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Thread: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

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    Cantab's Avatar
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    B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    I recently had a high quality scan done of a B&W negative I took 40 or so years ago. I'm working on scratch and dust removal (Photoshop CS6) but do not yet have a lot of experience in editing work. I started a practice run with screen view set for pixel size but then realized it was less strain on my eyes if I magnified the view even further. Is there any hidden downside to doing this or should I stick at the pixel view size?

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    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    I generally stick to about 60-70% of image size when I'm despotting but it depends I suppose on the size of your scanned images (I find it easiest when I've more or less divided the image into 9 or 10 screens full). The last scans I had done from a medium format took an hour or more for each image (I de-spotted in Lightroom but same difference).
    Same thing with dust bunnies (sensor spots)
    Move around the image using the Navigator panel it seems easier (to me anyhow) to see spots when they're on the move. If it doesn't move don't try to de-spot it because it's probably a speck of dust or muck on your monitor (that had me going for a few minutes the other day )

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    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    Paul, many thanks for your reply. I've noted your comment:
    If it doesn't move don't try to de-spot it because it's probably a speck of dust or muck on your monitor (that had me going for a few minutes the other day
    and will try to avoid that issue!

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by bambleweeney View Post
    Move around the image using the Navigator panel it seems easier (to me anyhow) to see spots when they're on the move. If it doesn't move don't try to de-spot it because it's probably a speck of dust or muck on your monitor (that had me going for a few minutes the other day )
    I use the scroll bars at the side of the image, because they just go up-down and side-to-side so I know I am getting all of the image (eventually) and not accidentally wandering off at an angle and missing areas, which can happen when using the Navigator panel to retouch images. This is really true with large images at 100% or larger; but once I pick a magnification I stick with it so that I don't lose track of where I am in the image. I just go from top to bottom, a bit at a time, then pick a reference object just inside one side of the frame and move it just inside the other side (using the scroll bar) before slowly scrolling up again to the top, where I move over a gain before starting back down - until I've finished the entire image.

    Moving the image a bit to spot dist specks is a great idea: they use that in astronomy, and call it "jumping" as they switch back and forth between one image of the sky and another taken in the same place at a different time. Any changes will "jump" out at the viewer, so it is the best way to spot asteroids, comets, supernova etc. that the eye would never catch against the backdrop of the usual stars.

  5. #5

    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    On the subject of screen navigation, there is a useful Photoshop keyboard shortcut which some people don't know about but may find useful. "Ctrl-Page Up" and "Ctrl-Page Down" will shift your screen view to the left or right, respectively. Used along with ordinary "Page Up" and "Page Down" these shortcuts can navigate you around your scan in an organized way.

    So, consider this: Ctrl-Alt-0 [zero] to blow up your view to 100%. Press "Home" to see the top left corner of the image. Press "Page Down" as often as it takes to reach the bottom of the image. Then "Ctrl-Page Down" to shift one screen's worth to the right, and Page Up" to work your way back to the top of the page. Of course, at each stop you use your mouse to retouch. (And, of course, it's "Cmnd-Option-etc." for Macs.)

    The nice thing about this system is that it's organized. Also, you can work quickly because one hand is doing the navigating and the other hand is working the mouse. It's not the best system to use all the time, but I like to have it as an option.

    As long as I'm blathering, I'll mention a couple of other keys you might find useful. "F", just plain "F", hit once or twice, will spread your image across all of the monitor's area, so that you have more unobstructed image to work with. If your palettes are in the way, press "Tab" once and they'll disappear. (Press "Tab" again to make them come back.)

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    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    John, thanks for your comments. Without yours and Paul's comments about moving the image around, it is something that would never ever have occurred to me.

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: B&W Negative Scratch Removal

    Hi, Bruce;

    Glad to be of some help. Before switching completely over to digital in 2008, I was still shooting film and using a dedicated film scanner (Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400) that I picked up soon after it was released (read about it before and was waiting for it to hit the market) so, yeah, I'm no stranger to retouching digital images for scratches and dust!

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