Some old jpegs decay and fade.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peter Jason, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    and over time they have faded and become speckled.

    This has happened only to a few.

    Why has this happened?

    Peter
     
    Peter Jason, Sep 12, 2012
    #1
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  2. Peter Jason <> writes:

    > I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    > and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >
    > This has happened only to a few.
    >
    > Why has this happened?


    I can't think of a mechanism. Clean your monitor screen, maybe? :)

    Bit errors in a jpeg tend to destroy the image past that point very
    visibly. Speckles would almost have to happen when the file was in an
    uncompressed state, not in JPEG.

    I'll be interested to learn, if we can, what's actually happening.
    --
    Googleproofaddress(account:dd-b provider:dd-b domain:net)
    Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
    Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
    Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Sep 12, 2012
    #2
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  3. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 12/09/2012 02:55, Peter Jason wrote:
    > I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    > and over time they have faded and become speckled.


    The old photos or the JPEGs? Light can damage all storage media
    including silver images, colour prints, slides, CDs and DVDs.
    >
    > This has happened only to a few.
    >
    > Why has this happened?


    If you mean to digital media then the answer is bit rot - the disk is
    failing. A single bit error in a JPEG can affect the decoding of the
    rest of the file. It usually results in a horizontal discontinuity,
    possibly a lateral shift and/or a sudden abrupt change in colour to one
    of pastel shades, mostly black, psychedelic colours or different ones.

    "Speckled" is not a failure mode that I have ever seen unless the damage
    is restricted to a single block end (and was corrected immediately by
    the end of block code) I can't see how it could happen. I would be
    interested to see a sample of a "speckled" JPEG.

    There is an outside chance that malware is doing it so do an AV scan
    although usually they trash all JPEG image stream content to zeros.

    Damaged JPEGs can sometimes be repaired but it is only a realistic
    proposition at present for images with serious commercial value.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 12, 2012
    #3
  4. Peter Jason

    Guest

    On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 11:55:24 +1000, Peter Jason <> wrote:

    > I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    > and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >
    > This has happened only to a few.
    >
    > Why has this happened?


    Were you suffering a cold when you were viewing them? I suspect you sneezed on your
    monitor.
     
    , Sep 13, 2012
    #4
  5. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    <> wrote:

    >On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>
    >> This has happened only to a few.
    >>
    >> Why has this happened?

    >
    >Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?


    They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    but some are OK.

    An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    from negative color film. Note the fine white
    snow throught the picture.
    http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg
     
    Peter Jason, Sep 15, 2012
    #5
  6. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 15/09/2012 08:16, Peter Jason wrote:
    > On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>
    >>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>
    >>> Why has this happened?

    >>
    >> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >
    > They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    > Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    > jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    > but some are OK.


    I don't think that the suite *ever* worked.

    What you are seeing in the sample image is noise on an under exposed
    image. The light fitting and parts very near the window are fine.

    This is not a faulty JPEG it is faulty image processing.

    > An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    > from negative color film. Note the fine white
    > snow throught the picture.
    > http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg


    That image has been resaved by Adobe Photoshop level 12 destroying any
    evidence that might have been present in the original file.

    A despeckle filter might help a bit but you have seriously mangled the
    images. Is it mostly indoor photos that have failed?

    I need an original sample image at full resolution to see if there is
    actually any genuine damage to the JPEG stream. My instinct is that what
    you have here is noise on seriously underexposed images. IOW the images
    were never right it is just that you didn't notice at the time.

    The reason the original file matters is that it will with a bit of luck
    contain an independent small thumbnail of what was saved.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    (my strange looking email address is valid if not modified in any way)
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 15, 2012
    #6
  7. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    On Sat, 15 Sep 2012 08:51:14 +0100, Martin Brown
    <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    >On 15/09/2012 08:16, Peter Jason wrote:
    >> On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>>
    >>>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>>
    >>>> Why has this happened?
    >>>
    >>> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >>
    >> They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    >> Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    >> jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    >> but some are OK.

    >
    >I don't think that the suite *ever* worked.
    >
    >What you are seeing in the sample image is noise on an under exposed
    >image. The light fitting and parts very near the window are fine.
    >
    >This is not a faulty JPEG it is faulty image processing.
    >
    >> An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >> from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >> snow throught the picture.
    >> http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg

    >
    >That image has been resaved by Adobe Photoshop level 12 destroying any
    >evidence that might have been present in the original file.
    >
    >A despeckle filter might help a bit but you have seriously mangled the
    >images. Is it mostly indoor photos that have failed?



    I fear they are all processed thru photoshop or
    irfanview to get the annotation on the picture. I
    have seen too many anonymous pictures to do
    otherwise.
    Some painters knew all about this.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33317700@N07/5821844279/lightbox/




    Some outoor shots have the speckling too.
    >
    >I need an original sample image at full resolution to see if there is
    >actually any genuine damage to the JPEG stream. My instinct is that what
    >you have here is noise on seriously underexposed images. IOW the images
    >were never right it is just that you didn't notice at the time.
    >
    >The reason the original file matters is that it will with a bit of luck
    >contain an independent small thumbnail of what was saved.
     
    Peter Jason, Sep 15, 2012
    #7
  8. Peter Jason

    Rob Guest

    On 15/09/2012 5:16 PM, Peter Jason wrote:
    > On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>
    >>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>
    >>> Why has this happened?

    >>
    >> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >
    > They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    > Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    > jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    > but some are OK.
    >
    > An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    > from negative color film. Note the fine white
    > snow throught the picture.
    > http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg
    >



    Decay?? what you are seeing is a jpeg image that has been compressed
    too much. 80-90% compression.
     
    Rob, Sep 16, 2012
    #8
  9. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 16/09/2012 07:01, Rob wrote:
    > On 15/09/2012 5:16 PM, Peter Jason wrote:
    >> On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>>
    >>>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>>
    >>>> Why has this happened?
    >>>
    >>> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >>
    >> They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    >> Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    >> jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    >> but some are OK.
    >>
    >> An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >> from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >> snow throught the picture.
    >> http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg

    >
    > Decay?? what you are seeing is a jpeg image that has been compressed
    > too much. 80-90% compression.


    No it isn't. The one thing that is *NOT* wrong with it is over
    compression. That would produce edge artifacts on sharp transitions.

    The image provided is actually saved at the highest quality that
    Photoshop offers (which is a complete waste because the content was
    already shot to pieces before it was saved).

    There is massive noise in the darker areas of the image which strongly
    suggests over enthusiastic use of histogram equalisation possibly by
    some one-click automagic "improve my photos" software.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 16, 2012
    #9
  10. Peter Jason

    HerHusband Guest

    Peter,

    > I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    > and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    > This has happened only to a few.
    > Why has this happened?


    Assuming this isn't a hoax, the only reason a JPG photo (or any digital
    file) would change over time is if the media they are stored on is failing
    (or a virus has corrupted the files).

    The first thing I would do is scan your drive for surface errors. One or
    two errors isn't a big deal, they will be mapped so they won't be used
    again. But when you start getting bad sectors, it usually escalates fairly
    quickly, so I would rescan the drive periodically until you can replace it
    with a new drive (which I would do as soon as possible).

    Next, I would scan the computer for viruses and spyware. The free
    MalwareBytes anti-malware works good for this.

    If your JPG's are on optical media, the disc's are probably failing. It is
    quite common for CDR's and DVDR's to degrade after a year or two. They
    usually degrade from the outer edges inward, so the more you have stored on
    the disc, the more likely you'll have data corruption.

    Most importantly, you should be backing up your original files regularly.
    Drives and media WILL fail, it's just a matter of WHEN. Without backup
    copies of your files, you will probably lose them...

    Take care,

    Anthony Watson
    Mountain Software
    www.mountain-software.com
    Home Cookin Recipe Software
    www.mountain-software.com/homecook.htm
     
    HerHusband, Sep 16, 2012
    #10
  11. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 16/09/2012 17:08, HerHusband wrote:
    > Peter,
    >
    >> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >> This has happened only to a few.
    >> Why has this happened?

    >
    > Assuming this isn't a hoax, the only reason a JPG photo (or any digital
    > file) would change over time is if the media they are stored on is failing
    > (or a virus has corrupted the files).


    The problem is that the fault shown is not characteristic of a corrupt
    JPEG stream - that usually affects the decoding of the rest of the file
    in a gross and unmistakable way. This salt and pepper noise was encoded
    into the JPEG file and has been faithfully reproduced!
    >
    > The first thing I would do is scan your drive for surface errors. One or
    > two errors isn't a big deal, they will be mapped so they won't be used
    > again. But when you start getting bad sectors, it usually escalates fairly
    > quickly, so I would rescan the drive periodically until you can replace it
    > with a new drive (which I would do as soon as possible).
    >
    > Next, I would scan the computer for viruses and spyware. The free
    > MalwareBytes anti-malware works good for this.


    It is just about possible that a virus or trojan is doing it but all the
    ones I have ever encountered merely replace the unfortunate file with
    the same number of zeros.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 16, 2012
    #11
  12. Peter Jason

    gregz Guest

    Peter Jason <> wrote:
    > On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>
    >>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>
    >>> Why has this happened?

    >>
    >> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >
    > They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    > Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    > jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    > but some are OK.
    >
    > An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    > from negative color film. Note the fine white
    > snow throught the picture.
    > http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg


    Seen this before. I don't know if it was permanent or due to the viewer.
    Too few occurrences.

    Greg
     
    gregz, Sep 17, 2012
    #12
  13. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 17/09/2012 01:32, gregz wrote:
    > Peter Jason <> wrote:
    >> On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>>
    >>>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>>
    >>>> Why has this happened?
    >>>
    >>> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?

    >>
    >> They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    >> Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    >> jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    >> but some are OK.
    >>
    >> An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >> from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >> snow throught the picture.
    >> http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg

    >
    > Seen this before. I don't know if it was permanent or due to the viewer.


    I don't know of any JPEG decoder that would make such a complete mess of
    a valid image file. I do know plenty of "equalise histogram" functions
    that would do this or even worse to an underexposed image.

    > Too few occurrences.


    The OP has been unhelpful to the point of totally misleading in
    describing his workflow since the image he shows as a sample of the
    problem *WAS NOT* saved by the package that he said he used!

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 17, 2012
    #13
  14. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    On Mon, 17 Sep 2012 08:02:59 +0100, Martin Brown
    <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    >On 17/09/2012 01:32, gregz wrote:
    >> Peter Jason <> wrote:
    >>> On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 17:18:16 -0400, Alan Browne
    >>> <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> On 2012.09.11 21:55 , Peter Jason wrote:
    >>>>> I have some scanned JPEGs from some old photos,
    >>>>> and over time they have faded and become speckled.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> This has happened only to a few.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Why has this happened?
    >>>>
    >>>> Were the photos repeatedly opened and re-saved?
    >>>
    >>> They have passed thru Microsoft "Digital Image
    >>> Suite 9" first as tiff files and then converted to
    >>> jpgs (after which the Suite didnt work any more),
    >>> but some are OK.
    >>>
    >>> An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >>> from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >>> snow throught the picture.
    >>> http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg

    >>
    >> Seen this before. I don't know if it was permanent or due to the viewer.

    >
    >I don't know of any JPEG decoder that would make such a complete mess of
    >a valid image file. I do know plenty of "equalise histogram" functions
    >that would do this or even worse to an underexposed image.
    >
    >> Too few occurrences.

    >
    >The OP has been unhelpful to the point of totally misleading in
    >describing his workflow since the image he shows as a sample of the
    >problem *WAS NOT* saved by the package that he said he used!


    I have forgotten all the steps because I scanned
    the film with a Minolta 35mm slide/negative
    scanner as tiff files which I reduced later to
    jpeg. This was in approx 2003.

    I'm thinking of doing it all again with a faster
    scanner.

    Is there any proper software for databaseing the
    3000 photos I have with appropriate keywords, like
    the Microsoft "Digital Image Suite 9"? My
    workflow at the moment is:

    1/ Dump photos from the camera into a folder.
    2/ Copy all these into another (working) folder
    called "Cropped6x4, PShopped, Culled".
    3/ Crop 6 x 4, adjust levels, and sharpness,
    annotate on the photo itself, and save as jpeg.

    Is this OK? Notice I keep the originals.
     
    Peter Jason, Sep 17, 2012
    #14
  15. Peter Jason

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 17/09/2012 23:14, Peter Jason wrote:
    > On Mon, 17 Sep 2012 08:02:59 +0100, Martin Brown
    > <|||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >> On 17/09/2012 01:32, gregz wrote:
    >>> Peter Jason <> wrote:


    >>>> An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >>>> from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >>>> snow throught the picture.
    >>>> http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg
    >>>
    >>> Seen this before. I don't know if it was permanent or due to the viewer.

    >>
    >> I don't know of any JPEG decoder that would make such a complete mess of
    >> a valid image file. I do know plenty of "equalise histogram" functions
    >> that would do this or even worse to an underexposed image.
    >>
    >>> Too few occurrences.

    >>
    >> The OP has been unhelpful to the point of totally misleading in
    >> describing his workflow since the image he shows as a sample of the
    >> problem *WAS NOT* saved by the package that he said he used!

    >
    > I have forgotten all the steps because I scanned
    > the film with a Minolta 35mm slide/negative
    > scanner as tiff files which I reduced later to
    > jpeg. This was in approx 2003.
    >
    > I'm thinking of doing it all again with a faster
    > scanner.


    If you still have the original TIFF scan of the sample image you put up
    then it should be possible to work out what went wrong and where. My
    money is still on a seriously underexposed original image.

    Also the image was rather small in size for a slide or negative scan.
    >
    > Is there any proper software for databaseing the
    > 3000 photos I have with appropriate keywords, like
    > the Microsoft "Digital Image Suite 9"? My


    No idea. I don't particularly like database software.

    > workflow at the moment is:
    >
    > 1/ Dump photos from the camera into a folder.
    > 2/ Copy all these into another (working) folder
    > called "Cropped6x4, PShopped, Culled".
    > 3/ Crop 6 x 4, adjust levels, and sharpness,
    > annotate on the photo itself, and save as jpeg.
    >
    > Is this OK? Notice I keep the originals.


    Probably. It depends how well you do the image adjustments.
    I would not bother cropping unless I was intending to reprint YMMV.

    I generally scan stuff as a batch and then adjust later.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 18, 2012
    #15
  16. On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 11:55:24 +1000, Peter Jason <> wrote:

    >Why has this happened?


    The photons are wearing out - you'll have to order some new ones from
    CERN.
     
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Oct 2, 2012
    #16
  17. On Sat, 15 Sep 2012 17:16:18 +1000, Peter Jason <> wrote:

    >An example of a decayed photo of 1988 scanned in
    >from negative color film. Note the fine white
    >snow throught the picture.
    >http://imageshack.us/a/img832/1747/1988a1decay.jpg


    It's given that woman in the background choppers like a horse.
    Why, that would cost a fortune any other way in dental charges.
     
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Oct 2, 2012
    #17
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