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Tin Type - Help!!!

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2007, 02:39 PM
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sroberts sroberts is offline
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Exclamation Tin Type - Help!!!

I work at a photography studio where we get a lot of restoration projects. So far, I have been able to restore all of them pretty well. Then, today a lady came in with a tintype that seems impossible to restore. If someone could help me out... pointers or SOMETHING... I would be VERY appreciative. THANKS!


HELP!!!


http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34...27/tintype.jpg
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:07 PM
Harv21 Harv21 is offline
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

Ouch!!

What size is the original? I'm guessing fairly small.

First off I'd suggest the owner gets in touch with a reputable specialist conservator. It might be possible to pre-treat this image and then after that treatment when the image can be hi-res copied, experiment on the digi files.

From your sample image though, that's one scary looking project as stands.

Last edited by Harv21; 01-12-2007 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:26 PM
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sroberts sroberts is offline
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

it's just a little bigger than a business card (2"x3.5")

does anybody know of a reputable conservator in the u.s.?
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:31 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

sroberts, welcome to RP.

and welcome to my world i've worked on worse. and i've worked on tintypes. throw away all your filters and actions and global fix type tools. roll up your sleeves and prepare for a sistine chapel type restoration. it's the only way i've found that works well.

actually, you will use a couple global type tools. in fact, one of the first things you want is to bring out the detail more. and that generally means contrasting the lights to the darks more. and that means things like curves, levels, brightness/contrast and any other tools you might have like that. i've even resorted to the 'arithmetic' filter at times.

when you've brought out the detail by contrast, you simply start cloning. but it's cloning on a level that most probably never use. my opacity on these never goes over about 60% and that only rarely. the brush size is always small to tiny. hardness or brush edges never more than 80%. sometimes i even turn down the density. you're going to be doing a lot of meticulous work here. it's not quite bit by bit, but sometimes it's going to seem that way. you work from every direction towards the target area and overlap a lot. you ALWAYS work on a blank layer and set your brush to 'use all layers'.

also, it's a VERY good idea to enlarge the image on these. yours is currently 523 x 800. i'd double that at least. you also want to work in rgb 8 bit per channel, not grayscale! grayscale limits what you can use too much.

you also want to be something of an artist. you often have to re-build missing detail. you dont need to be a top-notch one, necessarily, but you do want a smattering of facial structure, shadows and lighting and so on.

the main trick is in NOT destroying the limited detail that is there while at the same time removing the damage and then re-building what's missing, if possible. if it isnt possible, dont fool with it. just leave that part alone.

as for having a physical conservator look at it with the idea of cleaning it up, that's up to you and your client. just make sure you find one that knows what they're doing. tintypes are a special class of photo. and make sure you have as good a scan as you can before sending it off to someone.

it looks like an interesting job. i may work on it a bit. i actually enjoy these
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:36 PM
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

craig:

thanks for the tips... i will do my best... and try to post my finished version when im done...
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:29 AM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

Check out this thread.

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...ght=polarizing
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:20 PM
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

i've been working on this one a bit.. definitely a stinker!
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:58 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

What are your clients expectations with this picture?

They need to have some perspective on what is and isn't possible before you start, otherwise you may be doing a lot of work only to have them reject your efforts.

Good luck with this, glad its not mine. Look forward to seeing what you achieve.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:40 AM
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

basically, they have no expectations... they figure anything is better than the original. it actually belongs to my boss' sister... and i've restored a lot of her photos, but i have never worked with a tintype. i didn't even know what one was until she brought it in!!! i have actually been very busy and haven't really begun working on it... but the weekend is near and it sounds like the perfect opportunity to work on it!


thanks!!!
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:51 PM
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Re: Tin Type - Help!!!

i've worked on this a bit more. getting some definition here and there and some not. his right hand or where his right hand shld be is a bit confusing yet.

i started with a curves adjustment layer and a brightness/contrast adjustment layer. and added just a touch of clarify to heighten detail a bit. the rest is ALL clone and airbrush.

i've been working on a technique of airbrushing on a blank layer to sort of heighten what is there but without trying to remove the damage. i then clone over this, using the airbrushing to augment the cloning and to use the airbrushing as a guide, so to speak, for the cloning. so, i'm not trying to airbrush things out. just sort of using it to give a bit more definition to make the cloning easier.

i've used several blank layers on this. i work in an area and when it looks decent, i start a new layer and work on something else.

i've found it MUCH easier to handle the easier parts first. this clears up some of the mess and somewhat defines the really bad areas and makes it easier then to work on those.

i also believe there is a floral pattern on the background, which is probably a painted canvas backdrop. but, be careful on that one. there are also some stains/dirt in there that very closely resemble the leaves of the design.

there is some sort of carpet type pattern under the thing he is sitting on, which is going to take some meticulous work to preserve.

i'm also not really sure what it is he's sitting on. i've brought out some of it but it's still eluding me a bit as to what it really is and how much of it there really is.

i'm posting my progress to date.
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