1. Summary

I have some third-party poor-scanned grayscale images with highlight areas.

Is it any chance to turn these images into normal?

2. Data

Example image with highlighted area — KiraDebugging.tif:


3. Limits

  1. I haven't paper copy for these scanned images. Otherwise, I would simply make other scans of these images.
  2. Any free Windows software welcome. Not Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat.

4. Expected behavior

Image without highlighted areas:


I removed gray background, use ImageJColor Balance” feature.

KiraExpected Convert

Is it possible get similar behavior?

5. Not helped

5.1. Burn

I read about “Dodge/Burn” GIMP feature. I tried use it with “Fuzzy selection”.


I couldn't configure good color balance:

Burn color balance

5.2. Fill

I tried GIMP “Bucket Fill” feature.


Also, not a good color balance:

Fill color balance

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  • 1
    Part of the problem is that the edge of your scan is blurred, presumably because it isn't lying flat against the glass. There's really no software that can fix that. Rather than scan these, it might actually be better to photograph them with a good camera - then at least you would be able to control the lighting, and the blurring shouldn't be a problem either. – Billy Kerr Aug 22 '19 at 20:20
  • @BillyKerr True, but OP says that the original paper copy isn't available, just the images he/she is trying to correct. – Steve Rindsberg Sep 24 '19 at 19:33

Maybe worth to try this approach:

1) Duplicate the image layer, invert colors on duplicate enter image description here

2) Use the blend mode "Divide" (in my dropdown there are two of it, i mean the last one) This way, the fog should go away enter image description here

3) This is the hardest part: select the dark regions and play with levels several times until you obtain the best results enter image description here

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