Blake In Photoshop, Part 3: Recovering Overwritten Text

      No Comments on Blake In Photoshop, Part 3: Recovering Overwritten Text

By Eric Loy

Blake manuscript image open in Photoshop.

This fall I’ve been blogging about forensic experimentation with Blake Archive images in Adobe Photoshop. The idea is that Photoshop can be a [relatively] cheap, easy, and fast way to either answer transcription questions or allow editors to model alternate views of manuscript images for Archive users. In the last two posts, I’ve used examples of faded, hard-to-read text to illustrate the potential usefulness of digital image manipulation.

Interesting stuff, but also pretty conservative in terms of total image manipulation and Photoshop’s technical abilities. This week, we’re going to push the envelope . . . just a bit.

Rescue Mission

I thought it best to start small, so I located a single overwritten word on my usual Four Zoas test object. Our test site is the overwritten “shall” in the image below. (Click to enlarge.)

This is a good test case because we know what the word is underneath, so our real task is to find a method of modeling that knowledge. My instinct was to use the Clone Stamp tool, which allows users to paint pixels with the color data of a selected site of pixels in the same image. In other words, my plan is to paint in …read more