Archive for the ‘old images that need restoring’ Category
Clapton Football Club and Essex County Cricket Club circa (late) 1890’s
Photo repairs performed in July 2008
Opportunities like this don’t come around too often. I had the honour to repair and restore historic images from the late 1890’s of both these prestigious teams. Clapton Football Club were one of, if not the best team in the country at the time these photos were taken. A select 11 were chosen to represent the club for the posed photo. There were 3 main photos posed for the camera. Two of the team shot in their strip and one in suits. Mounted on heavy card and printed on fibre based paper and processed using silver based chemicals, the quality of these photos was superb! It isn’t until I have worked on photos like these do realise just how well the photographers did their job back then. The photographers couldn’t just set the camera to a high ISO and snap away, they had to wait for good light and work with the subjects to keep them calm and still whilst they set up the camera and prepared for the shot.
The Clapton Football Club photo was posed with the team in their strip, which appeared to be black and white broad striped tops, which is in fact red and white. Notably in the photo there are only 11 men in stripes and today their team photo has 17 men ready and waiting along with goalies and many others. Their shirts were tucked into their shorts which were high up the waist in line with the elbow and fastened with a cloth rope or webbing belt. Shorts vary in length with some longer than the knee, others above the knee. The ball was heavy leather and made of around 10 leather panels wrapping from top to bottom and sewn into a ball shape. Shin pads were heavy duty and worn outside the socks. With the socks themselves a little un-coordinated, seemingly whatever was thick and dark and long would do.
The Essex Cricket Team shot was posed outside the clubhouse with hanging baskets dangling from the thatched roof, some children had jostled for places in the background so they could get in the picture, with one who snuck to a window as the shutter was pressed. Heavy white woollen sweaters and thick white shirts with a dark cloth cap with cricket clubs emblem on the front was the attire. Once again trousers were held up with silk scarves or cloth strips and their white trousers were turned up a couple of inches at the shoe. Of the twelve men wearing whites, only one did not have a full bushy mustache and he held a pipe, all other figures who were not children were men and wore suits and bowler hats.
The photo repair that was needed was to improve the contrast, remove the mildew spots that are a tell tale sign of an old photo and to clean them of scratches and dust and grime that had built up over the last 120 years.
There is something to be said for this type of posed photo, it wasn’t mass produced, they were not taken with cheap throw away cameras like today, they taken with care and attention and were shot and printed using the best techniques of the period. As a result they have stood the tests of time. I feel that in the throwaway society we live in today photographs can be taken without the slightest thought and just mound up on hard drives and data storage devices, images without real meaning or value. Think hard when you take a photo, make it worthwhile and limit your shots, perhaps you will make sure you take that one shot that sums up what a week’s worth of happy snaps could never do.
NOTE: Apologies, but due to copyright restrictions I am only able to post a small portion of the photo.
Image-Restore – Photo repair for everyone!
Ed. Can you explain the cost of a photo restoration?
Neil. Certainly, but don’t think of it as cost, think of it as investment. You are preserving your memories. Price should be a concern, yes, but not the primary one. You have made the decision that your photo needs restoring, so I am here to help you transform it.
Ed. But don’t you just hit the “filter” button and it’s all done?
Neil. No absolutely not. Take a closer look at the image you are sending me to restore and be honest with yourself. There may be an obvious big rip or scratch, but look closer. Is the surface of the emulsion all scratched and dull? Is there a spider’s web of fine scratches embedded in the emulsion filled with fine dirt? If so then I have to remove these as well.
Ed. I can barely see the fine scratches why does it matter?
Neil. If I ignore them It may be ok to print to a typical 6×4 inch sized postcard as you wouldn’t see them. If you wanted me to make an enlargement then the fine scratches would also be enlarged. You would then have to pay a second time to have them restored and removed.
Ed. Fair point, but how do I know you have done anything at all other than remove the rip or tear?
Neil. I restore what damage there is, you may not appreciate it at first but just compare the original to the restored image. If it’s a digital file you can compare the before and after. You will see how there are subtle differences in the tones, the shadows are richer and the highlights stand out more, edges are more defined, its punchier and less flat than it was. Nearly all of the flecks of dust, scratches, stains and faded tones are restored.
Ed. Nearly all?
Neil. Yes, sometimes if the image is overworked it can look “restored”. This is not what I am about, I don’t airbrush back in areas like some restorers. I tend to use the tone and textures from what’s there and restore it. I simply cannot bare the mix of badly matched, soft smooth-toned backgrounds and the gritty texture of an original photo, it just doesn’t work and certainly does not look natural.
Ed. It sounds like you are very passionate about your work, will you take on anything?
Neil. I will be honest, in some instances there is not much that can be done. I will always discuss beforehand what can be achieved and what expectation can be met. Sometimes it maybe that there is very little detail there to start with and all there is to do is a simple clean up and try to recover some tone and contrast. Others can require a complete rebuild of the lighting. By this I mean where there was very little tone to add back in light and shade, to give the feeling of depth. This doesn’t work for all images but most can be rescued.
Ed. I’ve heard that some people provide inkjet prints, do you do that?
Neil. No, heaven forbid no. I appreciate that there are some very good inkjet printers, but I am old fashioned I guess and trust the tried and tested chemical colour process. Your photos will be printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper for 100 year fade resistance, or so the manufacturers claim.
Ed. That’s reassuring. Thank you for explaining.
Neil. You’re very welcome.
There are many way to change a photo’s tint using photoshop. I have made this short tutorial to show you how to change a photo from black and white to sepia using three different methods, each with similar results but with subtle differences.
We can use this image as a test image.
Method 1. Change your photo to RGB mode . Select from the top menus – image/adjustments/photo-filter.
You will get a colour box pop up. Choose a sepia colour.
Choose a fairly dark one
and then use the slider to increase the density.
Method 2 This method using ”colour balance”. From the menus select image/adjustments/colour balance
Change the sliders with the radio button “shadows” selected so that you dial in around 20 red and 20 yellow.
Then do the same with the “midtones” but around 15 red and 15 yellow. You can tweak these setting to your own preferences.
Here is the final result. This method does not alter the whites in the highlights.
Method 3 Using a colour fill layer. Select from the menus, layer/new fill layer/solid colour
Then select “colour” in the blending mode box.
Select a nice sepia colour
and you are done!
I hope this helps everyone and just choose a method which suits you best, if it were my choice I would go with method 2
Repair my photo from Image-Restore.co.uk