Digital Restoration From Start to Finish - Review

Review by Mario Georgiou
Digital Restoration From Start to Finish -
Author: Ctein -
Publisher: Focal Press - Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier
480 pages
ISBN: 0-240-80814-2
US $39.95 UK £24.99

Having recovered and restored many photos over the years, it was with great interest that I requested "Digital Restoration From Start to Finish" for review. It like several other titles I have recently reviewed from Focal Press are hefty and well presented reference books.

Ctein is a photographer and imageer who has served the online imaging and photo community for many years, offering both his valuable expertise and keen insights. His work in photography and computers has established him as an expert in photographic arts and technologies. He is recognised by Kodak as one of the foremost colour print makers in the world.

The book itself is an insightful and well presented work which reflects both the skill and passion Ctein has placed into his field of expertise. It begins by covering many of the tools, technologies and issues which have to be considered before beginning to repair and restore any photos. The software covered is largely cross-platform in nature; however several of the tools featured are only available for Windows.

Ctein has arranged the book to work in a kind of project centric structure so that readers can pick and chose the information they want to use. The book covers how to prepare and clean images for scanning and also provides some excellent tips on how to scan different materials for the best results.

The book continues with coverage on how to restore colour, improve skin tones, repair scratches, tears, stains and other issues. The information available is quite in depth and to be honest it might lose the less proficient imageer. As Photoshop is used throughout the book I recommend that you at least develop a decent level of familiarity with this tool.

The last sections of the book are devoted to how to profile your printer, black and white toning, display and storage of prints for longevity and digital archiving. Although pretty good these sections are a little thin on the ground and could have done with some expansion, especially in light of how detailed the rest of the reference is.

Overall I enjoyed this excellent book as I work with a lot of analogue media. However I would like to see this book rewritten in part to include media which has digital origination. That would in my mind complete this otherwise excellent volume.

Cons - Little Coverage of the process of recovering badly degraded Digital Images. No CD with images and materials for the tutorials.

Pros - Professional and extensive coverage of the issues surrounding handling old and damages materials and photos. Comprehensive. Highly Technical.

Ctein has produced an excellent reference which will teach even the most experienced of us a trick or two. It is a highly technical and comprehensive look at the issues which will affect the restoration of old and damaged images and also one which offers much in the way of effective solutions for the imageer to use in solving these problems. Highly recommended.