Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Rudd 32

You can’t see me!

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt has a wealth of directions in which to travel. I could have showed you a storefront, or people on a stoop, or even an old business, but since I already used all of those for previous posts I needed a new angle. I have been wanting to showcase this photo, and the prompt photo also has blurred movement on it, so here we are.

From the Rudd collection, you can just barely make out the little girl in this photo. The photo itself is about 2 inches by 2.5 inches. The exposure is terrible and I can’t tell whether it is due to time, exposure to the elements, or just bad photographic processing that is causing the image to be so darned dark. I remembered about a little program called Picnic that is available for free if you use Google+ (which I do) and wondered, what can be done to reveal what is hiding here?

Rudd 32-2

But now you can!

And voila! We have a blurred but cute image of a child sitting on or standing by a garden fence, holding a stick or flower, with vines and a wide yard in the background. What a nice story it tells. I can see why the photographer wanted to capture this moment in the first place!

For other interpretations of the prompt, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

Blurring the lines a bit

17 thoughts on “Blur on the edges

  1. Nicely done! You’ve blown away the clouds and let the sun shine on her once again. I use Photoshop Elements on most of my photos to correct faded color but dark photos are very difficult. There is even a hint of color on this one, that could be colorized to imitate the old style photos.


  2. Wendy says:

    Excellent twist on the theme. And a worthwhile effort to preserve that cute child.


  3. Thanks for pointing out Picnic to me, I didn’t know that. It looks very useful and it produces a very nice result. Thanks!


  4. Bob Scotney says:

    I’ve use Picnic for a while but not so successfully as this. Note to self – more practice required. You have definitely rescued that image.


  5. Little Nell says:

    Lovely to see this little girl at last. I thought Picnik was finished now and Picmonkey is the new version.


  6. She’s lovely! Thanks for mentioning Picnic. I have a few photos that need just the program.

    I seem to get nowhere if I signed out of wordpress, but I’m visiting from Blogger.


  7. You did great! She is a doll. I used to use Picnic sometimes when it was still on PIcasa 3 (that is the main processing program that I use, and it is free). Now Picasa has replaced Picnic for something just about like it, and it works great too.

    Kathy M.


  8. gluepot says:

    You’ve achieved a good result. Are you sure about that print size?


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Looking at it again, it’s about 1 3/4 x 2 3/4. Also, it’s a real photo postcard, “copyright 1911 by the Chicago Ferrotype Co.” The stamp box indicates it was Mandel’s Positive Process, no negatives. I have never seen a real photo postcard this small!


  9. Jo says:

    You’ve rescued that little cutie from the darkness – good job! I’ve never heard of Picnic – I have an old version of Photoshop which is overly complicated but does the job, although I’m not very good at it :-) Jo


  10. postcardy says:

    I wonder if there was some chemical that darkened the photo. It seems like the information would have been lost if it was an exposure problem. You ended up with some interesting tints too.


  11. Alan BURNETT says:

    A perfect illustration of what can be done with digital image programmes. Who would have thought back in the days when the photograph was first taken, that so many years later the image could be brought back to life.


  12. Ed Donnell says:

    if you look above the little girl, you will see a trace ( photographic ghost) image, caused by a burning of the residual previous picture chemicals onto the camera film plate, or pre exposure enclosure ). a very faded trace of a mans face, much larger than the girl. you can see the two eyes right above the girls head, ,even with the top of the tree at the top of the girls head, one eye on each side, and if you go to the right of that image, you will see an even more faded image of another face. I learned about such anomilies at camera repair school years ago in the military, it’s an oddity of the process of certain types of film ,chemicals and cheap or flawed cameras. found mostly in old cameras before 1940s and especially in the black and white film used in Polaroid cameras of the 1950s and 60s. some like to get all paranormal over such technological flaws these days .I find that truth is stranger than fiction.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      That’s definitely compelling, but I think the eyes are actually damage to the photo. Looking at the original, there are pock marks on the photo in those two locations. The information is fascinating though and I expect a person who knows what they are looking for can see it readily!


  13. Kathy says:

    I really need to learn to enhance my photos. I rely on my daughter – but only if she is in the mood!


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