Well well it’s all up there you just have to search … I followed up my thoughts on restoring old photos by carrying out some online research … surprise surprise I found just what I was looking for. Don’t you just hate it when someone takes your thoughts & puts them into words you had in mind but just couldn’t get streamed logically!!! No really this guy puts my question out there … mind you he has had several more years of experience than I!
To restore an image or not?
This photo restoration has got me thinking … hummmm … & the more I think about it whilst looking at family photos the more my thoughts turn to; does this photo really need restoring? will my attempts do justice to the photo? how much will my edits alter the look & character of the photo?
I don’t have an issue with marks on photos that have appeared due to wear & tear … I don’t feel the need to ‘clean’ them all off. None of our family photos have been stored in controlled atmospheric conditions so no doubt I will find ‘ageing’ marks on many of them – such as mould, stains or, as in the case with slides, some sort of colour degradation … unfortunately a regrettable part of the ageing process if the photo hasn’t been kept in a controlled atmosphere! Creases & torn corners … possibly tagged under wear & tear! Sticky tape … ummmm that amazing discovery way back when … this unfortunately leaves an ugly residue & to me needs some thought … but then again it is part of history!! I know there are some really cleaver people out there continually working on new developments to make software extremely cleaver but I feel it is still very difficult – if nigh impossible – to retain the texture of the paper & the granulated look of film through cloning & spot healing!
So as I scan in a photo & look at it I am faced with that first thought … does the photo need any restoration? If the answer to that is yes then my next thoughts/questions to myself are where do I begin & how far do I go? Again this is all personal. The final ‘output’ of the photo … whether it be put to multiple uses or for printing alone are all points to take into consideration! Of course if you are restoring for someone else then you must follow their wishes … maybe with a little guidance along the way … if they will accept it!!!!:)
If I do decide to do some work on the photo I will always duplicate the image & work on a copy … retaining the original scan as a record – untouched. Which then introduces the twist … this edited image is now a different image to the original!!!!!
There must be some protocol out there … must search online & find some thoughts from the pros!!!!
Cheers for now … Annette.
This week has seen me doing something new with images … scanning old glass negatives & retouching them slightly. Although I have many old family photos to scan & edit I haven’t gotten round to it as yet.
However recently I was very fortunate to be able to offer my services & scan some old glass negatives for a friend producing her family book.
The negatives were very old & to my untrained eye looked in remarkable condition. This turned out to be true as after scanning them I found very few major blemishes on the main subject. Most of the degradation was around the edges … but that seem to create an interesting effect as a border. Must add here that the scanning process in itself takes some time as each negative took at least 30 mins & some longer!! I scanned each at 2400dpi.
Having done very little of this work, & only then on the odd image, this presented a new challenge for me … so once they were all scanned I began my work.
Not knowing really where to begin my tool or tools of choice were the clone & the spot heal tool in PS & as, like I said, the images were remarkably ‘clean’ that technique has worked out well for me so far. The new PS has some great new air brushes so I will experiment with those a little down the track & see what effect they produce.
I love manipulating my images to produce the look I’m happy with but this is something different … still subjective I need to be careful!
When cleaning up old family photos I guess a couple of thoughts go through my mind … how to get a clear image & how to retain the character & look of the era.
In the final result I want to be able look at the photo & see the person or the subject clearly but also feel the ‘character’ of that old image. It goes without saying that the subject is the main focal point & should be kept in context as much as possible & cleaning this area is important. However I also feel that retaining the ‘atmosphere’ those images portray is very important. To me cleaning every single solitary speck off the image is going too far … preserving the feel & texture of the paper without ‘flattening’ it helps show depth & gives the picture character. You can smooth out too much & totally loose the whole feel to the photo … brush lightly!
As I said these negatives were pretty clean but I have seen some double exposed or very damaged they could be very challenging … much to learn!
Can’t post any images up as yet as they are not mine … when I work on mine I will put some up!