Archive for the ‘photo repair’ Category
Photos that I restore the most are be those that have faded. Simple fades are simple to correct. Just a quick adjustment of the levels or a quick burn in with dodge and burn tools. Complex fades like the one below are not so simple.
This image could not be colour corrected by tweaking the colours, in stead it had to be converted to black and white, restored and then coloured. You may have seen similar posts by me before on this but each one presents different challenges.
In this case the fades were corrected by multiple layers using “apply image”. Each layer was dropped on the next and masked in tighter to build back the tones. I had to stop when things started to look too gray. It then became evident the image need more contrast but this introduced more bleaching, so more masking. Once the exposure was looking ok, it was treated as any other restoration and the coloured using my colouring technique.
Here is a quick FAQ with some commonly asked questions and answers
Q. How much will it cost?
A. We would need to see your photo first; this can either be posted or scanned and emailed to us. Read the scanning guide for tips or if posting use Special Delivery.
Q. Can you discount for large numbers they are only grade 0?
A. We can restore volumes of photos but restoring a photo from a batch of photos, no matter how many, takes the same time as restoring a single photo. Discounting restorations because there are more of them would simply mean less time taken to restore them, resulting in a less acceptable restoration. It’s also best if we decide what level of restoration is needed as we are the experts. *Discounts can be offered when batch processing images, whereby exactly the same correction can be made to a batch of photos, such as a colour correction where an entire batch of photos were scanned incorrectly.
Q. Can you colour a photo?
A. Sure but the cost will vary depending on the amount of detail and objects in the photo. The base cost is £25 for one or two people in a photo on a simple background. Many people on a complex background would be considerably more. See colouring a complex image
Q. Can you open a person’s eyes in a photo?
A. Many sites claim this is possible but it’s not without a separate image. For the most convincing results the same person’s eyes should be used from another photo, from the same angle, perspective, and lighting.
Q. Can you add people to a photo.
A. Adding people to a photo can be done provided it is possible to match the grain, the camera angle, camera height, perspective and lighting.
It’s not as simple as you may assume. If you have two different perspectives and try to match them, no matter what manipulation is carried out it will always look wrong.
Q Can you take people out of a photo
A. Yes in most cases this can be done. Less satisfactory results occur when there is not enough of the surrounding photo to fill in the gaps. An example would be, a tight crop of six people in a wedding photo. If two from either side are removed what is going to fill all that space if there is no photo left to fill it? A donor image from the same location helps in this situation.
Q. Underexposed photo it is very dark can you fix it?
A. Normally yes. Sometimes the grain and colour may not be in sufficient densities to bring back to normal levels with an acceptable result. Its best get in touch with us.
Q. Over exposed photo can you fix it?
A. Normally yes. If you can see details in the bleached out areas then it may be able to be enhanced. It may not be possible to fully recover the image. Its best get in touch with us.
So what is not possible?
It is not possible to:
Focus a completely out of focus picture.
(If it is an obviously out of focus photo it cannot be refocused)
Fixed a blurred photo.
This would be where the camera moved when taking the photo or the subject moved. Moving the camera when depressing the shutter is more evident from the early days of photography when the film speed and resulting shutter speeds were slower. The moment evident in the photo is sort of a moving blur, normally in a down and up motion. Motion in single plain can sometimes be corrected, but it is so rare. Examples you may have seen on the Internet are normally manufactured instances under ideal conditions, where the motion blur has a chance of being corrected.
Replace a head.
Now we are getting silly, again not without another photo of that person’s head
Restoring a colour fade is never an easy job.
This restoration was from a 29 inch photo print of a Hawker Hunter Mk 6A caught in mid-flight. The scan made of the print was a pdf, not ideal for the restoration as it’s not a native image format and normally very compressed and showed many development banding lines and fade bands which added to the complexity of the restoration.
As you may have read in my colouring tutorials, colour only “sticks” to the image if the underlying tones are balanced. For example the density of the sea needs to be similar both sides of the image, the wings of the plane need to be toned the same too. The important thing for the customer was that it should be good enough to reproduce to 29 inches again, so attention to detail was essential. A formidable task when you know that every pen stroke of your retouch has to be spot on as it will be under heavy scrutiny when its 29 inches wide. This restoration just tipped the £100 mark including the print.
The final restoration turned out very well and both I and the client were very pleased with the result. Presented with such a challenge its sometimes easier to say “no” it can’t be done but having faith in your own abilities is essential. More often than not, restorations like these are out of budget for a lot a people and they cannot justify the costs. However when the image was this bad to start and the results are this good to finish, its worth every penny!