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

Removal of Recent Wine Stains

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Old 06-11-2003, 07:49 AM
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sandy sandy is offline
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Question Removal of Recent Wine Stains

I don't know if anyone checks this forum anymore, but am writing in the hope that someone can offer some advice. My problem is that I have a very important photo collage (All the photos are recent, colored, glossy store-developed) and there are now wine stains throughout the photos. Is there any possible way to remove the wine without hurting the image further? Thanks so much for your help.

PS so the story of how wine got all over the photos isn't actually very shocking, a gust of wind blew some other matted photos over and into the glass, no excitement.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:42 AM
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ArtistColumbus ArtistColumbus is offline
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Location: Blacklick, Ohio (Eastside suburb of Columbus)
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Sorry to hear about the photos.

You said they were recent photos. Do you have the negatives still? You also mentioned it was a photo collage. Do you have the file saved on your computer yet? Most photo processing centers will make a print off of your CD for a couple of bucks?
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Old 06-11-2003, 01:06 PM
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sandy sandy is offline
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Re: Removal of Recent Wine Stains

Thanks for the advice. The problem is that the photos were single prints that I had collected from a variety of friends and family. Therefore I don't have negatives nor scans of the originals.
Anway, thanks and keep on representing Ohio (Cleveland here)

Anyone else have ideas? Is digital the only way? I just tried a bit of water but that jsut ate away everything of course. All the web sites that do photo repair seem very expensive.
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:24 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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I don't know how to remove wine stains, but have you tried calling a conservator - or the conservation department in a local museum or library? I found the conservation department at the Colorado State University library (local to me) very helpful when I had a conservation question for a negative that I had with tape all over it.

Hope this helps,
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Old 06-11-2003, 03:24 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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I would be sure to follow Jeanie's recommendation about calling a local conservation department in a library/museum and hoping that they will point you in the right direction.

This thread may get the attention of a conservator member, but it might take a while as they don't visit as often as some of us.

There are some good tips in the following archival thread - note those from Jim Conway, Lampy (a pro conservator), Thomasgeorge and Doug.
The stain is different, but perhaps some of the advice will help - especially if you have already talked to the conservator at your library/museum.
Thread on cleaning ink off a photo

Lastly -- can you, or a friend, scan the collage? This would be recommended before doing any attempt at cleaning by a conservator or by you, and would also give you the opportunity to try to fix the damage digitally and then re-print.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:54 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Sandy - too bad that grapes, black caps and the like are used to make dyes. In your case it's a tough one to handle and other than the usual restoration work, other "fixes" are likely to fail. That being said, here is one suggestion before you give up on "cleaning" the original.

Use fresh (distilled) water and a q-tip. Wet one of the spots for about five minutes and look at the cotton. It will be obvious if it picked up any of the color. If it did, you may be able to remove some of the stain by rewashing the prints. Unfortunately this should have been done as soon as the problem occurred but even at that point in time it may have been too late so .....

Here is Plan B. (and this is how we would probably do it here because someone would bring it to us a decade or two after the damage had been done) - Go for overpainting. Generally you can spray coat the prints and, by use a bit of light oil colors, blend the stained areas back into the surrounding areas. Once that job is done, you are back to copying it. I'm not against making scans and computer corrections, however the overpainting is often much faster if the damage is limited and not something as sever as dark red stains on peoples faces,. It can be done without unmounting the individual prints so that may be a factor as well..

Good Luck,
Jim Conway
Timemark Photo Conservators
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:49 PM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Russell Brown had/has a good PDF tutorial on fixing a red wine stain on a fine art painting in Photoshop - which was quite good. Based around capturing multi layer content with pattern/snapshots and layers in Photoshop 4.

I can't remember an online link for it though and I don't think it is at his site, but I know I have it hiding somewhere if someone really wanted it.

Sandy, is there a link you can post of the damage?

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:59 AM
longtlam longtlam is offline
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link of the pdf file for red wine stain removal in photoshop
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