B & W Processing: Where to start?

(Peter) #1

++ Newbee-Question ++

Dear experts,
i have to polish up a 100 year old b&w photo. I clicked through the b&w filters in G’MIC and i ask myself: Where to start? Do you know a short overview to the filters? After clicking 70 filters and some parameters i am sure that i missed some very good results only for the reason that i have no workflow to go to the next step.

Thank you very much for any help!
Later, Pit


Hi, Peter,

Are you using RawTherapee and/or darktable?

The main question probably is whether you would that old photo to “look old”, or to look just like it was when first developed…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Peter) #3

I looked through you material. Impressive.

Well let me tell you. it is an old photo with scratches on the surface. To get it in a quality like just after the first print would be perfect. I don’t know the grain of the film in order to make a restauration. The foto was taken around 1905 in Paris as a snapshot.
I first used G’MIC with filter distortion (smooth) to get this cribbles out of the foto and make it smoother. The result is good.
Perhaps i have to go with RT now to a restauration.

BTW i cannot find the Film Emulation Preset in my prerelease G’MIC. I am using RT also.

(Aside: The photo shows one of the only two photos known from her. I was told she had been a very elegant woman as a head turner for men in that times. I heared this rumors before i found this fotos and was surprised. Well, is the photo really showing us Arlette? Mh … the work with G’MIC or RT has to bring out more of the charakter of the shown person. She was not a vamp but … )

Veuve-Arlette_rt.jpg.out.pp3 (11.6 KB)




Also: you may get some bright ideas from here:

(Peter) #6

Claes, you mentioned the Film Emulation of patdavid. Where to find this? In my prerelease of filters with G’MIC this is not included. Can you help?
Thanks a lot,

Is there a G’MIC styles repository somewhere
like https://dtstyle.net/?

(Flössie) #7

But why film emulation? @Pit-Lip’s source image is already B&W. Film emulation is about turning a color-correct image to something that looks like the film being emulated. Or am I missing something?


Moinchen, Flössie!

I linked to film emulations to give @Pit-Lip some ideas about different B&W treatments :slight_smile:
And no, his source is probably not black and white: look at the scan, above. It is more like a duo-tone.

Claes in Lund, Schweden

(Peter) #9

You are totally right.
Goal is the best possible photo - yes.

The idea behind it was that sometimes the “Filters” with sharpening, demoiréing, denoising etc. etc. from programs which try to get the look of special film material to a photo are probably so near to get this photo in it’s characteristic/impact, that i looked through the filters of G’MIC in order to find something - but i am not getting results still.

I am not a photographer. May i shortly explain in my words for what i am looking? To get readers attention right to the point the photo has to reach high level with all the famous 5 F. Sure, Veuve-Arlette can be shown as an original print, ready. But: That would be far away from which i want to tell the reader (just through the photograpy).

Another example. I found several years ago those photos from Leica of young cuban boxer showing only the face in F1.2 taken with their summicron. Eyes, nose sharp, the ear is getting unsharp - perhaps you know that portraits.
Ah, sportsmen, you could think, but with this bw-photo the face of the boxer just jump into my face like a stroke (uh, yea, this summicron strikes me always), because all hopes of this poor young man in cuba was captered too. The photo how it was found, focussed, framed and presented with F1.2 gave me years later an impression of cuban’s historic situation, millieu etc - only with one photo. Well done! G’MIC is only a tool but if i exactly know how and what to tell this tool gets mightier than i can expect.


Are you sure they are not included?
Open a photo in The Gimp -> Filters|G’MIC-QT
-> (Available filters) Simulate film
Category: Black & White
Preset: All [Collage]

Look at the references in the Note.Screenshot_20190516_111410

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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This might also be of use to you:

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(Peter) #12

Thank you for the hint!
I use now Normalize-Colours with Pre-Normalize and took saturation down to -91,40 with fantastic result. Arlette is now clear and sharp. Wonderful! A big step for a better photo.

i also used the National Geographic Script now. Arlette is done!

T H A N K Y O U !

Do you have tip for restoring the cribble in the top?
Later, Pit