First off, it depends on whether they are scratched on the emulsion side or the base side.
If it's on the base, you might recover by putting some fluid on the film. If it's on the emulsion, you're probably screwed.
If you have Photoshop it will be possible to digitally repair the images. As said, the scanner can automatically remove a lot of the damage if you have one with the infrared cleaning option. (AKA: "F.A.R.E." or "I.C.E.") What's left, you can do by hand. It shouldn't take you more than 15 to 30 minutes to do the job if you have a good workflow.
Crop/Resize the image to the desired dimensions then apply the "Noise > Dust & Scratches" filter to the WHOLE IMAGE.
Set the parameters for the filter until you JUST make all the damage fade. Ignore the fact that the rest of the image gets blurry. (We'll fix that later.)
In your "Window > History" panel, click the paintbrush symbol in the left column next to the line for "Dust & Scratches."
Click "Undo" or go back one step in your history via the History panel.
Go activate the HISTORY BRUSH from your tool palate and set it's blending mode to "Darken" and opacity to 100%.
Set a small brush size, as small as you can yet still be workable. (5 to 10 pixels)
Zoom in to 200% of 300% original size and paint out the scratches.
If you have scratches that are DARKER than the surrounding picture set the blending mode to "Lighten" and repeat.
Touch up your work with the "Healing Brush" when you're through so as to blend the pixels together.
With practice, you should be able to touch up a whole image in 10 to 15 minutes. I have repaired damaged Polaroids using this trick and you might never know there ever was a problem if you didn't look REALLY closely.
First I would scan them with ICE, they will look a lot better by doing that. The rest of the scratches are easy to remove in PS on pictures like this. Maybe some content aware fill would fix a lot of the scrathes, and then use healing brush and clone stamp on the rest.
Years ago I read advice for scratched negatives in black & white that recommended wiping glycerine on the negatives before placing them in the negative holder on the enlarger.
You might like to think about trying the same method but using wet scanning with the glycerine. Experiment with just one frame to see if it works. Probably not going to be perfect but chances are it will be a big improvement on what you've got at the moment.
Unfortunately, scratches are permanent. I'm not so sure about the dust and what looks like lint. I don't know the color process but if that were B&W, I'd try washing it and re-treat it with photo-flo. I'm guessing there's something similar in color process as well. Please don't try washing it yourself until someone who knows about the color process chimes in. I'm sure if you just soak it in H2O, you are going to ruin your negs.
Then the only thing you can do, really, is to have it scanned and fix it digitally. I know scanning places will do what they can and charge you for the service. If you can accept amateur work, if you want to e-mail me some of the images or send me a CD/DVD, I'll do what I can do to help (at no charge). PM me if you want me to try.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
if your retouching efforts are not fruitful, you could always do a whole scratched-up series.
i have had to do that before with water damaged images where emulsion dissolved ...
good luck !
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How's this? Some quick work on my darkroom grain manipulator enlarger reel developer fixer easel tool....
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I'm going to play devil's advocate and ask, have you considered that it might be your fault? The dust on the neg is obviously a scanning issue. But Africa is less-than-ideal for keeping dust and sand out of your camera and I could easily see some getting inside and on your pressure plate, which would explain the straight scratches (of course the colour labs machine could do the same, but they might just tell you it's your fault anyway -I know people who have worked in colour labs before and have had a "list of excuses" for why the negs were messed up to cover their ass). If you have negs before and after the trip that are perfect, then obviously it's not your fault, but if you had a roll since at a different lab that comes out like this, you might want to consider cleaning out your camera. It's just a thought, I'm not pointing fingers here. Just something else to think about and consider.
Woah I confess that I actually the result that you showed. Very cool! Go on and be heartbroken about what happened (I would be too)... but then print it anyway. Looks like something form another planet, I'd say print to b&w and see if something unexpectedly amazing results.
Yes, for the few shots that really matter, they can be treated painstakingly in photoshop with the healing tool and some other tricks. If you happen to have duplicate shots then you can do some things with those.
We don't usually talk about photoshop, but... hey, when you need it... And I have had some very precious but scratched b&w negs that I've treated that way and then had replacement LVT negs made for traditional printing (you can also use hybrid techniques).
What can we say, sorry for your loss But again, the image that you showed looks quite interesting with all the damage.
Seventeen responses, and not a single mention of a visit to DPUG as yet ...
Wow I dont even... thats just crazy. Maybe send it out to get wet mount scanned?