Saturday, August 29, 2015

photo restoration 101

Many of the pics on this blog and in our books get restorative treatment via Photoshop.  As well as the inherent faults at the time a pic was taken such as high contrast or flatness and graininess, bad storage conditions can make things a whole lot worse with creeping crud and discoloration of film.  Even the well-regarded Kodachrome wasn't immune to color shifts.

This is an example of an old slide often found in boxes in estate sales as the inheritors have zero interest in the subjects.  A lot of editors wouldn't consider making use of something like this in the first place, however, historic interest can outweigh quality considerations.

The first step is to correct the angle -- here a rotation of about 2 degrees clockwise is needed.

The next step is to crop sufficient superfluous area to the right, to avoid detracting from the primary subject of the bus, although desolate areas like this can be useful for magazine spreads.

The next step is to restore colors, and that isn't as easy as it sounds as you need a good idea of what they should be and that requires reasonably accurate assumptions.  The objective here should be to mitigate the "LA smog" effect, but not completely, as from the shadows it probably was taken in the late afternoon or early evening.

Excessive areas of shadow should be lightened a bit (but not a lot, the 'coal mine' appearance here was likely real) and little strange anomalies can be smoothed out or eliminated.

For a non-commercial blog like this, the level of processing below is sufficient, although for commercial purposes it would need more.

traffic at Western and Wilshire, L.A., 1920s

Friday, August 28, 2015

Märklin export models brochure cover, 1989

'Export models' was a reference to models intended for markets outside Germany. This shows an HO scale Swedish D class wood bodied electric from the 1920s, see an earlier post on the real thing in the Gävle museum.

pre-WW2 Esso garage art

By Frank Wootton (British, 1914-1998)

the National Train Show is this weekend in Portland, Oregon

For model railroaders, those interested in becoming one, or those who just want to admire the skills involved in fine modelmaking:

Portland Expo Center
2060 North Marine Drive, Portland, OR 97217

Public Show Hours
Friday, Aug 28, 2015 :- 12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 :- 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 :- 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Winterthur trolleybuses, Switzerland, 1950s

Seen in the Bahnhofplatz (railway station place). This city's first trolleybus line opened in December 1938 as a tram replacement and and today the system consists of 3 lines.  More info

streetcar safety

'No jumping!' -- on an old Polish matchbox.