“Oversized prints present a unique challenge when it comes to photo restoration: They don’t fit most home scanners. This Scanning oversized photos video course explains by scanning the photo in two or more passes and stitching the image back together, you can create a composite that accurately captures the dimensions of the original photograph. In this course, master restorationist Neil Rhodes shows how to evaluate an oversized photo, scan it in sections, and merge the resulting images with Photoshop’s Photo Merge command. He then shows how to repair areas of damage, retouch any seams and tonal differences, and sharpen the final composite.”
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Below is an excerpt from the course.
“In this first chapter, we’ll assess the photo’s suitability for scanning, stitching, and restoration. You would’ve opened 01_01_stitched, and we’re looking at a large photo, larger than our scanner that we need to scan in several sections and stitch back together, and then restore. When scanning, we’ll need to check the best way round to place the photo on the scanner bed with the minimum amount of overlapping scans. Scans will need overlapping to ensure we give Photoshop a good portion of the image to work with to ensure the stitching process goes smoothly.
For larger images, we can also use this technique with more scans, and even several rows of scans. We’ll need to ensure that every scan made has the least amount of reflection from the scanning light. Reflections occur as the scanning light passes over the image to illuminate the paper from a slight angle. This angle can cause minor shadows and reflections, especially within heavily textured papers. Reflections are normally caused by any silver in the development chemicals as silver halide in some black and white images.
The embedded silver acts like tiny mirrors shining back as a blueish white to blue tones. To minimize this effect, we can rotate the image and scan again to check which way around works best for any given photo. Knowing the best way to lay out the image on the scanner for the least amount of scans, we’ll no exactly how many files we’ll have to stitch the image back together. When stitching, Photoshop has an automated function called photo merge, this can be found under file, automate, and photo merge, and this will help us put the image back together.”
For information on other courses, you might like try these posts on fixing stained colour and damage or try a course on replacing backgrounds or even recreating missing pieces. For full guide on related scanning topics read the scanning guide.