Getting the most accurate color in scans of old documents, photographs, etc.

Started Aug 10, 2022 | Questions thread
OP GTaillefer New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Getting the most accurate color in scans of old documents, photographs, etc.

Where did I say that the Original was modified in any way?

The Original photo, document or disk still exists for people to look at and wonder. The Copy is what is being processed.

My apologies if I didn't make that clear to you, but when I mostly refer to "the original" in this instance, I am referring to the original digital copy, you know, the one that comes directly off the scanner app and into your selected folder.

When I look at my old family photos - some dating back to 1850 - I don't look at the originals most of which are faded, colour distorted, covered in stuck-on dust, torn etc. - And, importantly, fragile, Rather, I look at the processed copies.

I think you're missing my point, I don't care if the digitized version is presentable or not, nor if "thats not what most people want". The point is is to get as close as possible of a digitization of the original (physical) thing, so that anyone, including future generations, that see usage in that digitized object, can copy and do what they want and need to do with it (again for even potential genealogical, scholarly, academic, etc research purposes), and even making it presentable. Again, this isn't about digitizing it so that me and my surrounding family can see some photographs of what one of our ancestors looked like, this is for anyone and people in the future to use, so that if this stuff gets destroyed, they can at least know what the original physical thing looked like when digitized, and use it from there. To further my point, if you will, in my case you would be able to see the photograph how exactly people who held the photograph saw it, what they saw in that frame, what it deteriorated into, etc.

You make it sound like people do not know what they are doing when they are processing this material. Go and talk to an art restorer.

I'm sure that people with expertise in processing know what they are doing, its not something I exactly doubt. But that is why I prefer not to do it to the original digitized version, because, even though techniques are used in processing it, it is still prone to human error and bias. Are you not admitting that Humans aren't perfect? Because no one says that we are. Nor are computers "removing scratches and bends" by replacing existing information with information that wasn't there, and so therefore, can never be an exact reconstruction of what the original looked like without the scratches. I see why art restorers are doing the job that they are doing, and even though I find it a little tedious, I would still say to digitize it as much as can be done as possible (try to get the digitization as exact as can be possibly done), before doing anything else if absolutely possible after. And in any case, as I showed, not all archivists, archeologists, etc restore things like that, such as the example with ancient statues.

But in any case, this doesn't defer from my original point from before.

You said "As I explained, yes there was loss. The details were already there, as you explained, but now you altered it (through your own bias of what it should look like) and now the original is gone."

Gone where? The Original photo I talked about still exists untouched. On the Copy, the details were not changed, they were made more visible - as they should have been if the "Original print" had been made properly.

Again I'm talking about not the physical original but the original digital file.

That photo, by the way, is a positive paper print made from a film negative. That negative is long gone.

So, by your logic, we should also throw away the print because it was a poor copy of the original negative - assuming that the film was properly exposed and developed to begin with.

Not by my logic it isn't. Because the negative is long gone (and even so if it wasn't), I would still try to digitize at the best of my ability the original photograph, and even the negative if it still existed. My point is about digital copies on a computer not physical ones, so in fact this analogy doesn't make sense for it being by my logic.

So, you have a colour photo from the 60s with purple sky and green snow. Is that what people really want to see?

Again, the point isn't for making it presentable to people, the point is to get as an exact possible digitization of the original object. I'd prefer spending my time on trying to get as many exact digitizations of the objects in question as possible than spending time editing them.

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