Recapturing the Moment
"We had to take out the dirt and scratches that are always present in old photos," he notes. "And, in a lot of the black-and-white photos, we had to work on the contrast—that is, make the images 'more contrasty'—to improve their appearance."
Wallick cites some examples of images that required a little extra manipulation: "We had to do a lot of work to the Bobby Orr spread. You can still see (even on the printed page) where the image is a little grainy due to age of the photograph, and the fact that it went up to a spread in size. We had to open up Bobby Orr's face to make him more recognizable. We did that by opening up all four colors, which would in effect make the face more open and help bring out more detail."
The same process was used to get as much detail as possible out of the 1955 picture of Jackie Robinson sliding into home plate (and Yogi Berra), he adds.
All in all, it took about 12 hours to scan and retouch all of the images used, Wallick calculates. "The EverSmart's speed really helped us," he states. "CCD technology is so much faster (than ever before)."
To ensure reproduction quality, the staff output proofs of each retouched scan on an Iris Realist before dropping the images into the final layout. The corrected images were also saved on a CD. (Although SI is a very digitally savvy operation, it did not employ a digital asset management solution at press time.)
"If we did have a digital asset management system in place, in all likelihood, those images would have been archived already, saving us that scanning step," Wallick surmises.
Wallick was confident that image quality would be retained on press, and the printers didn't disappoint. "We didn't give any special instructions to our printers for this project," he remarks. "Our printers print according to SWOP standards and they printed this issue as they normally would—by the numbers."