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Improving restoration techniques

Improving restoration techniques…

There are many styles of photo restoration and not all of them lend themselves to the best results.

Photo restoration is one of those very difficult techniques to get right.

Colouring photos is very tricky to master, its best avoid those colours that show garish hues and that are super saturated. Flat colours on skin and clothes can look very odd so its best avoid these too.

Care must be taken when replacing the background without due cause to do so. If the skills are there to repair the background then its best do so without needlessly replacing it with a quick fix. If the background has to be replaced then try to replace it with an exact, recreated one, with both matching grain and texture.

Smoothing everything over, rather than repairing the damage is also something to be avoided. Avoid airbrushing or simply bluring out the cracks. This makes the whole “restoration” look like a painted scene. It destroys much of the original detail and subtle tones that form the shapes within the photo. A process which turns facial features into a smeary mess of either painterly swirls or plastic flatness. Concentrate on using the patch tool or healing brush tool to repair and matain texture.

Anyone wishing to improve these techniques should take a look at the many tutorials out these on the web. If the photo restoration does not look natural or real and the photo looks restored then do some more research to improve. Everything I have learned I have read in books or gained through forum participation, retouching networks and articles or videos.

Make sure you watch the right videos and read the right articles and books. Don’t just read everything, check the author is well established and an expert in what they do. The same goes for videos, watch those put out by other well established artists. If you are unsure research their work first. Those that “wow” you by the standard of their work and comments and folio should be the ones to pay attention to. Don’t get into bad habits and do constantly learn new skills. The key to any restoration is taking it slow and avoid the temptation to cut corners.

I hope this has been helpful and should you need some help and tips please read the blog.

West Surrey Family History Society Open Day 2012

Image-restore helping historians and genealogists with restoring photos will be attending the West Surrey Family History Society Open Day 2012 on November the 3rd at Woking Leisure center. Details below.

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Saturday 3rd November 2012

Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Rd, Woking, GU22 9BA     -       10am – 4.30pm

Research Room (Hall 1)

Bring your research!

The times of the talks have now been announced:
Researching Your Railway Ancestors’ George Yalden 10.45am
Illegitimacy Valda Hudson 11.30am
20 + Years of Computer Corner Jeanne Bunting 12.15pm
Death Certificates Stephanie Monk 13.00pm
Getting the Most out of Amy Sells 13.45pm
Your Country Needs You! Kitchener’s Volunteers
To Conscription to the Great War Capt. Graham Bandy 14.30pm
Wills and Probate London History Centre 15.15pm


Bill Davis will be with us again this year to run his popular Help Desk on Irish Research. He has to leave at 3pm, so come down and see him early.

book suggestions.


If you have Scottish ancestors and need some guidance on researching them, pay a visit to the Research Room (Hall 1) and don’t forget to bring your information with you!


Dr. Macdonald’s research has focused on the north-east area of Scotland – Aberdeenshire, Kincardine and Banff but he was born in Aberdeen, brought up in Dumfries and educated in Edinburgh. His own family covers a vast array of Scottish peasants so his expertise in Scottish research will benefit those looking for their Scottish roots.


Dr. Macdonald has an MSc in genealogical studies and is an online tutor for the post – graduate Certificate course at the University of Strathclyde. He writes on family history and publishes articles regularly.

The Aberdeen and North – East of Scotland FHS awarded him the 2008 Bruce Henderson award for family history writing and published his book – “The Alexanders of Bourtie 1696 – 1886”. Most recently he has been researching the notion that studying a single family can be a sound basis for gaining insight to general ideas such as the middle classes.

Family History Fair (Hall 2)

The following organisations have reserved tables:
*Anglo-German FHS • *Anglo-Italian FHS • *Bedfordshire FHS • *Berkshire FHS • *Buckinghamshire FHS • Buckinghamshire GS • *Dorset FHS • *East Surrey FHS • *Essex Society for FH • FFHS (Federation of Family History Societies) • *Glamorgan FHS • Guild of One Name Studies • *Hampshire GS • Hertfordshire FHS • Hillingdon FHS • *Huntingdonshire FHS • London Westminster & Middlesex FHS • Manchester & Lancs FHS • *Nottinghamshire FHS • *Oxfordshire FHS • Society of Genealogists • *Somerset & Dorset FHS • Suffolk FHS • Sussex FHG • *West Middlesex FHS • *Wiltshire FHS

British Association for Local History • Brookwood Cemetery Society • *Family & Community Historical Research Society • Friends of Woking Palace • Lace Guild (display) • *London Family History Centre • Send & Ripley History Society • *Southwark Family and Local History • *Sunbury & Shepperton Local History Society • *Surrey Heath Local History Club, Museum, Archaeological & Heritage Trust • Surrey History Centre • The Lightbox, Woking • Tongham Village • Woking & District Philatelic Society • Woking History Society

AMP Family History Services • Bookzone • Bryan Brinkley Postcards • C E Jones (Postcards and Books) • CAB Search • *Findmypast • Footsteps • Genealogy Printers • Gerard Smyth Secondhand Books • Photo Restorations • John Owen Smith • John Townsend (Books) • Life Histories • Life Story • M M Publications • Michael Goldsmith Postcards • My History • One Stop Genealogy • Parchment (Oxford) Ltd • R A Longley Publications • S & N Genealogy Supplies • Staunton Park Genealogy Centre • The Genealogist • This Way Books & Cassini Historical Maps

*Above, indicates societies or organisations bringing research material.


The building work around the Leisure Centre and car park has been completed. Parking should be possible in nearby streets (e.g. Loop Road) if the car park is full.

We have just been advised that access to the stallholders’ car parking (shown as ‘Additional Car Park’ on our map) for our Open Day at Woking Leisure Centre will now be via the main entrance in Kingfield Road as shown on the reverse of the gold leaflet we enclosed with your earlier joining instructions. Bear right into the main car park and continue straight through this over the small bridge and the stallholders’ car park is the usual car park (for those who have been before) which is on the left at the rear of the Leisure Centre. There will be no access via Elmbridge Lane as there are now bollards in place on the slip road. Please do use the car park at the rear as this is the only direct access on level ground to the halls.

Not Local?

If you have Surrey ancestors why not combine a visit to the Surrey History Centre in Woking on Friday with attendance on the Open Day on the Saturday? Please see website for information about local accommodation.


book suggestions.

Cricketing nostalgia where is this?

Some photo restoration projects take longer than others. This cricketing photo in the United Kingdom took longer than most but where is it? Can you help me identify where in the UK this is?


Cricketing scene United Kingdom but when? and where?

Cricketing scene United Kingdom but when? and where?

My skills in dating a photo and finding its whereabouts are not very good but here’s what i can deduce.

The terrain seems very flat into the distance. One of the tents has WCC written on it, or at least that’s what it looks like. All the chaps have fat moustaches. There are some very uniques buildings in the background. see picture

Cricketing scene United Kingdom but when? and where? Clues...

Cricketing scene United Kingdom but when? and where? Clues…

1. Tiles with stripes! This must have been a feature, can’t be many houses like this?

2. Octagonal outbuilding with three chimneys possibly four. Was this a furnace? or building used to heat water? looks like a sturdy structure could be still standing?

3. The large house in the center. Are those windows Gothic Arch windows? Very distinctive. This building could still be there?


Photos are often dated by hair styles, facial hair, clothes, caps etc, but can they tell you where  picture was taken?


If there is anyone that has any ideas please comment, as it’s all still a mystery to me.

Thank you.

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