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Raleigh catalog scan masochism + seeking Lightroom volunteers

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Raleigh catalog scan masochism + seeking Lightroom volunteers

Old 10-12-23, 10:32 PM
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Raleigh catalog scan masochism + seeking Lightroom volunteers

Not long ago (ok, a good two months ago), the wonderful nlerner sent me his copious collection of Raleigh catalogs to scan for the upcoming update for the archives on The Headbadge. And I'm sure if I don't get them back soon, that isn't the only thing he's going to send my way.

So, also about two months ago - minus a week - I came to learn just how terrible the average flatbed scanner is, or at least the one on my oh-Brother printer. Not to mention that I'd forgot that Raleigh of Canada believed upon the Alter of Sir Walter that all catalogs must be fold-outs of a size capable of being strung across the entire platform width of Toronto Union Station - bringing up the question nobody asked: What would happen if Silver Streak ended like the Paris landing in Airport '79?

But I digress.



This is a a rough interpretation of a book scanner, minus the clear cover over the catalog. For my purposes, that really hasn't been necessary, plus, the overhead lighting tends to cause glare. I found darker, long exposure photography to work fairly well whenever reflections reared their head.

Surprisingly enough, the contraption works well. With the Bluetooth remote shutter, it's surprisingly efficient too - I've been able to cover 3/4 of all the catalogs sent, minus the ones I made the fool decision to scan at first (only to discover the horrible JPEG artifacting afterwards.

What it is not going to help with is the cropping, rotating (and in some cases, light perspective skewing) of many, many individual catalog scans. Here are a few examples of what they look like out of the camera:







That purple background has to go and each page (save for the foldouts) have to be cropped. But that's not something I can automate, such as the eventual color correction.

Since I'm sure those of us who also belong to the Lightroom cognoscenti are just jumping at the chance to help [ed. note: increase the sarcasm, thanks], I thought I'd ask to see if anyone's open to giving a hand with cropping, rotating, and perspective warping (only when necessary) these catalogs. I wouldn't expect anyone to help with more than one catalog at a time - most of them are 20-30 pages worth of scans and can keep someone busy for an hour or two without taking on multiple.

Any suckers takers willing to help out?

-Kurt
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Old 10-13-23, 12:38 AM
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I don't have Lightroom but Gimp or even Faststone should do the trick. DM me and I'll give you an address to send a catalog over to.
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Old 10-13-23, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by retswerb
I don't have Lightroom but Gimp or even Faststone should do the trick. DM me and I'll give you an address to send a catalog over to.
Thank you! Greatly appreciated; I'll DM you now.

Any other takers?

-Kurt
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Old 10-13-23, 07:34 AM
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I'm not at all savvy with high powered editors, but I am reasonably good with Paint - which could be used to crop and rotate. If that would be sufficient, I'd be happy to take something on.
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Old 10-13-23, 07:42 AM
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like others above, If my out of date tech will do the job I am happy to help
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Old 10-13-23, 08:29 AM
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Gimp can clean these up, but it can be laborious, and I'm not aware of a means to automate the process. Maybe AI can be trained to help?
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Old 10-13-23, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Gimp can clean these up, but it can be laborious, and I'm not aware of a means to automate the process. Maybe AI can be trained to help?
I don't want to clean them up to the point that they lose their character though. Just cropping for now. Any color correction I plan to do only if the room lighting affected the end result, and that's reasonably quick to batch-correct with Lightroom.

Incidentally, I tried Lightroom's AI DNG sharpening. For white-on-black text, absolute crap.

-Kurt
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Old 10-13-23, 11:52 AM
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It's not really an answer to the question that was asked, but I thought I'd mention that there are some scanners that are optimized for scanning documents or books. There is a youtube channel, Curious Marc, where Marc is evaluating a new scanner for digitizing a book with hundreds of pages. IIRC, the software handles the cropping and correction of perspective errors.


Steve in Peoria
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Old 10-13-23, 12:03 PM
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I unfortunately don't have any time to help, but the color palette here is straight groovy.

Originally Posted by cudak888


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Old 10-13-23, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
It's not really an answer to the question that was asked, but I thought I'd mention that there are some scanners that are optimized for scanning documents or books. There is a youtube channel, Curious Marc, where Marc is evaluating a new scanner for digitizing a book with hundreds of pages. IIRC, the software handles the cropping and correction of perspective errors.

Steve in Peoria
I'm going to download the software for the CZUR Fancy; see if by chance it'll accept an existing folder of PNG files.

-Kurt
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Old 10-13-23, 12:24 PM
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I know how much time I have but I use the Adobe suite. Send one my way and let me see what I can do.
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Old 10-13-23, 12:31 PM
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If all you need is image capture similar to what I've done with magazines, I'm willing to help.
I can crop and combine into a single pdf document, but rotation is not something that I've tried to include since the juice didn't seem to be worth the squeeze.
I've been using a 4-in-1 HP printer scanner, but have been considering an upgrade to a CZUR document scanner for documents I have that don't fit on the HP.
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Old 10-13-23, 12:45 PM
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Sending anything my way would be a waste of time and money. But I do want to say that I really appreciate the effort you guys are making. The Headbadge is an important resource, and I've pointed many a fellow countryman in search of information about Raleigh in its direction over the years.
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Old 10-13-23, 05:53 PM
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What kinda file size are you aiming for in your captures?
What kind of imaging equipment? Lighting?
JPEG file format or RAW? Capture resolution?

It all matters....

I made a decent living running a graphics department for a major meeting planning company in the '80's & early '90's making 35mm slides on FOROX animation stands.

When digital imaging appeared the film & projector (these were presentations with up to 40 or more Carousel projectors all computer-driven) presentation market died so I learned Photoshop & went on down the road into graphics production for a design company in Chicago doing custom real estate sales centers across the country. HUGE files, huge murals covering walls 30-40' wide and up to 16' high.

I'm 'retreaded' now (retirement's managed to be very elusive target) but still maintain my PS chops.

You putting a grey scale or other color reference in with your catalogue page shots? Helps with consistency if you need that.

Send me a file or two, either by PM or e-mail, tell me what you want to see done to them, I'll see what I can do to bring 'em up to what you might want to present to others.

Last edited by spclark; 10-13-23 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-14-23, 02:23 AM
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I use Genius Scan, very practical for semi-automated crop/perspective and pdf creation, if you have a photo for each page I’ll see what I can do…
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Old 10-14-23, 03:51 AM
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I can help if you like. I have Lightroom and Photoshop. PM me.
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Old 10-14-23, 07:23 AM
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It's been a busy week (and already a busy weekend) so apologies if I haven't found time to reply to everyone.

If you want to help out, send me a PM with your email address and I'll forward over a catalog via WeTransfer. JackJohn, I'll look at Genius Scan along with the software for that CZUR scanner to see if any of this can be automated.

-Kurt
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Old 10-14-23, 07:56 AM
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Thanks to Kurt and all for making these materials I’ve hoarded over the years soon available to all!
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Old 10-14-23, 08:25 AM
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Question for those who might have done this before: I'd like to do a batch OCR text recognition on each of these catalogs (so as to tie that information to the image alt tags).

I've seen some software out there that claims this functionality, but nothing definite that isn't just crapware or PDF-based bloatware. If anyone can point out a good bit of software for this, I'd appreciate it.


-Kurt
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Old 10-14-23, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by spclark
What kinda file size are you aiming for in your captures?
What kind of imaging equipment? Lighting?
JPEG file format or RAW? Capture resolution?
You putting a grey scale or other color reference in with your catalogue page shots?
This.
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Old 10-14-23, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by leftthread
This.
I get what he's saying; as someone who does videography, I fully understand the right way of doing it for archival purposes.

For scanning these catalogs though - I'm already into these things for a second round and I'm not that keen on further complicating things. I've let the Headbadge website redesign languish for almost a decade now. I'm not going to let perfection get in the way of progress at this stage, and I doubt if anyone else who has scanned catalogs in the past have really gone into this effort either.

If either of you want to give it a go the proper way, I'm sure nlerner would be open to discussing the possibility of loaning the catalogs again.

Incidentally, to be 100% accurate, one needs to color grade on a reference monitor too.

-Kurt
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Old 10-15-23, 07:02 AM
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I just wanted to put up a thank you to everyone who has helped to-date with the project; thanks to the community, the following catalogs have been rotated, cropped and I can get ready to color grade them:

- Raleigh 195X Parts List - US



- Raleigh 197X (8?) - Canada (thank you JackJohn)



- Raleigh Carlton 1971 - US (this one I've already color-graded):



- Raleigh 1972 - US (thank you ascherer)



- Raleigh 1974 - US (thank you SoCaled):



- Raleigh 1976 - US (thank you spclark):



I realize some of these are already in bulgie's collection (or already on the Headbadge), but I figure it's worthwhile to capture everything from Neal's collection while possible; plus I'd misplaced some of the original scans from ~10 years ago.

There's still quite a few catalogs that will be newcomers to the site (and the internet).

-Kurt
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Old 10-15-23, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I just wanted to put up a thank you to everyone who has helped to-date with the project; thanks to the community, the following catalogs have been rotated, cropped and I can get ready to color grade them:
< >
There's still quite a few catalogs that will be newcomers to the site (and the internet).
Good start Kurt, glad to have helped a little. (Remember too that my in-box is always open.)
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Old 10-15-23, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by spclark
Good start Kurt, glad to have helped a little. (Remember that my in-box is always open.)
You helped immensely. Would you like to try your hand at the 1976 Canadian foldout?

-Kurt
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Old 10-15-23, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
You helped immensely. Would you like to try your hand at the 1976 Canadian foldout?
Check your in-box. Let me know what you think, eh?

Last edited by spclark; 10-15-23 at 08:41 AM.
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