“You just Photoshop it, right? ” What no photo restoration magic button? It may come as a surprise to some but there is no such button. No matter how much you spend on software or hardware there is no quick fix for a damaged photo.
When a photo is restored or retouched a lot of work and time is consumed in creating the final piece. There is no button on the keyboard to “restore a photo” and no quick fixes.
It’s possible to forget this in the excitement of discovering someone who can help with your photo. You have finally found someone who can help to remove the stains, creases and bad fades, which is awesome as “they can just Photoshop it”. Sure they can but that phrase carries a lot of misunderstanding of the process and time that go on behind the scenes of a photo restoration. Adding colour to an old photo can take a long time to do and if this magic button existed there would be a lot more colouring done as the cost would go down dramatically. Removing scratches and tears and restoring badly uneven faded areas also take considerable time.
Spare a thought to how much work is put in before casting that phrase “they can just Photoshop it” as it is not a button that is pushed to restore a photo but much time and effort. If a request is made to heavily alter a photo after the instructed edits have been performed and it is different from the initial concept, once again it is not a simple fix. More time and effort has to be invested in this. If it was not in an initial quote then don’t be surprised for the job to cost more. Phrases such as “just move him over a bit” or “replace the background” or “add a bit of colour” come with little understanding for the time and cost involved.
The “just move him over a bit” is the most frequently miss-understood.
To move someone over in scene requires:-
- Cutting out the person onto a new layer. This task alone is tricky particularly if there is wispy hair to cut around, or the figure is blended with the background.
- Fill in the hole that is left behind. There is nothing left in the space when you cut something out. The contents of the scene are missing. The lawnmower that was behind the figure needs rebuilding or replacing, the flowers on the borders need extending to fill the space. Whatever should be behind the figure needs reconstructing.
- Delete the shadow of the person. Again this means recreating details over the shadow to remove it.
- Blending the figure back in. The person then needs to be re-blended into the scene ensuring the lighting and shadows are recreated to match.
The amount of work involved is extensive as you can now understand.
So please, if the price quoted sounds like a lot to you, rethink what it means to “photoshop it” and what is involved. Read How much does photo restoration cost for pricing information.