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Using Photoshop Elements to the benefit of Postal History

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I am really busy right now preparing a 180 page display on Simonstown for three weeks time.

As part of that I recently wrote up a cover that had a partial NAVAL CENSOR SIMONSTOWN oval datestamp which I recreated in Photoshop Elements, largely because I enjoy doing this and partly because the postmark was incomplete I wanted to show an example of it in full. To my surprise, having completed the redrawing I discovered that I had done this exact same postmark from another cover some six months earlier. The fact that I had forgotten that I had already spent an hour doing this is worrying!

Nevertheless, there was some benefit in having done this twice as it allowed me to see how accurate my work was. Were there differences between the drawings? You would expect two recreated postmarks covers to be more-or-less identical. Hopefully I have expressed how unreliable it is to trust the accuracy of drawn postmarks over a good strike. A comparison of my two precisely as possible recreated postmarks below shows that I am now guilty of creating errors also. In my defence all I can say is that I attempted to work as accurately as I could from the partial marks I had. Much to my surprise there are differences, Big Ones. Sorry!

I have a lot to say about these two examples and why these diferences exist. If you are interested to know more, post a comment below.

Uploaded files:
  • Simonstown-Naval-Censor-1917-and-1918.jpg

An interesting example of the problem of drawn images - in this case particularly that one version has no stop after "CENSOR", while the other has a stop.  It would be helpful, and interesting, to see scans of the original date-stamps as well as the drawings;  it should probably be normal practice not to publish a drawn image without an image of the original, so that a reader can judge how reliable the drawing is likely to be.  

I totally agree about the need to show the drawing together with the original postmark from which it is taken.

You can now see why in the LHS drawing I failed to spot the full stop. The 't' of 'St' has hidden it almost completely. Even if you Zoom in, (which you cannot do in the supplied exampl), there is no discernible full stop. Still, there are no excuses for missing detail.

I shall later attempt to make a more accurate composite of these two which I will post here.

Uploaded files:
  • Simonstown-Naval-Censor-1917-and-1918-Merged.jpg
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