Archive for the ‘restoring old photos’ 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.
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.
A rare image of powder flash in photography
I recently restored a photo of a football team, Balliol Invicta Football Club winners, Division one, Southwark and District 1910-1911. I’ll show that in another post.
The photo needed restoring and turned out great but it came with another photo, presumably a related photo. It depicts men in suits perhaps investors or club members, perhaps celebrating the win at dinner, in a large high ceilinged dining room. This was also restored but revealed a secret hiding in the details.
The most interesting thing about this photo is the rare sighting of the photographers assistants in the photo but captured in a mirror on the wall. They are both holding large, flash powder trays high in the air, their thumbs firmly pushed on the fuse trigger. The bright white areas appear to be clouds of smoke and the flash cloud and fierce flash. The room that was lit with these flash lights has a very high ceiling but the magnesium / potassium mix has done the job very well.
Early flash lights around 1880 – 1910 were mainly the powder flash type. A mix of Potassium perchlorate, Potassium chlorate and Magnesium powder was put in a long line inside a flash powder tray, visible in the photo. A long-handled metal tray, lit by a mechanical burning fuse, operated by a finger or thumb. The shutter was opened on the camera, or cap removed from the lens, boom! Flash fired, the cap was replaced or shutter closed. Varying amounts of powder were needed for different situations. Overdo it and risk blowing yourself up and there were fatalities!
The side effect of high-powered powder flash was the smoke and smell and ash fallout. If used in confined spaces such as photographer’s studios, it would not take long for the smoke to fill up the room, and I’m sure the ash would not be too good for your suit either! I hope you find this as interesting as i did to discovering it. The hairs on the back of my neck go up when i find little gems like this in such highly detailed photo. Once again a testament to the quality of the photographic process back in the early days.
If anyone can offer any more info ton the dinner photo feel free to get in touch and ill pass it onto Surrey FA.
(REF:Rward) Credit: Thank you kindly to the Surrey FA who let me use these pictures