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Digital Restoration From Start to Finish: How to repair old and damaged photographs Paperback – 28 Dec 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (28 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240808142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240808147
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 19.3 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 950,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


This thorough compendium of digital photo-restoration techniques, by PT contributing editor Ctein, explains almost anything you could need to know about repairing aged or damaged photographs using a scanner and Photoshop ( with occasional help from some additional software.)-Photo Techniques, Mar-Apr 2007

The book features restoration tips and methods for handling a range of deteriorated images by using a variety of tools, and then shows how these techniques can be applied to contemporary photographs that have poor color or tonal rendition, as well as misexposed prints.-Photographic Trade News, February 2007

About the Author

Ctein ( is a photographer, artist and contributor to PHOTO Techniques Magazine and The Online Photographer. Widely recognized as one of the finest color printers alive today, he is an expert in processes from classic dye transfer printing to state-of-the-art digital. He has nearly four decades of experience with electronic/digital printing and photography and runs his own photo restoration business:

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm on 22 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
I spent a lot of time looking around before going for this book. However I choose correctly for this book is everything you need to know about digital restoration. In fact it is over detailed for what I need, but then it's handly to have the extra information should I go beyond simply trying to reproduce very old photos. It's the kind of book that gives you the confidence to know that if you want to do something really complex with an old photo, then following this book will make the job fairly easy. Within the first day of getting this it changed the way I scanned old pictures. An excellent buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glasgow on 28 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
If you're seriously into your photography and store on digital with pc, then you just might want/need to save some old photographs. Old b/w and slides can be brought back to life by following instructions within this fantastic book.
Some of us already use Photoshop etc to get good results but this book really does end the need for 'experimenting'. It shows us how to obtain a good initial digital copy, even before full restoration begins. Although in-depth it is easy to understand giving numerous examples on almost every page, you can guarantee your damaged pic is covered within these pages. A cracking reference worth every penny!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't decide whether to give this three stars which is 'it's okay' or two stars for 'I don't like it'. I suppose my feelings are somewhere between those two, so consider it a two and a half rating from me. It's okay for someone who has patience, an old copy of the full Photoshop program and all the plugins the author uses. I don't like it because while I know a lot about digital photo restoration (and digitally colouring photos to make them look like they were taken in colour), I still like to have a library of books that enhance what I do know. This does not achieve that, at all.

Somewhere early in the book, the author says that workflow is important to him. I see little evidence of that. He didn't give enough thought to the layout of the book, or how easy it would be for anyone to follow it. He hops from one thing to another, the visual examples frequently not belonging to the text on the same page. He refers to previously mentioned techniques on earlier or later pages and this makes it very difficult to follow.

However, I have three major issues with this book:

1. He didn't think to 'future proof' it. It was published in 2007 and he should have known that even by a couple of years later the main program and any relevant plugins would have changed, people's operating systems would change and access to what he advises using, could be difficult to find or install. Instead of restoring photos by advising people to use specific plugins, it would have been better if he'd widened the field and described the techniques which could be used by different types of digital imagery editing software. For instance, a lot of what he talks about can be done in a cheaper program such as Photoshop Elements without any plugins at all.
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By Rupert on 3 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I've read most of the books available on photo restoration with Photoshop and I have to say that this was by far the least satisfactory.
Ctein, I'm sure is a very talented guy when it comes to printing and photo restoration but this book is so badly written that I find it almost unusable.
In order to complete a procedure on one page you need to skip back a hundred pages or so in order to create the correct masks or apply filters for the procedure to work.
I find it an interesting armchair read but to sit down and attempt to apply any operation leaves me spitting fire.
I find it badly organised and very user-unfriendly.
The review of the 2nd Edition states: ..."guides you step-by-step through the entire process of restoring old photographs...". Lets hope so because this one certainly doesn't.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Ctein - The Master 11 Feb 2007
By Tim Elliott - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At last!, a decent "how-to" book, well written and concise, thank you Ctein.

The How-to's page is very practical if a specific problem arises when in the middle of a restoration project, whether its removing dust and scratches or resurrecting the color in a treasured family photo, Ctein has an answer.

The book will be valuable to the "beginner" or the "seasoned pro" because of its generous scope, from the minor to the major. Some of the major photos that Ctein has resurrected most people would have tossed out as "hopeless".

This book will become my "bible" as I continue the task of salvaging family memories. The plug-ins chapter is very valuable because of Ctein's fair and objective assessment of the current systems he has used and appraised.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding! 22 April 2007
By Kevin Elliott - Published on
Format: Paperback
As moderator of a photographic web site's discussion forum, I often find myself having to answer questions about scanning and restoring photographs. The nature of a web discussion forum often prevents and in-depth reply to individual questions, and we also find that many of the questions have been asked and answered before, albeit in a slightly different way.

What a relief & pleasure to discover this book - it covers almost all aspects of the scanning and archiving process, with many specific how-tos covering the problems experienced by photo-restorers.

Ctein's vast experience and knowledge are well demonstrated in this readable and practical book, which I'd suggest is a must have for anyone contemplating scanning and restoring a photographic archive.

Pre-requisites are a working knowledge of your image editor and scanner software, and an awareness of the principles of colour management - without these the job is impossible, anyway.

A couple of minor criticisms

- the book is very much photoshop based, and although the book says that other image editors (such as picture window pro) can be used, the photoshop bias may be off-putting for someone trying to use an alternative editor.

- each example photograph crops up in many places throughout the book, making it occasinally difficult to follow, and although there's a chapter specifically devoted to end to nd restorations of the sample photos, some may find that the info related to a specific picture is a little too widely spread.

Overall an excellent book, easy to read and providing real insight and practical methods of photographic restoration and archiving. Essential reading!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Digital Restoration from Start to Finish 23 Aug 2007
By Norman Lapearle - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found the book excellent in its scope of coverage and detailed lessons/projects. Whether you are a professional or amatuer photographer or photo restorer this book should be in your digital editing library. The book is well laid out and takes you from relatively simple to complex restoration challenges. The author includes information on various editing software used in restoration as well as reference to books by other authors in the field. The man knows digital restoration and he has the ability to pass his knowledge on to the reader in an informative, detailed manner.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Interesting book 24 Jan 2008
By Tim Dalton - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once I started reading this book I had difficulty putting it down until I had finished it. It was so interesting to read how it would be possible to transform sometimes hopeless looking photos into beautiful photographs. It explains a lot about masking & curves adjustments & I feel that this book will be my restoration bible. Since I've had a computer less than a year & Photoshop for a few months, I didn't understand a lot of what I was reading, so I don't know if this should be a beginners first restoration book. It provides a sophisticated approach to digital photo restoration from scan to print.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Restoration Review 1 April 2007
By D. R. Murphy - Published on
Format: Paperback
For anyone involved with the digital restoration of photos both old and new, this handbook is an essential resourse. The information regading the corrections done at the scanning stage have already improved my results measurably.

Another book "Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" By Katrin Eismann is well worth investing in also.I purchased this book from Amazon with its sister volume 'Photoshop Masking & Compositing" by the same authour and now feel I have a library of real worth for the work I do. Incidently Ctein recommends Katrin Eismanns books also.

I admire the way both these experts have made their knowledge available.

Professionals are not always so free with secrets and experience which can help newcomers to gain skills. Thank you!
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