PSE3 has a number of features which can be used to enhance the scanned image. The alignment can be corrected if necessary. When examining the darker colored stamps, the process can be made with less strain on the eyesight if the background color can be lessened or removed or if the overprint can be extracted from the stamp. The animation displayed in Fig. 5 will illustrate the procedure.

Fig. 5

Alignment. I use the transform function to correct the alignment. Turn on the Rulers and Grid by clicking on View and then click on Ruler on the sub menu. Again click on View and then click on Grid. Place the cursor on the right edge of the image until the cursor is replaced by a double arrow. Drag the edge some distance to the right. The transform function only works on a layer. Click on Layer , click on Duplicate Layer and then click on OK. Click on Image, then Transform, then Free Transform and then click on the Move Tool. Place the tip of the cursor within the small square at the top left of the rulers and drag the origin of the measuring axis lines until the lines cross the center of the perforations (both horizontal and vertical). Place the cursor within the grey area to the side of the image. The cursor will be replaced by a curved double arrow. Drag this new cursor up or down and observe the rotation of the image. You can move the image by depressing the arrow keys on the keyboard. When you are satisfied with the new alignment, depress the Enter key to lock in the transformation. Click on Layer and then click on Flatten Image to finish off the process.

Lighting and Contrast. The light intensity and contrast can be adjusted by clicking on Enhance, then clicking on Adjust Lighting and then clicking on Brightness/Contrast. Move the adjustments until you obtain a suitable result. Click on OK.

Color Removal. Click on the Zoom Tool. Place the magnifer cursor within the image and click until the magnification is 200% (value displayed on Options Bar). If none of the overprint is displayed on the screen, click on the Hand Tool, position the Hand icon within the image and drag the image until some of the overprint is displayed on the screen. Click on the Magic Wand Tool. On the Options Bar, set the Tolerance to 40 (double click within the box, type in 40 and then depress the Enter key on the keyboard). Make sure the Contiguous selection square is clear. Depress and hold down the Shift key on the keyboard.Place the magic wand cursor within one of the letters and click the left mouse button several times within the letter. All the letters should become outlined with moving dashed outlines. Release the Shift key. Click on Select and then click on Inverse. This will select all of the image except the letters. On the bottom of the Tool Bar, click on the 2 very small squares. This will set the foreground color to black and the background color to white. Click on Edit, then click on Fill Selection, set Use to Background Color and then click OK. All portions of the image - with the exceptions of the letters - will now be colored white. Click on Select and then click on Deselect. Click on Image, then click on Mode, click on Greyscale and then click OK. Double click on the Hand Tool to resize the image.

The success of this procedure depends on the a number of factors such as background color of the stamp and intensity of the inking of the overprint. The comparison of before and after of the overprint on a 20h stamp is displayed in Fig. 6.

Fig. 6

Cropping. Click on the Crop Tool. Place the cropping icon at one corner of the area to be cropped. Drag the dotted box to enclose the area to be cropped. Click the right mouse button and then click on Crop. Double click on the Hand Tool to enlarge the cropped image.