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Photo restoration try before you buy?

No one likes paying upfront for something they have never seen right?

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We are a “work with us to an end result” service “. We are not a “try before you buy” service.  If in the rare event that the work does not suit your needs, we will work with you on the project until it is!

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With Photo Restoration the trend is to show the restored image and then ask for payment. We say “no funds needed until you have seen the work”. This method is based on a great deal of “trust”. When the work is complete we restorers “trust” that the client does not just walk away, should they decide they dont require the work any more.

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FACT: No restoration company is a “try before you buy” service, we want to be paid.

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Working with us keeps a level of trust.

Working with us keeps a level of trust and we are more likely to both come away from the experience very happy.

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A contract: By agreeing to get a restoration done with us and asking us to preform a restoration, this is just like a contract. We tell you the client of the cost and then you tell us to proceed. In the rare event the restoration does not turn out to the your needs then we will work with you to a result whereby we are both happy. It’s in both our interests to do this. You will end up with the your image the way you wanted and we will get paid for our time and effort.

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What has and can happen, albeit rather unscrupulously, the client will do something they think is very smart. They obtain several quotes from different companies and get them all to restore the same image. This is very damaging and wrong!

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I once asked a client why or they had the cheek to use 5 other companies to do the same work and choose one which they preferred.  They came back with “if you were in my shoes you’d do the same thing!” This is so wrong on so many levels. For the record i would not do this. Ask yourself a question. Could you ask 3 builders to build you 3 separate patio extensions and choose the one the fancied and not pay for the others? NO! Or ask the hair dresser to do three separate hair styles until you found one you liked? only paying for one? NO! ridiculous isn’t it? What makes it OK to do that to people trying to run their own business? People will go unpaid, out of pocket and very soon out of business if this practice carries on.

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Working against us and the level of trust.

Working against us and the level of trust.

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To sumaraise

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We are a “work with us to an end result” service “not a try before you buy” service.  If in the rare event that the work does not suit your needs we will work with you on the project until it is!

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Vintage circus poster restoration and recreation

This project show the restoration and recreation of some vintage circus posters. If an image is in digital form photo restoration means anything can be restored including posters.

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I have been carrying out many poster restorations for an upcoming book ‘The Posters of Bertram Mills Circus by Steven B Richley’ available from doublecrownbooks.com and Steven has given me the permission to use his images in this post.

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The vintage posters had often been folded and stored away and subsequently made into digital images. The method used to digitize them was not the best and the vintage circus posters needed some attention.

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Vintage circus poster restoration

Vintage circus poster restoration

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One of the posters only existed in black and white and had to be completely redrawn and recreated.

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Vintage circus poster recreation before recreation

Vintage circus poster recreation before recreation. The image only existed as a photo of the poster.

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Vintage circus poster recreation. Poster fully recreated.

Vintage circus poster recreation after. With help from Steven in sourcing fonts and colour pallets this is the final result.

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With help from Steven in sourcing the fonts and colours the image was recreated as best as we could, hand drawing the fonts where possible to give that vintage feel. Techniques used were the pen tool to draw around lettering and recreate them as “stroked paths”. That way a black edge could be added to the lettering. The curves in the background were also recreated using the path too. The mule colours were referenced from a real mule and the man was best guess!

This is less photo restoration and more “recreation” but was fun to do none the less.

 

 

Photo scanning problems discussed

Scanning photos is fraught with hurdles that most of us dont know about. We all assume that to scan a photo you lift the lid on your scanner, insert the photo and press the “scan” button. We just accept the result. With so many scanners on the market and many of them the all in one scanner printer copier type, its difficult to know that the scan you have just made is the best you can get.

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I’m going to discuss some issues with scanners that Ive come across. You can then look out for these and if possible avoid them when you make a scan.

Below you will find visual examples of the problems i see when images are sent to me. You can use these to check your scans to unsure they are suitable for restoration.

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Any photo restoration is only going to be as good as the digital file that is provided. This is normally a scan of photograph or negative. Scanning prints can result in may problems that a lot of us dont even see.

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  • Tram lines
  • Broad tram lines or light banding
  • Out of focus upper or lower area of the photo
  • Out of focus areas
  • Details all smeary or blocky
  • Sparkly edges
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Tram lines.

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Tramlines on a scan caused by the scanner

Tramlines on a scan caused by the scanner (simulated)

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Vertical Tram lines happen when the scanners scanning head or CCD has few dead of malfunctioning cells. This error is then carried all the way down the image but he carriage that carries the scanning head as it sweep across your image. It can also be dust blocking them or on the mirrors within the scanning mechanism. The problem can also be a calibration strip issue. Each scanner has a white strip is uses to calibrate the sensor, if its dirty then the calibration will cause some cells to respond incorrectly and cause the lines down the page. Lastly it could be a defection sensor.

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Its perfectly possible that the image may have tram lines on it. These are normally caused by the negative processing. When the negative rolls are cleaned of washing fluid with a squeegee, grit can cause long scratch marks down the full length of the film. Similarly it can happen when washing and cleaning prints.

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Sending a scan with tram lines for restoration is no too serious as they can be removed. Obviously a clean image with no tram lines is best. Where there is time taken to remove damage there is cost so its imperative we get the scan right.

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Light Banding

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scanning problems, light banding on a scanned photo

scanning problems, light banding on a scanned photo (simulated)

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Horizontal light banding is caused by the scanning light flickering, due to faulty power delivery, loose scanning carriage or worn cogs on the carriage mechanism. You could try contacting your technical support to see what they suggest for correcting this. It is more than likely it would be cheaper in the long run to buy a new scanner. Particularity if you have many images to scan.

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Out of focus upper or lower area or patchy focus.

Scanning Problem: Upper half of scanned photo out of focus

Scanning Problem: Upper half of scanned photo out of focus (simulated)

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In this image the upper half of the photo is out of focus. For comparison the left image is in focus. This is normally caused by the image not being flay on the scanner bed. Ensure your image is flat and not jogged when the scanning is in motion. If needed add a book to weight the lid down to ensure the photo is flat. Similarly its possible that sections of the image appear out of focus due to a bowed or wrinkled image. Adding a book will help here too.

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Details all smeary or blocky

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Scanned and saved image, Blocky, low compression JPEG or PDF

Scanned and saved image, Blocky, low compression JPEG or PDF

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When your image is saved after scanning it can sometimes look like this. Details are smeared and blocky. To some that’s normal for their scanner and they cannot see what the problem is. PDF or low compression save options are often the cause. See this post on file compression and saving which should help.

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Sparkly Edges

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Scanning problems, sparkly edges

Scanning problems, sparkly edges

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Sparkly edges are caused by over sharpening by cheap all in one printer scanner copiers. This is most likely a combined result of a cheap scanning head and over sharpening of the edges within the image. This is in an effort to compensate for the lack of clarity produced by the scanner.

To conclude, there are many but subtle problems you could see on your saved scan result. The above addresses some of the most common. Please check your scans carefully before considering a photo restoration. After all if your scanner had introduced these issues and it make the restoration harder and more expensive, neither of us want that! As always, I’m looking out for you, to help me, get you the best possible result.

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