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Scans of Photos from Different Eras

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Kathryn Gregorio
Scans of Photos from Different Eras
on Oct 24, 2005 at 5:32:23 pm

I am working on a documentary in FCP 5 that incorporates photos from the 1940's to the present. I am using Photoshop CS to scan the photos (scanner is run of the mill HP 1200dpi 3030). I understand the basics of resizing for DV, issues of resolution, etc. My general question involves how photos were processed differently from decade to decade. My experience has been that pictures from the 1970's tend to look and scan in a more saturated way than b&w or more modern pictures. Maybe it has to do more with quality of the processing. Some of the pictures when scanned into PS are so saturated, no adjustment of color, brightness, etc. will bring back detail. Does this have to do with the scanner, PS or both?

I have ordered Richard's book and intend to use it, but was interested in knowing if this is a phenomenon that this forum is familiar with. The results on some pictures are so bad, I am actually thinking of physically shooting them, as in the old days.


Dual G5 2.0, 4MB, G-Raid 800GB FW 800 FCP HD

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Richard Harrington
Re: Scans of Photos from Different Eras
on Oct 24, 2005 at 5:41:31 pm

Ahh.. the 1970s and 80s... cheap developing ran rampant

Usually a levels adjustment layer will do the trick. Add one then adjust white and black point with eyedroppers.

You may also want to knock saturation down a bit in the scanner software itself... Try a white and black balance before scanning.. and pull saturation down further,

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop CS for Nonlinear Editors
Co-Author Final Cut Pro on the Spot, After Effects on the Spot, Broadcast Graphics on the Spot, and After Effects @ Work
Check out the new DVD: Photoshop CS: Essentials for Digital Video from

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