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    • 30 years ago I shot this photo of @amacbean16 . She's in a dress her grandma made by hand. Since we lived in California and grandma lived in Utah, it became a grandma fav.

      This morning her daughter Josie was in that dress so we tried to duplicate the pose:

      Funny how my style has changed over the years; I get down to the child's level now and don't cut the ends off of feet. Digital sure looks different the way I processed it than the film I didn't do anything with.

      Your thoughts.

    • This is a wonderful comparison.

      I have to admit I prefer the framing in today's photo and I also prefer the crispness of the color. I'm assuming that the original photo is somewhat faded.

    • Do you have the negative of the older one?

      Some scanners are able to create a positive from a negative.

      Also you might look at some of Dan Margulis' writings on working with pictures. His work on L.A.B. might be especially useful because the older picture seems to have problems in the beta channel and to a lesser degree in the alpha channel.

    • That’s actually a scan from a negative from probably 10 years ago. That’s the thing: I was an early adopter of film scanning, only to discover the obvious — sensors in scanners improved just like sensors in cameras, and now I probably need to re-scan most of my film, a massive undertaking that exhausted me the first time.

    • Recommendation:

      If your scanner can save a RAW file do so. If the negative on the viewer's right (the child's left) has not blown out the white then you want to scan the negative darker than the one above. (You need data and blown out whites have no usable data.)

      I recommend (if you have it) Adobe Camera Raw. (I know some people like to go into Lightroom but that tends to be faster but not necessarily better.)

      Export as 16-bit Prophoto RGB into PS (if you have it)

      Change the mode from RGB to LAB (This was in the Image menu, back in the day)

      Place color samplers on both the shadows and the light on the white part of the dress (Is that called an "apron?") What you are wanting to determine is the overall deviation from the center point in the alpha and beta channels.

      There also seems to be a different light source hitting the child's face. The skin color on the arm looks as if it was shot under the same color influence as the bottom part of the dress, but the face looks as if the color that is influencing it (which can either be caused by light reflecting off a colored object or by their being a colored light source is giving both the face and the hair a different cast.

      So assignment one is neutralizing the color deviation. This is accomplished using curves in the alpha and beta channels.

      It is to be hoped that this will diminish the blue tints in the shadows of the lower half of the photo and the yellowish tints both in the greenery and the face and hair.

      After that will come the need to make the center of the alpha channel steeper especially on the magenta/red half of the alpha channel.

      I wouldn't recommend trying to duplicate the red of the more recent picture that may be "a bridge too far". Simply trying to improve the current coloring of the older photo should be sufficient.

    • Really cute photos of both @amacbean16 and Josie! Really a fun idea, @Chris! What also struck me was the difference in color from 30 years ago. Just shows how much improvements have been made in photography and technology over these last 30 years!

    • One thing is the film faded, depending on the type. Kodachrome, the color slide film, hardly faded at all so you could get scans that looked like this:

      I tried to shoot Kodachrome most of the time, but it didn’t produce great prints without making a big negative from the slide 💰.

      The shot of Anne was on negative film and it had faded so it takes a lot of work to restore the colors.

    • Oh man, I feel you pain. At some point in late 90s, I took the effort of collecting all the photos from my extended friends group of all our outings, trips, parties and stuff. And scanned them one by one. It was a multi-week chore. The problem? At the time, I though 40kb jpgs were more than enough. With all of 120MB hard drive on my Amiga 1200 with 14" 640x480 monitor it seemed reasonable. Sigh. Today, there's no way I would even be able to track all those people and most of the physical photos are probably lost to time.

      And so, those less than 1kx1k photos remain the best and only record of my misspent youth. :-)

    • Exactly. I spent a few days in probably late 90s scanning, only to realize I had to do it again, right this time. So I bought an agonizingly slow state of the art scanner for $2,000 from Nikon and scanned until I completely ran out of patience.

      Maybe 5 years ago I sent scans to Scan Digital and it was so easy. They came back beautiful without specs from dust.