Leonard Higdon & Mary Ann McClure, low and high resolution comparison analysis & face detail methodology

There are two sections to this screen page, the top section which shows two different versions of the same image, and the bottom section consisting of three images of the eyes, only, from the top section. In other words, this is a long screen page. Please scroll down all the way, if interested.

The image above, shown at 300 dots per inch (dpi) and 600 dpi, is the major focus of the update I’ve been working on concerning Leonard Higdon & Mary Ann McClure, a pivotal couple in the migration of Higdons from the Chesapeake Bay area to far northern Georgia.

When I became Higdon Family Website administrator the website had been in existence for about 12 years. Our Higdon Family Association voted to start a website in 1999 at the Bardstown, KY, annual meeting. Nancy Higdon was the original website creator and administrator. Janice J. Higdon became the second website administrator, and in 2015 I became the third website administrator. At that time, there were about 1,500 screen pages posted online. Consequently I took over a small, well-developed, content-rich website with an amazing amount of genealogical information related to Higdons and Higdon descendants. I also was exposed to many hundreds of photo images of Higdons and Higdon descendants. Most of these legacy photo images, being historical family keepsakes, needed minimal ‘tender loving care,’ such as occasional cropping, occasional exposure adjustment, occasional color adjustment, and occasional sharpness adjustment. Many photos needed no adjustment, and a handful needed substantial adjustments. The photo image in the previous screen page was in place, and no amount of post-processing would improve it, technically. So, I left it in place, since a bad photo is better than no photo.

In 2016, my wife Nell and I stopped by to visit Jane & Tom Brackett in Fannin County, Georgia, where they live, on our way to an annual meeting in Toms River, NJ. While there with Jane & Tom, we drove over to visit with Carolyn & Randy Cole, who live nearby. We were given a tour of their beautiful, new house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While sitting and talking in the kitchen, Carolyn brought out an incredibly well-done scrapbook with the results of her extensive genealogy research on her Higdon ancestors, including Leonard Higdon and Mary Ann McClure, one set of her ancestral grandparents. I was astonished to see several old photographs of Leonard & Mary Ann, all of them better than the one posted in our Higdon Family website. In 2018 at the Higdon Annual Meeting in Gettysburg, PA, Nell and I talked with Carolyn & Randy, and I asked if they could send me one or several of the better photos of Leonard & Mary Ann from Carolyn’s Higdon scrapbook to scan. 

Carolyn & Randy sent me two scanned images, both much better than the one I currently had on our website. The one I immediately focused on is the one above, showing both Leonard & Mary Ann at the youngest age I’ve seen them photographed, and most importantly, showing both their faces with minimal age-related damage, a few white spots, a few black spots, a few scratches, and several small cracks in the photo surface. The quality of their faces alone were enough to want to repair and restore the image which overall was in a very deteriorated state, particularly around the edges. 

In an email to me on 14 Nov 2018, Carolyn & Randy Cole wrote that this: "One is a tintype that we estimate was taken circa 1875 or 1880.” That would make Leonard about 47 to 53 years old and Mary Ann about 40 to 45 years old.

In another email to me on 29 Nov 2018, Carolyn & Randy Cole wrote that: "The tintype was handed down from Mary Ann, to her daughter Julia Adeline, to Julia's daughter Ada (with whom she lived at the time of her death), to Ada's niece Mabel, to Mabel's niece Bert (Carolyn’s sister Elberta), to Carolyn.

A sample of the methodology involved in this repair & restoration effort:

The following pages will take you in a general step by general step journey through the repair and restoration of the image above. I started working on the faces and clothes of both Leonard & Mary Ann. Along the way, from time to time, I sent Carolyn & Randy samples of where I was at. In one of these exchanges, Randy offered to send me a higher resolution copy of the photo from their scrapbook. I didn’t know I was working on a lower resolution image. I jumped at the chance to work on a higher resolution copy of the image; higher resolution almost always guarantees more and better detail. So before we go any further, go back to the top of this page and look again at the two photo images, particularly the faces, then check the partial images at left.

I started the repair and restoration process with a lower resolution photograph [mainly faces and clothes], then when I had a higher resolution photograph I continued with other repair techniques [visible background]. I checked the results and used which sets of results looked best or looked most authentic, sometimes blending small portions of results from the two different resolution photo images. The images, at left, show the portion of the hi-res scanned faces that I pasted into the final repaired & restored image over the lo-res faces that I had up until the arrival of the hi-res scan. The final repaired & restored image is then a marriage of both lo-res and high-res image copies, both post-processed, along with a striking new visual layer of ‘icing on the cake,’ an image of an authentic tintype photo frame. 

Last update for this page:

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