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

Removing Photos Stuck to Glass

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Old 08-12-2004, 07:24 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I'd be a little hesitant to use it on a photo. I use it to soak saw blades in when they become heavy with residue from cutting wood. That stuff gets hard as a rock! And Simple Green does a good job of loosening it for cleaning! Oven cleaner is the other option, and you know how bad that stuff is. Don't forget that even if you use it for a quick dip, there is always a good chance that at a later date, some unwanted effects will show up.

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Old 08-14-2004, 04:22 AM
Howie Howie is offline
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I guess I should have been more specfic, all you need is a couple of drops of simple green to change the surface tension.Making water wetter.
There are many uses for products that aren't labled , for instance coca cola does a great job of cleaning car battery terminals
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Old 08-14-2004, 10:59 AM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Let the Good Times Roll!

"There are many uses for products that aren't labled , for instance coca cola does a great job of cleaning car battery terminals"

Ouch! Of such ideas are born the reason for ER's in hospitals and for Photo Conservators who specialize in Disaster Recovery!

Jim Conway
Timemark Photo Conservators
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:03 AM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Seriously though. The coke thing. All you do is pour a little on the cable connectoins on the top of the battery. I have always heard that its the acid and carbonation in the coke helps to dislodge buildup from the connectors.
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Old 10-20-2004, 03:53 PM
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vinniesworld vinniesworld is offline
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I just got a picture today that the glass was broken in several pieces with the pic stuck. Do you think that using a razor blade to scrap the glass would work?
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:36 AM
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gympy gympy is offline
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broken glass bonded photo to glass.

hi all

i just got a freelance offer to retouch a photo.
it's about 35 years old i'm guessing.
the glass is smashed and the photo is bonded to the glass fragments.
i have been reading your ideas on this forum and another.
link above
i like the steaming idea
[ok scan first!]
and i was even thinking of freezing it in the icebox and than trying to remove it from the glass with a razor than immediately.
photoflo looks likes the best bet from the sound of these forums!
the q-tip idea is a must too.
i have a friend who has a frame shop
duda studios in breaksville ohio
he has tried all these ideas and never liked the results.
so he scans the photo with the glass and does his retouch from there.
but his one suggestion was to
" I have a self focusing
scanner that will adjust for the thickness of the
glass to get a perfectly clear scan. Let me know if
you want that.'
his words
so i will take this photo to school tri-c west community college in parma ohio and see what the guys in scientic imaging say and also take it ovr to the photography department and see what they say.
i will get back to you folks on there ideas!
i'm not a photographer so i don't know about different papers and chemicals.
but the photo i'm retouching has many stains and i think that using water to soke it will only spread the stains [very fast i'm guessing]
if i could just get some of the part of this photo out from the cracks of glass clean it would make my photo retouch attempt much easyer.
sense my drawing or painting skills in photoshop are lacking, i really need to just do color adjustments and cloning and healing tool on this black&white photo.
i'll attach this photo.[i changed the mode to black&white in ps because the stained give it a sepia look, i will give it a sepia look when i'm done i believe.]
i blew up the girl's head because i wasn't sure i could even see a face, but i can. to bad her hair is messed up, looks like a paint job ugh!
photo retouch section of my website her
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:41 AM
Ckparker Ckparker is offline
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Normal I use photoflo or I scan the picture and make a new. But I have a new one, the picture is a signed photo by a baseball player. And the glass is Broke they want me to get it off without damaging the picture and writing. I was wandering if steaming it would work. What do you think?
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:31 PM
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gympy gympy is offline
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photo stuck on glass!

your idea of steaming sounds good.
be careful not to burn or damage the main part of your foto.
sometime the emation is just destoyed and you need to just retouch!
good luck
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:59 PM
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Sally Jacobs Sally Jacobs is offline
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Re: Removing Photos Stuck to Glass

A simple tool that can help remove stuck photos is a microspatula. They are available from archival suppliers, conservation suppliers, and dental supply companies.

Sorry to be a stick in the mud, but I feel compelled to inject a cautionary note to this discussion: As an archivist trained in preservation (tho' not a conservator by any means) I have to advise against radical methods like steaming, freezing, and (yes!) even soaking. If you feel these measures are absolutely necessary, please try to create a copy first.

Also, a question....

As an archivist, I make a distinction between the informational value of a photograph (the image it contains) and its artifactual value (the thing itself). Do you find that clients want glass removed because they're attached to the original photograph? Or is this just a necessary step before you can get a decent copy of it?

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:09 PM
Joe Townsend Joe Townsend is offline
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Smile Re: Removing Photos Stuck to Glass

I am facing a potential job where flooding caused a number of photos to stick together in piles of up to 10 photos, so I have been reading this forum with great interest.

The discussions about removing a photo from glass, with the questions as to whether the image or the artifact itself are of value caught my eye. I have successfully restored a couple of photos by scanning the damaged item, glass and all. The images here show a snapshot of great value to the customer. There was some additional work in dealing with discolorization, but it was probably offset by the time it would have taken to complete the removal. The resorted photo brought great satisfaction to all.
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