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

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Old 03-05-2004, 10:23 AM
Juliana Ross's Avatar
Juliana Ross Juliana Ross is offline
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higher learning

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any information on post secondary education, where I can further my learning on restoration/conservation.
I learned a lot of stuff along the way from the various old geezers (thier term not mine) I worked with. I still do much of my work (GASP) by hand, with a little PS for nasty stuff like compositing and airbrushing (just because I hate cutting friskett).
I would be happier than the proverbial pig in the poop to be able to do nothing but retoration and conservation work all day (call me a masochist), but I do not know what further education to pursue in furthering my career ambitions.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:50 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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I'd start by subscribing to the Photoconservation email list over at Yahoogroups. It's mostly museum folk and curators, and I'm sure most of them have been through the kind of training you're looking for. Just be aware that conservation and restoration are opposite terms.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/photoconservation
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:43 AM
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CourtneyConk.Co CourtneyConk.Co is offline
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Juliana are you looking to take classes in a particular state or what? Allot of the community colleges are incorporating restoration in their basic photoshop classes these days.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:59 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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I'd suggest reading "Photoshop Restoration and Retouching", by Katrin Eismann, first.
Find out what it is you need help with, so you can tailor your further studies to specific areas. Having some knowledge of the procedures will help out when and if, you still want to take some additional classes.
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:48 AM
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Juliana Ross Juliana Ross is offline
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ok so I guess there is no way around PS for most of the work now......call me bent but I still prefer to do as much work as I can by hand. For some reason I think it looks better......I will go and hunt through my cds and post something I did by hand

I just want to be one of those folks locked away in the back room of some museum, slowly going blind saving historical prints.....

Juliana
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:35 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Juliana, you can take those skills (that make it look better) and apply them when working in photoshop.
What, specifically, do you find "looks better"? Good retouching shouldn't be visible in either case, right?
Interesting story....I had a customer bring in his daughter's graduation picture from the 70's. It had faded and turned slightly yellow. Also, there were some strange little marks on her face. The owner had no idea what the marks were, as the portrait had never been touched or taken off the wall.
After examining the photo, it occured to me, that these marks may have been from the original hand retouching. My guess was that the image had faded but the paint (or whatever) used for the retouch, hadn't, thus leaving these little markings.

If you want to continue doing this type of work, you really should learn to do it digitally. As more and more studios, and other such places, switch to digital, you will find your manual process to be obsolete, and not marketable.
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:44 AM
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If you're looking towards museum-based, hands-on-the-physical-object work then I would look out for classes that are more focused on the conservation end of the spectrum than on restoration - that link Doug sent you would be a good place to start. There will always be a need for good conservators and that's something that can't be done digitally.
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:23 PM
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They regularly post help-wanted ads for exotic locales. But they're also looking for Phd level candidates.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:30 PM
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CourtneyConk.Co CourtneyConk.Co is offline
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Juliana, I have met many traditional retouchers, myself included, who were very fearful to make the move to digital. As much as I love spraying and pencilling a print, I also love my Wacom tablet and PS!

I hope you make the transition easily, your background and hands on skills will be a huge asset to you!!! And trust me, in PhotoShop, to undo a mistake is much easier (control Z) than cleaning off spray!!!!

Either way I wish you luck! Some of us always hope there will be a need for traditionalists one day.
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:46 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Sources for information

The A.I.C. (Conservator's Group) sponsor students from time to time ...most of these and other opportunities like them are posted on the primary conservation web site out of Stanford ...just reading through the old posts will give you a great deal of information on the profession and what is expected. Take note of the people who are posting - many of them are from colleges that offer post grad courses as well and they will for the most part be glad to assist you .... http://www.history-journals.de/lists/hjg-dis00116.html

Another one to check into is the George Eastman house for on-going courses they offer ... Photographer's Formulary also has some great summer courses if you like the wild west!

Lots of truly great sources out there - if you have the time and money!!
Hope this helps you get started.

Jim Conway, Conservator
(at 75 considered by some to be an old geezer)

An aside to Vikki - Can't agree with you at all on "obsolete" skills - traditional work is now more in demand that ever! We offer both as you know and the demand on one side continues growing while - on the other side - it's competition that is growing with what must be a thousand new sources a day jumping into the "I'm a digital retoucher" fray.

Last edited by Jim Conway; 07-17-2004 at 02:08 PM.
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