Archive for the ‘restoring old photographs’ Category
To perform any photo restoration basic techniques are essential. Understanding how to make something look un-restored is what photo restoration is all about.
Edges / selection.
When anything is moved or copied over you should match the edges. When you are selecting something new to insert into an image you should match the edges. Matching edge definition is my number one tip. Edge selection video.
If you are inserting anything into an image especially skies, match both the edge definition and the grain. Old images have natural random grain that doesn’t mix that well with flat computer generated tones. Skies will look fake and nasty. If inserted with bad selection they will look even more amateurish. Matching grain video
Don’t take short cuts
Taking short cuts with photo restoration is very tempting. Do it quick and make a fast buck! Do this this and it will come back to bite you! Initially you may benefit by making fast money but as soon as your techniques are exposed by some simple image brightening your reputation will plummet through the floor and you will soon be out of pocket. Don’t take shortcuts with photo restoration
Make it real – do no make it up!
Inventing detail or making up obviously fake bits of the image doesn’t make a “restoration”. What makes the restoration is genuinely thinking about the restore and what should be filling those missing pieces. We don’t want smooth edges when they should be sharp, or smooth textures when they should be grainy or nasty cloning. We need to see nothing, no obvious signs of restoration anywhere. Carefully matched grain, no “invented” details and artistic interpretations of what should be there. Restoring a photo with a natural eye.
What if Titanic photos were retouched by editors, how does this portray the great ship? A rare photo may show this is just what happened!
The Titanic is steeped in mystery, dramatic stories of life and death and survival but what if those early photo were retouched?
I was fortunate enough to restore a rare photo of the Titanic from an avid collector of Titanic Memorabilia. He has allowed me to use this photo in this blog post as it shows the now famous Titanic photo of “letting go the rope” at Southampton docks, in an altogether different light.
You may have seen this image on many websites, for sale or even on museum walls. It normally depicts a scene of what looks like a clear crisp April morning but was that exactly how it was and was the great ship so romantic looking? If in doubt simply Google the image and you’ll see what i mean. Here is a quick example.
Below is the Titanic in a perhaps more accurate representation.
This restored scan of fiber based silver halide print of the Titanic shows an altogether different ship. Was this an early version of this famous photo, perhaps even the original one? The sky is not clear at all but choked in smoke from the funnels, neighboring tug boats also belching smoke adding to the smog. The sky way above the ship stained with burnt fuel in a thick haze. This image is clearly a very different one from what you see in the press! The famous photo you see is perhaps not what you imagine it to be!
Versions of this photo in the press and public eye show a cleaner, more romantic version, with cleaner plumes of smoke, perhaps more like we imagined them to be, like a quaint cottage in a landscape painting with a gentle whiff of smoke from the chimney.
This article is solely the opinion of the author.
Balliol Invicta Football Club 1910-1911 Division one Winners for Southwark and District
I recently restored a photo of a football team, Balliol Invicta Football Club winners, Division one, Southwark and District 1910-1911
It’s remarkable how things changed over the 20 years from the Clapton Football Club photo from 1890. The shorts are so much shorter and kit matching. The socks match unlike the disorganized mess of woolly socks and shin pads of the Clapton photo. I guess rules were coming into force to ensure teams looked the part and the kits were being standardized. Covering the knee was no longer an issue because of more relaxed opinions / rules of how much skin could be shown, not to mention being more practical.
Even the boots in this photo look remarkably similar. Although its difficult to see the Clapton Team had their shorts held up with anything from rope, a scarf or a proper belt. The Balliol team seem to have good image here in the photo and REYNOLDS in the front is even smiling, something you don’t see very often in early photography.
I don’t follow football myself but these early photos do offer a great insight into the fashion of the day and its great to be able to compare them. Yet again another example of how photographic techniques of yesterday still stand the test of time today.