Need recommendations for color correction of analog images

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alan_varga, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. I am looking for guidance on how to correct the color and brightness on photos taken with a non-digital SLR.
    Some are only available on negatives and slides, some are on Kodak Picture CD's. I have saved them as JPG's, but
    none of the editing programs or tutorials are giving me the results I want.

    I have been frustrated trying to adjust RGB, brightness, saturation, contrast, gamma, etc. I thought I might
    make some progress with histogram equalization and white balance, but the results are grainy.

    When I first took up photography as a hobby in the 1970's I bought some basic color filters to adjust lighting
    conditions to daylight or tungsten film. I also remember reading about color correction filters. I think the
    theory was that there were three color groups, red green and blue, and within each group filters (glass or
    plastic sheets) would vary in density from 005 (very light) to 060 (very intense). By using various combinations
    of these filters, one could duplicate the effects of my basic filters, but a whole lot more as well. Mistakes
    with color on ANY picture could be fixed by just combining the right densities of the right colors (e.g. red CC5R
    + CC40G).

    Is there any software that simulates holding up color filters in front of a photo? Is it possible to remove
    graininess after brightening a dark photo?

    Two examples of what I want to do are shown at

    In the first example I want to restore the sky colors shown in the left picture to roughly the colors available
    in the right picture. The one on the left is too red because the sun was still up; even with stepping down the
    aperture it was probably overexposed. I would also like to restore a little of the foreground.

    In the second example I want to brighten the overall picture, as well as restore the correct facial tones and
    sash color of gold/yellow. The faces acquire noise (?) when I brighten the picture, and I can't seem to get the
    yellow correct.

    Since this is a hobby and I'm not retired, I have neither the money nor the time for Adobe Photoshop. I have
    been experimenting with IrfanView and Helicon Filters. Can anyone recommend software for color correction with
    presets, as opposed to airbrush techniques, removing red-eye or creating fancy borders? Also, are there any good
    web tutorials or books on color restoration which are software-independent?
  2. I know you're on a low budget - but the first thing to do would be to get some proper scans. There is just not enough information in either of your examples to be extracted. You might try a pro lab and see what their rates for scanning a 35mm frame into a 16-bit TIFF is.

    Yes, you mentioned time and money are short - but there are no magic presets that will work for every picture. Minimally, you might invest in Photoshop Elements ($99), and learn how to use it.
  3. You may be able to find an older version of photoshop on ebay or (or some such similar sight), but it really is
    helpful to have software that gives you complete liberty play with the photo. I have two scanned photos that appear the
    same in my only folder with color photos; however, one has a redder cast to it. I used photoshop 5.0 to adjust that and
    render a more true color tone. JR
  4. Alan:

    Instead of Adobe Photoshop I'd suggest Photoshop Elements which is much less expensive. Unfortunately both the
    images were underexposed. If you decide to get Elements, using some of the tools available associated with
    layers may give you better results than levels and brightness.
  5. You cannot make something of something that is not there. Either your scans are rotten, or your negs are, but either way, something's horribly underexposed. I doubt you would have gotten good non-digital prints from either of these negs, if the scans are accurate, so don't blame digital. :) This is not a case for restoration, but rather for creation from thin air, and I don't know of any software that does that yet.
  6. Today Photoshop Element is doing the good job whether I am habiture of photoshop, but I got 2 element versions (V4 and V5), with my newly bought canon 8800f scanner . This might be good news for that this scanner comes with photoshop elements and it is best suitable photo fixing software for the people who are not so expert with photoshop. You can invest in canon 8800f scanner, so that you can get resonable hardware and software to handle your all kind of negatives in very resonable pricce (I won't say the price here, because I paid in local currency). Results of the scanning with this scanner are mor than good in this category of scanners, I can sure you, just one trck with the negatives, do scan the negatives as postives and invert those in the element.... Thats all, and you are thru...
  7. jtk


    Forget RGB. It was never relevant to reasonably skilled darkroom printers.

    Learn Magenta, Cyan, Yellow and density. Trial and error.

    If you can't identify Cyan vs Green or Blue..or Magenta vs Red or'll never get anywhere.

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