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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

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  #31  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:02 AM
Matilda Matilda is offline
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

I have found the best solution to a sticky residue on pics & even some unidentifiable marks is eucalyptus oil applied gently with cotton wool, be careful not to rub very hard as you could remove the top layer of the photo. Leave the photo out for a few minutes to evaporate the last of the oil & if the eucalyptus oil doesn't work you can buy "Scotch 700 adhesive cleaner and solvent" also works beautifully.
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  #32  
Old 11-10-2011, 05:18 AM
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

First rule prior to attempting any cleaning is to make the best copy you can. This is your fallback position should your cleaning attempts damage the photograph, which is highly likely depending on age and condition of the original if incorrect cleaning solutions used.

Personally I would not be too happy about using oils or solvents. While they could well remove the stain/residue there is a danger that the emulsion could be affected by their actions. This may not be immediately apparent but could result in emulsion breaking down or worse stains appearing over time. I have even used lemon/orange juice (from the fruit direct!) to remove glue stains, but only on something I was prepared to discard. Of course if you intend to discard the original and rely on the digital copy only then the worry of this occurring is less important.

One of the safer products designed specifically for photographic emulsion cleaning is PEC-12 INFO HERE. I would try this first in preference to other methods.

Last edited by Tony W; 11-10-2011 at 05:30 AM. Reason: adjusted URL
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  #33  
Old 11-12-2011, 10:09 PM
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csuebele csuebele is offline
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

Not sure if this fits here, as it's not a way to fix a damaged image, but with images that have silvering, I use cross polarization (polarized filter on the lights and over the lens) when copying the photo - no digital retouching here. Here's a sample.
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  #34  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:14 PM
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

That is a very nice example csuebele. I have not used this technique since copying art work years ago. I had forgotten how effective it can be.

Although only small size here and difficult to judge the dark detail in the lower part of the image is fantastic
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2011, 04:03 PM
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

Thanks, Tony. The exposure can be increased to get the detail in the dark areas, providing it's there in the first place, but the cross polarizer pretty much eliminate the silvering problem. It also works very well with tintypes in reducing unwanted glare.
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  #36  
Old 12-09-2011, 06:55 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

that's brilliant, csuebele. thanks for that one
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  #37  
Old 01-27-2012, 08:57 PM
Gramurarts Gramurarts is offline
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

As there seems to be interest in the old ways of restoring photographs here is my experience.
I have been doing photo restorations for museums since the early 70's. In the early days the copy negative was the most important part of the restoration. We would make copies on either 4X5 or 8X10 negatives, depending on the size of the final print, or the value of the subject matter. There were many different films we could choose from and that would depend on the condition of the original print. Also the contrast was controlled through development. Shorter exposure times and longer development for more contrast. Filters on the lens were used to remove stains from the original. There would be an initial negative taken and if the photograph was in physically good condition the original would be rewashed to remove any dirt, then the work negative would be taken. It would be cleaned up with spotting dyes or etching out areas on the negative. After that a work print was made. It would go to the retouch artists who would mainly use dyes and spotting brushes to cleanup the image. Occasionally they would be airbrushed with dyes, to fill in areas that were missing. These were all of historical value and we would be responsible to just bring it back to as close as possible to the original. From a single glass plate we could make an 7' by usually 10' print Yes we also restored from many glass negatives, but that is another story. Hope you find that interesting.
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  #38  
Old 05-11-2012, 05:46 AM
nancywilliams nancywilliams is offline
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

If condition of damaged photo is just like the surface may peel away and unable to clean , this happend if the pic was wet for a long time., so how to work on it.
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  #39  
Old 05-18-2012, 02:20 AM
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

thanks, gramurarts! very interesting info and welcome to RP! feel free to post any more data like that in here.
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  #40  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:23 AM
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Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

I have really enjoyed reading about how photos used to be restored pre photoshop. Has anyone had any experience with a Grumbacker Gamma Retouch kit? I have recently been given a second hand kit......quite and appropriate present for a photo restorer!!
I believe these kits may have had some supporting booklets with them as I saw one for sale on ebay with these booklets.....mine has lost its booklets, print cleaner,brush and white paint. Mine was obviously used on sepia and black and white photos - and is water based as opposed to oil based. Seeing the size of the brushes from photos of these kits I have found on the net makes me appreciate the skill and steady hand that must have been required to paint out photographic imperfections .I would just like to know a little more about whether these paints were just used for photos or whether they were used on negatives as well.
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