Playing with a scanned picture

Installing a scanner on linux

Since going back in Toulouse, six months ago, I never took the time to reinstall my good old hp scanner. So I did it, it’s really nice to see how linux has improve in the past few years, about a year or two ago, I would have to spend more than an hour to figure out how to configure my linux box to recognize the scanner, now it’s really “plug and lets the fun begin”.

The actual playing

I am still a little bit old fashion when it comes to photography. But the digital camera (even the best one) aren’t even close to the quality and the feel of my silver-film reflex camera. Especially when it comes to black and white pictures. I still have a digital camera to take all the pictures without considering how costly is silver-film.

And from time to time I like to have a digital version of my picture, but even if the starting picture is nice, the result after scanning is awful:

Thanks to “autocontrast”, the result looks slightly better:

I am sure that even better results could be achieve using brightness/contrast curve, but I didn’t took the time to tweak the results more. Beside brightness, the image looks a little bit blured.

Lets try the “sharpen” filter:

Lets use the cancel menu… The result is so bad. Lets try the “unsharp mask” (weird name for something that is supposed to increase the sharpness of an image) filter:

Now, I really understand why a lot of people wanted the “unsharp filter” it gives pretty nice result considering how simple it is to implement it. Even if there are better algorithms out there, but they are harder to implement.

As you can see there are some hole in the lake caused by dust on the window of my scanner, they are easily removed with the duplicate tool.

I wanted the final results to looks like old postcard (with sepia tones), so I took the “color adjustment filter”, I have increased slightly the quantity of red, green and decrease blue, like in the following screen shot:

And the final result of this picture taken in the Andoran mountains:

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