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Enhance scratches on stone surfaces

New Here ,
Jul 31, 2021 Jul 31, 2021

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Hi

I hope I am in the correct forum for this.

I am researching medieval graffiti and I need to enhance some photo that show some graffiti, however I don't seem to be able to really bring out the scratches. I have tried brightness/contrast, black&white, and various sharpens but nothing seems to help. The scratches are whiter than the stone, but the stone can be various shades of cream/grey/black. Can anyone give me some tips for this? This is an example of one of the worse ones...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 31, 2021 Jul 31, 2021

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It is almost impossible to bring details back if the source contains no data. 

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LEGEND ,
Jul 31, 2021 Jul 31, 2021

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Is this to discover the graffiti (research)? To support research? Or to present a photo that shows the graffiti more clearly to a general audience?

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New Here ,
Aug 08, 2021 Aug 08, 2021

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Hi

thanks for your reply. It is to show more clearly what most certainly is there

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2021 Aug 08, 2021

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The question is - are they your own photos? In that case, this is done with lighting. Go back and do it over.

 

If you have to work with other people's (poor) photos, there simply is no magic trick to this. You need to think differently. Start by setting the black and white endpoints to bring it up to full dynamic range. Even out the lighting with soft-masked adjustment layers. 

 

That's just to get a workable baseline image. Next, identify the features in question. If you can't see it, it's not there, and no tricks can bring out something that isn't there to begin with.

 

If this is getting you anywhere, make selections. That's something Photoshop can work with.

 

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