scanning records better for my granda Albert's war diaries Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Deacs, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Am trying to make my scans better any tips Tom has asked me to scan my records to him but the scans i have got are not that good there is a lot of back print from behind which smudges the front and has he said they are abit of a mess please help
    Michael
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Photocopy them if you are going to send them to someone.
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Am trying to make my scans better any tips Tom has asked me to scan my records to him but the scans i have got are not that good there is a lot of back print from behind which smudges the front and has he said they are abit of a mess please help
    Michael


    Michael
    ensure you have the copy flat on the glass plate before you scan this should enable a crisp scan.Gently press the cover onto the copy (not too hard)
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Hi Deacs,
    Looking at your scans on Photoshop, they seem to have been made in Black & white.

    Maybe try them again on the colour setting, which usually gives cleaner results on most scanners, & a lot more scope for tidying if needed.
    If possible make sure the 'DPI' (or 'dots per inch', or 'resolution') setting is at around 300+.
    If you end up with files too big to upload, give me a shout and I'll send you the forum email.

    (What scanning program are you using by the way? Just so we can have a shufti at what it can/can't do if you're having real bother.)

    Good luck,
    ~A
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    VP - et al -
    I have printed off the copies Michael sent by e-mail and they are showing the underneath copies which is distorting the front image and thus makes the deciphering difficult - now if that back image can be eradiacted -somehow - then we have a good chance of making sense out of them
    Cheers
     
  6. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    hello and thaks to everyone that replied for me to do a better scan have had a tinker myself with photoshoot hope these are better if not i am back to the drawing board
    Cheers very much Michael
     

    Attached Files:

  7. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Is this any better?

    Lee
     

    Attached Files:

    Owen and von Poop like this.
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lee - those are at least 75% much better - even I can read them - so we might get somwhere - at last !
    Cheers
     
  9. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    That's good Tom as I don't think I can improve the scans any more than that.

    As VP mentioned colour scans will give more latitude with the tinkering. Also scanning them with something black behind (instead of white) might also help to stop the bleed through.
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Also scanning them with something black behind (instead of white) might also help to stop the bleed through.
    I wondered at that, but then assumed Deacs's scans were of photocopies sent by the records office?

    By the way, bloody marvellous work on tidying 'em up - you're a bit good at that aren't you.
    You realise you might get a bit of a name for yourself there :unsure: ...
     
  11. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Seconded- a very marked improvement.

    I've never got anything as presentable as that in my attempts. If it's not giving away too many secrets, Lee, can I ask you what steps you took to clean them up, please?
     
  12. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    I wondered at that, but then assumed Deacs's scans were of photocopies sent by the records office?

    By the way, bloody marvellous work on tidying 'em up - you're a bit good at that aren't you.
    You realise you might get a bit of a name for yourself there :unsure: ...

    Thanks VP, but to be fair PhotoShop does the hard work, I just steer it in the right direction ;)

    I wasn't sure if Deac was scanning originals or passing on pre-copied documents but thought I'd mention the tips just in case there helpful for other situations.

    Seconded- a very marked improvement.

    I've never got anything as presentable as that in my attempts. If it's not giving away too many secrets, Lee, can I ask you what steps you took to clean them up, please?

    Idler, it's a very simple clean up. In this case I used the PhotoShop "Threshold" filter.
    ("Image" menu > "Adjustments" > "Threshold").
    Basically the threshold filter converts everything in the image either to pure black or pure white based on a user-selectable level. For these images I used a level of around 60 I think it was. This turns most of the greys in the image to white and the very dark greys to black. Most photo editing software should have a similar function available.

    If there's any interest and anyone fancies doing some software beta testing, I can upload a little photo editing programme I wrote last year which has a threshold function, amongst others. (Currently, though, it only opens and saves images in BMP files and my own GLR format).

    Lee
     
  13. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Cheers. Must try it more often, I've not really used threshold for a while. I suppose the difference is that most of my tweaking has been on photos from Kew, rather than scans, where the vignetting is often a similar level to the text.

    The black paper tip's a good one btw.
     
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Always the same with Photoshop isn't it - you noodle about doing something in your own, errr, 'special' way, and then someone who actually knows what they're doing points out the far more direct way of achieving the same thing.
    The whole business is definitely an art as much as a science I feel.
     
  15. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    cheers lee i go away shopping with the wife to Newcastle come back and switch on and what do i see my scans actually sorted so you can read them no wonder i think this forum is brilliant what a great set of folk you are thank you all for all your help .The scans i have got from the war records department are really bad alot of backprint on them from the back page very hard to read and sorry but i am not brilliant with a computer can just do the basic stuff so all the help that you are all giving me is very much apprecieated
    yours thankfully michael
     
  16. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No doubt about it - Lee's copies are away ahead and readable for which I whooped with joy - until I tried to print them - not quite big enough unfortunately to read well - so went back to ONE sheet of Michael's photo-copies which I managed to decipher 100% - but the other two copies were just nonsense shadows - so unless either Michael reproduces sheet one - Or Lee increases the size of his thumbnails copies for printing - we are again back to that first square !
    Cheers
     
  17. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Hi Tom, the scans I uploaded should be the same resolution as Deacs originals. (around 3000 pixels across)

    When the thumbnail pops up on screen, click it again and the full resolution image will be shown in your browser. At this point it's best to right click on the image and save it to your computer so that it can be opened up in more appropriate image viewing software and for printing.

    If it's easier I can email the images directly to you, if you want PM me your email address.

    Don't worry we'll get there in the end!

    Lee
     
  18. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    ...The whole business is definitely an art as much as a science I feel.

    It sure is! Personally being a failed artist and a failed scientist, has resulted in me being not too shabby at Photoshop :)
     
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lee - that sounds like a good idea as I am failed computer geek ....willpm you immediate
    Cheers
     
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lee- the Pm system does not recognise your name - not unusual - so try TomcanATshaw.ca
    Cheers
     

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