More on retouching / restoring old photos

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.

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