Author Topic: Faded Blue Ink  (Read 2143 times)

Aggie92

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Faded Blue Ink
« on: August 16, 2011, 10:16:40 pm »
Hi!

I am currently working on the HMS Mantis which is an insect class river gunboat.  I have been following the logs from summer of 1918 and I am now up to summer of 1919.  Everything was going well until the ship went back to England for a month's leave.  Now that the logs have started back up they switched to what looks like blue ink.  It is so faded that I can barely make out anything more that date and most of the weather entries.  Most of the time I cannot make out the location (they are not using lat/lon location just listing a port or writing in to and from info) and I definitely cannot make out any events.

Help!  What should I do?

Here is a link to my latest log entry:

Bunting Tosser

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 11:06:57 pm »
Hi, Aggie92,

Welcome to the forum.
Sorry I haven't got better news for you on your first visit here, but ... if you can grit your teeth for a couple of weeks of variable clarity, your logkeeper fills his pen, or gets a new bottle of ink, on 1st August.
I managed to get all the weather readings, which is the important part, and your eyes are bound to be younger than mine.   ;)  Some of our more savvy transcribers reckon that loading the page into Photoshop or a superior version of Word will allow you to adjust contrast/background and other stuff to improve legibility, but that is beyond my abilities.
If you really are struggling, then abandon ship. There are others around to tax your ingenuity in different ways.  ;D
Remember, it's acceptable for transcribing to be a challenge but don't let it become a chore.
Good Luck, whatever you decide.

Bunts


Janet Jaguar

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 12:02:19 am »
Hi, Aggie92, welcome to OldWeather and the forum!

Bunts is completely right, the job should not be too frustrating or irritating.  Find a method that you can enjoy.

Option one is to jump ship for an easier-to-read log.  This is a recommended option if you are new to transcribing - faded ink and bad handwriting should be put off until you've gotten used to what they are likely to be writing.  Opinions on that for some of our ships can be checked at the Lonely Ships thread.  Some of them, like HMS Macedonia, are said to be easy to read.  Also, check out the posts by szukacz - he is on the Avoca right now.  Because English is a second language for him, he goes for clear and easy to read logs.

Option two is to enhance the contrast of the logs with outside sources.  I'm quoting from our "Encyclopedia of Answers" on that, below.

In any case, I hope you enjoy our community here. :)


Faded Ink on Logs
If your log page has faded ink, too light to read easily, use picture formatting to make it more legible. 

~ Use a screen capture program to picture the whole or any sections you wish to clarify.

~ Use any variation of PhotoShop to increase contrast 25% to 75% as needed, and adjust brightness as much as is helpful.

~ OR: Copy/paste the pictures into Word, then right click the picture and choose "Format Picture".  Increase contrast 25% to 75% as needed, and adjust brightness as much as is helpful.  Word-processing programs are lovely with this.

~ For both options above, if reading it is still difficult, try changing the picture to grayscale first.

All kinds of writing become legible.  Then read it off of the picture while typing it into the box on the log page.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 06:09:21 pm by Janet Jaguar »

Kathy

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 04:49:54 am »
I just want to point out that, for me, the easiest to read note was about iron shot lost overboard by accident  ;D

Also, is that Aggie, as in Texas Aggie?  ;)

welcome to the forum -

Kathy W.

Aggie92

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 02:51:07 pm »
Thanks everyone for the replies and the warm welcome.  I love reading these old logs.  It really satisfies my inner history and weather nerd.

@ Bunts...thanks for letting me know that the ink gets better in a few weeks.    ;D

@Janet...I don't have PhotoShop or Word on our desktop, but I will look on my hubby's laptop to see if he has Word, I think he might since he has MS Office and often does power point presentations.

@Kathy...yes I am a Texas Aggie!    :D

I am not going to give up on the Mantis.  I'm not frustrated with it and just knowing it gets better is all the encouragement I need.  I love a challenge and I will power through the next few weeks of crummy entries.  I am also working on the HMS Carmania and the HMS Caroline.  I like a diversity of stuff to do on top of the occasional foray into MoonZoo and GalaxyZoo.

Thanks again!

Nikki

Kathy

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 03:10:52 pm »
aha - as is my uncle, cousin, assorted family friends, more cousins and several ne'er do wells  ;D.  Whilst I am a major fan of the band, I, ah, favor another Texan institution of higher learning  :P.  My alma mater, Louisiana Tech, was soundly trounced by the Aggies when we played (football)  :'(

ta-

Kathy W.

DJ_59

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Re: Faded Blue Ink
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 11:47:36 pm »

Welcome, Aggie.  :)

Another trick, if you can find a photo or paint program, is to switch the image to negative.  The background becomes an inky blue and the letters turn white.  Sometimes a word that has totally baffled you will suddenly look very different in negative image.  It doesn't always work... in fact I'd say it bats about .250, but it's a good trick to know.