8. Thanks, Chris. This certainly is the most technically sophisticated approach so far, and is certainly beyond what I would have thought of. I've forwarded it to my daughter for her perusal.
  9. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Thanks Chris for the explanation of how you minimized the camera motion blur. You sure can learn a heck of a lot on this forum.
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