Digitised collection of First World War soldiers’ files

Knowing the military history of a family in detail used to be difficult, but now we have access to the collection of the records of the soldiers of the First World War which includes a vast collection of letters, diaries, maps and photographs as the files go digital.

Library and Archives Canada holds the digitised records of the soldiers from the First World War making it possible for anyone to unearth the history. With the basic information and right approach one can easily track the history of their ancestors who served in the military or in any of the wars.

Canada’s National Archives site has the names and personal files of all Canadian soldiers from both the world wars which serves as a link to those interested in finding the military roots in their family tree. A lot of information that was not known earlier is now available. The documents range from service records, images, interesting personal and service related information. Things are getting simpler with so much of information online and as time goes on more resources will make its way.

Canadian soldiers on leave in Paris, 1945
Canadian soldiers on leave in Paris, 1945(Courtesy Historica-Dominion Institute)

(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ww-i-soldiers-files-being-digitized-by-library-and-archives-canada-1.2879590)

Einstein Papers Online

Princeton University Press, sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and supported by the California Institute of technology, has taken up the ambitious venture of providing online access to Albert Einstein’s writings to a wider audience than ever before. This unique initiative provides free and full public access to the translated and annotated document giving insight into Einstein’s scientific ideas and the other details of his life.

The website einsteinpapers.press.princeton.edu contains the contents of 13 volumes, containing 5,000 documents covering the first forty-four years of Einstein’s life, including the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics. This will enable the users to discover the articles on Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific writings, his professional and personal correspondence, notebooks, travel diaries, personal documents. The collected Papers of Albert Einstein published by Princeton University Press is edited by The Einstein Papers Project located at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, with the assistance of The Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Princeton University Press and The Einstein Papers Project have planned to continue the project adding new documents to their collection till date.

On 5 december2014, the related universities and archives announced the release of the digitised archives of Albert Einstein freely available online.

For more information see: press.princeton.edu/Einstein/digital

ScanCorner presents exclusive World Cup 2014 contest

Football fans all over the world are waiting for the launch of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  The biggest sporting event is going to start on June 12 with the match Brazil against Croatia. According to this special tournament ScanCorner proudly presents its exclusive World Cup competition.

Facebook fans of the page ScanCorner have the opportunity to predict the result of the upcoming England matches and have the chance to win a 25% discount if the guess the final score correctly. All of the participating individuals receive a 15% discount for all digitisation services.

If you want to join the contest, you should follow the following steps:

First visit Facebook site and like the page (https://www.facebook.com/scancorneruk?ref=hl)

2. Like or share the Facebook post

3. Predict the result and type it in the comment box

(Prediction must be typed before kick off and only one guest per person is allowed)

UK-IT

The competition begins on June 15 with the match England against Italy.

 

ScanCorner wishes the Three Lions and every participant of our competition good luck!!!

ScanCorner digitises photos of a sailing legend

Sailing legend Sir William Robin Knox-Johnston entrusted the digitisation of his world famous pictures to ScanCorner UK. This is another feather in ScanCorner’s cap, who have earlier digitised and restored rare, historic photos of the german pilot Manfred von Richthofen also known as “Red Baron”.

Robin Knox-Johnston became world famous in the year 1969. As a participant in the Sunday Times Global Race in June 1968 he left the port of Falmouth (Cornwall) in his boat called “Suhaili” and his biggest sailing adventure begun. One year later on 22th of April 1969 he returned to Falmouth and became the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. On his journey he has traveled a total of 30,123 nautical miles and spent 312 days at sea. In the year of his arrival he was conferred Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Robin Knox-Johnston consigned ScanCorner to digitise and restore his famous images in his boat. He was really impressed with the results of the digitisation. Here is what he has to say about ScanCorner in his own words: “I’m really impressed with the service. ScanCornerUK has done a marvelous job in scanning these old images then removing blemishes from the digital files that they are ready to print straight from the DVD.”

Historic. Circa 1969: Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the World, aboard his 32ft 5in yacht SUHAILI. Pictured here returning to Falmouth, England on 22nd April 1969, to complete the 30,123 mile voyage in 313 days - an averag
1969: Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world returns to Falmouth
(Photo Credit: Bill Rowntree / PPL)

In addition to his record of being the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, Robin Knox-Johnston and his friend Peter Blake won the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994. Both of them achieved the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by boat in 74 days, 22 hours, 17 minutes and 22 seconds. In 2008 the famous sailor was one of the first inductees ever into the ISAF Hall of Fame.

Although the sailing legend has participated in a variety of contests and received lots of honors, Robin Knox-Johnston, currently 75-years old still can’t get enough of sailing. In April 2014 he announced his entry to the Route de Rhum solo transatlantic challenge in his Open 60 yacht Grey Power. The tenth anniversary edition of the 3,500 mile Route de Rhum from St Malo in France to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe starts on 2 November 2014.

ScanCorner wishes him great success!

Hand Coloring Black and White Images using Photoshop

Do you have lots of old photos in black and white that contain your grandparents precious memories? Do you want to convert those into color but you do not know how?

Then, this article will give an overview on how to convert those B&W photos to Color…

First and foremost we need to learn about Adobe Photoshop since this will be the main tool you will be using to enhance your photos. Photoshop is a graphics editing program that edits an existing photograph through manipulation. (for more information about Photoshop, check out http://www.photoshop.com/)

Now that we know what Photoshop is about, let us start learning the steps in hand-coloring black and white photos.

Step 1:

Open a black and white photo in Photoshop.

Step 2:

Change the photo color from grey scale to RGB color mode.

Step 3:

Select different parts of the image and paste them onto new individual layers.

Step 4:

Duplicate the current layer by selecting the Background Layer in the Layers window. Then choose the “Duplicate Layer” button in the “Layer” menu.

Step 5:

When prompted for a name for the new layer, enter something descriptive like for example “Coloring Layer” to remind you that this layer is intended to add the color to your image.

Step 6:

Set mode for your new layer to “Color” and opacity to “70%” using the drop-down controls that appear in the “Layers” window.

Step 7:

To start coloring, select the “Brush” tool from the toolbox window. Ensure that the Brush mode is also set to “Color” and also set the right brush size. Choose the color you wish to start tinting with. You may start with the skin tones.

Step 8:

You will notice the image becoming tinted as you paint over the image using the brush. Adjust the brush settings (like for example the size, soft edge, opacity, etc.) in order to achieve various effects. You can softly emerge colors or create sharp edges where it is needed.

Step 9:

Start to fill the features of the face, like applying red lipstick, color the hair brown, make the eyes green with white around them, and white teeth. “Apply makeup”  in areas where you think it is appropriate.

Step 10:

Continue coloring until you achieve the color that you like. If you are not yet satisfied, you can change any setting by double-clicking on the thumbnail with the shapes in it.

Step 11:

When you are satisfied with the output, save the image and print it according to your preferred size.

You have just learned how you can enhance your grandparents black and white photos into color versions.

If you’re not confident that you can do the job yourself, ScanCorner is always here to help you. Don’t hesitate to check us out at www.scancorner.co.uk !

Creating and Editing Digital Photos (Part 4): Digital Photo Enhancement

This is last part of the four-part discussion on the topic Creating and Editing Digital Photos. We have also learned about the steps in scanning old photos in part 1 (http://www.scancorner.co.uk/blogcreating-and-editing-digital-photos-part-1-scanning/), the steps in storing digitized photos in part 2 (http://www.scancorner.co.uk/blog/creating-and-editing-digital-photos-part-2-storage/) and how to choose a graphic software and edit digitized images in part 3 (http://www.scancorner.co.uk/blog/creating-and-editing-digital-photos-part-3-choosing-a-graphics-software-program-and-tips-on-editing-digitized-images/ ).

This article will complete our discussion in creating and editing digital photos and hopefully after this you will be fully equipped to handle your digital photos.

Here are the important points that you need to remember when enhancing your digital images:

  1. Adding color.
    1. Start with a black and white photo.
    2. Use the Selection Tool (Lasso) to select an area of the image that you want to add color at.
    3. After you select the area, go to the tint or color-balance controls, and then change the color level values. Continue to alter the color levels until your reach your desired effect.
    4. Repeat the above-mentioned steps for each area of the picture that you want to color up.
  2. Adding captions.
    1. Open your photo editing software then look for the “Add Caption” or “File -> Info” options.
    2. Enter the caption that you want to be embedded within the header of your JPEG or TIFF format images.
    3. There are also other information that can be embedded using this method, like keywords, URL data and copyright information. Just remember that these information might not be displayed in the photo itself but it can accessed under the photo’s properties.
  3. Creating Vignettes.

Note: Vignettes are the soft-edged borders that are mostly seen in old photos. Vignettes may also be created for photos which do not have vignettes yet.

A. Select a photo that has plenty of background around the subject. This will allow you to create effective fading.

B. Choose the shape that you want to use through the Selection Tool.

C. To feather the edges of your selection, add the “feather” option by 20 to 40 pixels. Just experiment on the amount of fading that looks best for your photo.

D. Drag the selection out until you cover the area where you want to start blending. The line at the edge of your selection will eventually become the midway point of your faded edges.

E. If you want to create an irregular border, use the Lasso Selection Tool.

F. Choose the “Invert” option under the Selection Menu. This tool will help you move the selected area to the background or the part that you want to remove.

G. Choose the “delete” option to cut the remaining background from the photo.

Now you know the important points that you need to learn when enhancing your digital photos. You may now start scanning, storing, editing and enhancing your digitized photos and share them with your friends and loved ones.

If you think that you’re not capable enough to handle these on your own, please don’t hesitate to contact ScanCorner at www.scancorner.co.uk.  We are a photo and video digitization company that not scans but also restores photographs to retain their glory.

Creating and Editing Digital Photos (Part 3): Choosing a Graphics Software Program and Tips on Editing Digitized Images

This is the third and fun part of the four-part discussion on the topic Creating and Editing Digital Photos. We have also learned about the steps in scanning old photos in part 1 (http://www.scancorner.co.uk/blogcreating-and-editing-digital-photos-part-1-scanning/) as well as the steps in storing digitized photos in part 2 (http://www.scancorner.co.uk/blog/creating-and-editing-digital-photos-part-2-storage/).

On this third part of the discussion we will learn how to choose a graphics software program and how to edit your digitized images, thus making you old photos look new.

So, how do you choose a graphics software program?

There are a lot of good graphic software programs available for you to choose from. There are free photo editors, beginner photo editors and advanced photo editing software. If you’re searching for the best graphics software program for photo restoration purposes, it would be better to choose a mid-range graphics software because it offers the best balance in terms of functions and prices.

Once you have chosen your graphics software program, have it installed in your computer and follow the steps listed below as you start editing your scanned and stored images.

Steps in editing digitized photos:

  1. Open your photo editing software.
  2. Select the photo that you want to edit. Make sure that you select your stored copy and not the original digital photo.
  3. Crop the photo using the crop tool. You can use this tool if there is a certain part of you photo that you want to omit, like extra spaces or background, or if you want to focus on someone or something on the image.
  4. Repair the flaws in your photo. Flaws include tears, rips, smudges, spots and creases. There are different tools available that can be used to address each of these flaws.
    1. Cloning or copying tool – this can be used to edit creases, tears, spots and smudges. You can use this tool to fill in patches on the areas of the photo that has flaws.
    2. Radius and Threshold settings – these settings are used in removing dust, speckles and scratches. You can set the Radius to the lowest setting, this will help get rid of the dust and scratches in the photo. However, setting the Radius to its lowest will make the whole image look blurry; this is why you have to use the Threshold setting. Place the Threshold setting to its highest and then slowly lower it until you find the best setting where the dust and scratches are removed from your photo.
    3. Automatic Red-Eye Removal or Pencil or Paintbrush tool – these tools can be used to remove the annoying red-eye effect in your photos.
  5. 5.     Correct the color and contrast of your photo. You can easily repair and restore your old photos original look by using the following tools.
    1. Brightness tool – you can use this tool to lighten a dark image or to darken a very light photo.
    2. Contrast tool – this tool can be used to bring out the features in the photo that are mostly middle tones.
    3. Saturation tool – you can use this tool to restore the clock on faded photos. This tool will give the photo more depth and richness.
    4. Sepia-tones tool – this tool can be used to give your photo an antique look. You can create a duotone or two-color picture using this tool.
  6. Sharpen your photo. Before you save your final image, add focus to your blurry photo using the Sharpening tool.

Now you’re ready to starting editing your scanned and stored images. You can also start sharing your digitized photos once you’re done editing them.

For more photo enhancement tips, stay tuned for the last part of this four-part discussion.

Learn How To Effectively Take Care and Clean Your Old Photographs

Today, most people love to take photographs of everything that they do. Some have even made it a routine to take photos on every occasion. This is possible due to the advent of digital photography and low cost mobile phones with built-in cameras. Technology also enables us to secure these memories by automatically saving these photographs onto cloud, SD Card and Hard Disk. But, what about those photographs that were taken before the digital photography came into existence? In all probability, these photographs are stored in some shoe boxes and stacked away in the cup boards. But are you aware that these photographs get deteriorated over time due to moisture, dust and humidity? There is a real need to handle these photographs effectively as major part of our lives precious moments were captured in analog format and we can’t let them just slip away.

Listed below are the steps on how you can take care of your analog pictures:

  1. Handle with care.
  2. Keep these photographs in non-dusty and non-humid areas.
  3. Avoid touching their surface directly. As much as possible hold them by their edges.
  4. Wear fine cotton gloves if you need to hold the surface of the photos.
  5. Don’t ever write or put any mark at the back of the photographs.
  6. Use a soft pencil if it is really necessary to make a temporary identification on the photo.

Despite of all these, analog photographs go through a natural aging process due to chemical reactions. Colors start fading away, scratches appear on the photos, and the photos become too fragile to handle. So, the best way to preserve these memories is through digitization of these photographs. Digitization will enable you to convert these photographs into a high quality digital format and then preserve them onto cloud, DVDs or in your hard disk.

If you are looking for assistance in the digitization of your photographs, we are there to help you. ScanCorner is a professional photo and video digitization company that not only scans but also restores the photographs to retain their old glory. Please visit www.scancorner.co.uk for more information.

What Are the Different Aspects of Photo Restoration?

Digital photo restoration works wonders in creating a modern-quality image from an old faded family portrait. On the other hand, this process can also be used in creating a timeless feel on a certain photo.

Do you want to know what are the different aspects that you need to deal with when you restore a photograph?

The following are the three main aspects you need to deal with when restoring a photograph. The designated tools to address these aspects is also provided:

  1. Fading. Fading means that your image has a reduced contrast. Thus it has degraded in such manner that the black portions have become less dark and the white portions have become less light. The most effective universal tool that can fix this problem is the levels tools available in Photoshop.
  2. Color Cast. For unrealistic color casts, like the familiar “yellowing” of photos, this can be remedied by using the “white balance dropper tool”. This is the easiest method to use because it has the potential of neutralizing the color casts in just one single step.
  3. Localized Damage. Old photos which have incurred plenty of imperfections like dust marks, stains, tears, rips, crinkles and scratches, generally called as localized damages, may be restored by using the clone stamp and healing brush tools in Adobe Photoshop. Other editing softwares may also have these tools available. These two tools are most effective in restoring localized damages in photographs.

Before you start with your photo restoration process, you must do the following:

  1. Scan the original image or photograph.
  2. Save the scanned image in TIFF or RAW or DNG file formats, most preferably in more than one location.
  3. When you start editing make sure that you save your edited images in separate files so that you can always go back to the original one if you ever need to do more revisions.

Now you’re ready to restore your old photos! If you need help in digitization as well as restoration of your old photos, check out http://www.scancorner.co.uk/.

Digital ROC Technology: What Is It All About?

Digital ROC Technology or Digital Reconstruction of Color Technology enables users to automatically restore the color quality of an image no matter what condition the original image is at the moment. It can also reconstruct the color in faded slides or negatives.

This technology “reads” the dye signature that is present in the color film and slides through the use of proprietary algorithms. It also analyzes the color gradient of the image in order to remove the color cast as well as compensate for the over and under exposure which results in an improved image output in no time. It may also rebuild the original color values of the image based on the data that the technology was able to gather during the scanning process.

The Digital ROC Technology is addressing the need for high-quality scanned-image output and it does not mind the color condition that the original negative or slides are in. This technology is software-tuned to the characteristics of a specific scanner.

Since the color of the films fades over time as an effect of the storage conditions that they were placed in, the need for color restoration for the film arises, thus Digital ROC holds an important role in making this possible. This technology automatically and meticulously does lost color value rebuilding which results in color-corrected digitized images in an instant.

The process in which the image is being restored, through the use of Digital ROC, happens during the image-capture phase, which enables the user to use other software which he or she finds useful in manipulating or modifying the images.

There are Digital ROC Technology-enabled scanners available in the market if you’re searching for an automated and single-button solution for image restoration.