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Underexposed Slides


halek

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:( I've been working on a project to transfer 50 years of slides to a DVD.
Recently I got a new LCD Monitor and now many of my slides seem to have a speckled appearance in the dark areas that was not apparent on my old monitor. All of this is before any encoding for DVD.

All the slides are 35mm, mostly Kodachrome, which I scanned at 900bpi. I have saved them as Tif and imported them to PS (V 5.0). Mostly I adjusted them using Levels and brought the end points toward the center till they got to the point of significant info, I often adjusted them further by moving the mid slider. After that I often applied some Unsharp filter. Many of the problem slides may have been taken with a flash & therefor have a dark background.

Is there something different that I should do, or not do? Or am just trying for too much improvment?
 
G

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Hi halek and welcome to the board :perfect:

Can you show as an image that needs an adjustment?
It doesn't need to be the complete picture; a part of it will do.
Until then I can't give you a real advice, since every problem asks for a different approach. :)
 

wbiss

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Welcome aboard halek! :)

[doh] That'll teach you to upgrade your equipment! [:I Only joking with you of course! ;)

On a serious note, Gaussian is right. An "example" of one of the bad images would really help to properly diagnose a good fix. ;)
 

halek

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Here are before and after examples.
Interesting, that when I go back to originals, I now see that much of my problem may exist in the scanned image.
Which probably should change my question to is there a better way to scan? I was using an HP Photosmart S20, Usually whithout adjustment since I planned to do that later in PS.
 

wbiss

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[confused] halek, before I 'delve further' here, I'm looking at the images that you posted and one is tagged "after" so I'm assuming that is your corrected version. Is that so?

I just happen to notice that the 'after' image has more 'noise' than the original! Is it possible that you misnamed these files? [innocent]

I'm definitely going to wait to see what you are going to do with the original scanned slides. As you stated, I suspect that much of your problem may lay with how they were introduced to Photoshop.

Erik is the 'master' here when it comes to scanning material of this sort and I'm waiting for his response...
 

halek

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You have it correct, After is after I made adjustments using PS. But as I said in the beginning I was disappointed at the noise in the dark areas. I see however that some of that noise was there in my original scan.

I spent the afternoon running scans using different settings on the scanner. It appears that I can reduce the "dark noise" by increasing the brightness in the dark areas and using a slower scan. The resulting scan is a bit washed out, but when I adjust it in PS I feel that I see less "dark noise" than by starting with an unajusted scan at equal final quality.

The difference is not as dramatic as I was hoping for, but maybe that's all I can get considering the original. :(
 

docilebob

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Sometimes this works :
Duplicate the original twice.
Set one to screen mode (top) and the other to multiply.
Add a Hide All layer mask to both.
Paint in the highs(and lows) where you need them by revealing the corresponding layer with the mask.

Hope that helps.
 

Stroker

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I did a quick fiddle along the lines of what DB did, except with only the shadows.
Add Adjustment Layer > Levels.
Darken until noise mostly disappears.
Fill with black.
Paint in white over the shadows.
On top of that, I would have used a Curves Ad-Layer to brighten it up, but I didn't this time around.
 

wbiss

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;) These are great techniques docilebob & Stroker!

[saywhat] But can you imagine the time involved to do that on 50 years worth of slides!!!!!

Ouch!
 

halek

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}:\ Yeah, I just wish somebody was paying me for the hours I've put in on this project! :(|
 

sPECtre

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the procedure I would use is clorse to Docile Bob's procedure:
Duplicate the background layer, and set it to Screen
Then make a selection based on luminosity (in the channels palette, CTRL/command+Click the RGB channel)
Go back to the layers palette, hit the add channle mask button. you now have a luminosity based mask, that you need to invert, as it masks the dark areas. hit CTRL+I to do so.
Now, the dark areas should be revealed.
You can adjust the opacity of the screened layer to fine tune, or even duplicate it for more lightening.
This whole process can be recorded in one action, and be applied as a batch on several files.

As for the noise, have you tried the digital deluxe toolbox set of actions?
 

wbiss

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Spectre: This whole process can be recorded in one action, and be applied as a batch on several files.
;) Brilliant Pierre! I always forget about these 'actions' and, definitely, if I was in halek's position, I would make one for this project! :perfect:

halek: Yeah, I just wish somebody was paying me for the hours I've put in on this project!
;) You'll be paid 'in kind' one day halek! In the meantime, projects like this (and I do many for family and friends) you just have to consider as the price of 'learning'. :\

Continued Good Luck with this huge project ! :D
 

halek

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:perfect: The actions in the Digital Deluxe Toolbox seem like they might be able to help me. However when I d/l them it said that they were for PS 6.0. I'm using 5.5 and it would not accept them. Do you know if there is a listing of their steps so that I might be able to recreate them in 5.5?
 

sPECtre

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They are very long... I barely remember that it was possible to copy the actions in a text file, but can't find the how-to...
Shouldn' teh action just stop where it is not possible? or does it refuse to be loaded on the palette? if it is the first solution, you can expand every step, and try to find a similar filter for V5.5...

OK, I found the how-to at Action FX.com 's FAQ, one of the best references about PS actions...

Can I print an Action as a text file?

Yes you may. When you want to print an action as a text file to read the settings the Action applied (a GREAT learning tool, by the way),select the Action Set in the Actions Palette. Click Command(Mac)/Control(PC)+Alt and, holding those keys down, open the Actions Menu and select 'Save Actions'. When the Save window pops up, you should see the Action has a .txt extension instead of a .atn extension. Save it, print it, and learn from it. NOTE: Unless you want endless sheets printing at a time, be sure to empty the Actions Palette of ALL ACTION SETS except the one you want to save as a text file. If you have more than one loaded, all those loaded will be saved in the same text file.
 

sPECtre

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I wonder if there is a character limit...

Since I odn't want to break the character limit or make 5 pages with one post, I did the aforementionned procedure and you can find the actions.txt attached...

HUH? the extention .txt was rejected... but it was in the list? [confused]
 

halek

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:( I appreciate your response. My problem is, as I think you are refering to, that PS5.5 says "Cannot load the actions because they are not compatable with this version of PS".
I will poke around the ActionsFX site and see if anybody has a solution.

Perhaps you or some other good samaritan could generate the text file and attach it to me at halek@charter.net.

I tried openning the atn file in a couple of Word processors, but could not get enough info to be usefull. :(
 

sPECtre

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Halek, I did! just save the file I've attached, de-zip it, and you've got the de-noising action in full text!
 

halek

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:perfect: Thanks for your effort. Now all I need to do is alot of construction in "Actions", but I will certainly learn from the experience.
 

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