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Old 02-22-2008, 02:38 PM   #11
Dave
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Nice job with the photo!

(Shown here as a small version to fit on the page. The links above go to full size images.)

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Old 02-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #12
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Much better for showing the detail. But it would be really nice if you could get a shot from straight on. There is some perspective distortion in this shot that's difficult to correct.

Notice how the lettering on the bottom is much narrower than the lettering on the top.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Notice how the lettering on the bottom is much narrower than the lettering on the top.
I don't think that aspect of it is distortion. Notice the margins between the letters and the circles. The letters on the top actually are larger.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:23 AM   #14
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Believe me. I've already opened this in photoshop and played around with the geometry. It's WAY off. The words SHORT BROS are indeed larger but the main problem is that the circles are out of round and not concentric.

But after a few more hours of curiousity, I think I've got the basic shape corrected and am working to isolate the lettering. Here's a first step with the corrected geometry.

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Old 02-23-2008, 07:57 AM   #15
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Well, you bring up an interesting issue. Since the decals on most propellers are placed on the curved leading face of the blade they are always distorted to some extent in a photograph. Unless you could remove the decal and lay it flat, you'll always have an imperfectly proportioned photo. I don't think that matters for display purposes, but for someone wanting to reproduce an original decal, something like what you've done with this one becomes essential.

Is it possible to do that in something like Photoshop without losing the quality of detail in the actual photo?

A few decals (like the one on this propeller) are on the flat surface of the prop and can probably be accurately duplicated from photographs, but most of them have the problem of being on a curved surface.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
Since the decals on most propellers are placed on the curved leading face of the blade they are always distorted to some extent in a photograph. Unless you could remove the decal and lay it flat, you'll always have an imperfectly proportioned photo.
This is true. But the curvature isn't so extreme so this isn't so noticable. The human eye is much more senstive to "out of round" or "out of center" distortion for some reason. A dead on photograph is the best, if it's possible, but unfortunately, it's often not possible to get into that perfect location in museums.

Quote:
Is it possible to do that in something like Photoshop without losing the quality of detail in the actual photo?
It depends on the quality of the original photograph. I've only recently started playing around with this (on the Integral decal) and I've come up with several techniques. If the original photo is good and the decal is in good condition, a little photoshop manipulation can create an almost perfect photo-quality reproduction as I've done on the following decal.



In this case the main problem was that the photo was taken at an angle and so one wing was foreshortened and the circle was distorted. It was a fairly simple matter to level the decal and then get the circle and one wing back to normal perspective. To restore the symmetrical balance though, I copied one wing, flipped it and pasted it back in.

On other decals, like the Integral one I reconstructed, the decals are so degraded that the only thing you can do it use them as a sort of template and "rebuild" (essentially "redraw") on top of them. This is obviously less satisfactory from the historian's perspective. Typically, each part of the decal has to be reconstructed separately and then the parts reassembled and the color added. If I were more skilled with photoshop I might be able to reintroduce some "weathering" to simulate the look of the original photo.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:21 PM   #17
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Here's a rough ("eyeballed") distortion correction of the original photo. This is problably good enough for most purposes.

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Old 02-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the effort people have put into providing information about the propeller. abufletcher, Great work on getting better quality out of the decals.

Does anybody have a good idea of what plane it might be from? I am desperate to see a picture of the plane it may have been on once in its life.

Also, do you think it has any value, should it be insured? its sat in the attic of a house for a few years now.

BR

Marcus
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:29 AM   #19
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Hi Marcus,

Some thoughts on value.

There is little or no market in very early props, unless it's from the Wright Flyer. Also people want complete props, so the ratio between the value of whole props to prop blades can be as much 10:1. 1500gbp to 150gbp for a good example from iconic British WW1 aircraft.

I doubt if your blade could command a price in excess of 300 at auction, a value that would be covered anyway by household insurance. If you were to insure it, the chances of replacing it with a similar blade are about nil.

However, I am sure this current position will change. The market in props is likely to develop because the internet makes a market more viable. The centenary of WW1 in six years time will increase the interest in all WW1 artefacts, including propellers.

So there is an innate contradiction; your prop blade is of great interest and is of historical value but if offered at auction there would be little competition to buy it.

With regards,

Bob

With regards,

Bob
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