RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > History, Conservation, and Repair
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

The Restorer's Responsibility

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-27-2005, 12:12 PM
lilsip's Avatar
lilsip lilsip is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 44
Question The Restorer's Responsibility

I recently attended a lecture on civil war-era photography, excited at the possibility of meeting people who need restoration work done. I was terribly disappointed, however, when the speaker (a historian) answered questions about restoring old photographs.

Basically, she said (1)That old photographs of any sort should only be handled/scanned once every two years (that is one scan- no more), or they will be ruined.
(2) That one should never use a "cheap" scanner. Not sure what qualifies here.
(3) That doing anything more than a simple curves adjustment would be historically irresponsible, as you might alter the truth of the image.

Now I feel that not everyone can afford to pay a restorer who owns a thousand-dollar scanner. I also feel that these images could be lost forever if they sit untouched for fear of "ruining" them, but they could be saved through the wonder of modern technology.

Has anyone else run into this kind of purist attitude? What are your opinions?
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 05-27-2005, 12:19 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
It's a matter of perspective, I guess. I can see their concern about the scanning, considering they're looking at hundreds of years in the future and a scanner is very bright. I guess they idea of using a highquality scanner is so it doesn't need to be rescanned later on because of a poor-quality scan.

And I can see their POV about historical accuracy. However, for most restoration work I don't think accuracy is particularly important, as they're usually done for sentimental reasons instead of academic rigor.
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 05-27-2005, 02:17 PM
byRo's Avatar
byRo byRo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Goianésia, Brazil
Posts: 1,609
We had a little discussion in this thread (after post #17) that you may find interesting.
Basically, it's the customer's call - not yours.

For pure historical accuracy, it's true that just about anything you do (outside the simplest level adjustment) will alter the image in some way.

But for most old-photo-I-found-of-Grandma-in-the-attic type work the customer will want a picture that looks like it was taken yesterday, and won't accept you leaving a bit undone because you couldn't be certain if the shoe had laces or not!

...and Welcome to RetouchPro

Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 05-27-2005, 03:05 PM
Jaime Jaime is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 70
I think this issue is an open question (at what point the restoration must be stopped?) not only for photography, but also for other arts like painting. In the last years, the restoration of some of the masterpieces (with the recover of some unexpected vibrant colors) has been a matter of discussion in the academic world. For some of the purists, this type of restorations goes further beyond of what a true restoration must be (apparently they want to preserve at some level the damage caused by the natural age).
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 05-27-2005, 03:38 PM
lilsip's Avatar
lilsip lilsip is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 44
Cool Context

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Richardson
My only comment here, is that the guidelines from Jaime's link refer to archival images, where the motives for restoring may not be the motives of a client.

Context is all. An archival picture is a historical document, and retaining its integrity is of prime importance. Whereas a restoration done for a client may not have to stick so rigidly to such guidelines.
This clears up a lot for me. Thanks, Ro!
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 05-28-2005, 11:15 PM
lilsip's Avatar
lilsip lilsip is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 44
Scanner Update

Ha! That lady had no idea what she was talking about when she said you needed an expensive scanner. Here's a quote I found while browsing the hardware forum...

"WHAT SORT OF SCANNER DO YOU NEED?

We need to ask ourselves two important questions:

1.) What do you want to scan?

a.) Prints: This is easy: just get the cheapest flatbed scanner you can find, and if you want quality, just pick up the cheapest EPSON you can find. See about the middle of this page where I suggest the current one. Even the cheapest flatbeds FOUR times the resolution you need. You are lucky, I probably just saved you a few hundred dollars."
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 05-29-2005, 12:01 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
There's a lot more differentiation in print scanners than just resolution. In fact, as implied by your quoted post, resolution is the least common denominator nowadays. But there's also noise, mechanical distortion, color accuracy, calibration, dmax, sweet spot, bit depth, and more.
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 05-29-2005, 03:16 PM
lilsip's Avatar
lilsip lilsip is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 44
Cool Scanner Info

Thanks! I didn't know anything about those factors, and I'll be sure to look up some info on that.
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 06-07-2005, 02:29 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 8,786
Blog Entries: 4
doug is quite right; resolution isnt the biggie any more. scan lines are the biggie for me these days. my current one will often show up scan lines and i'm currently rethinking the whole scanner issue. at first, i thought it was the paper, but under magnification there are no such lines or grain in the print. it's the scanner, plain and simple. the scanner is a cheapie, a sort of testing the waters purchase, and looking back i wish i'd taken more time in looking before buying.

K.
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > History, Conservation, and Repair


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Every restorer's most important tool Doug Nelson Salon 27 11-13-2002 11:57 AM
Cleaning originals thomasgeorge Work/Jobs 4 01-23-2002 11:57 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved