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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

How far should I go

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2008, 04:00 AM
FotoFixer FotoFixer is offline
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How far should I go

When cleaning up an old photo, such as the one I just did of my grandmother and her father, how far does it make sence to go? Scanned at 1200 dpi, I first went in three zooms and did initial cleaning, then went closer in for faces and skin. At this point, I start noticing spots around the outskirts of the faces, at this deeper level and start cleaning these and continued throughout the photo. It seems I could go deeper and deeper and continue to find more fine cracks and specks, but I wonder how deep it makes sence to go. I could select a large area, such as a splotchy sky or dark area, and blur it to get it even, but wonder if this is considered a no-no in the relm of photo restoration. Then, as I pull back to full size, I notice other things. Some of these would make the photo look better, but alters history. If I am doing restoration and not something creative, does it make sence to remove distractions caused by sunshine? How many zooms should I go relative to the dpi? Should I give greater attention to important details and spend less time on others? - Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:34 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: How far should I go

Hi FotoFixer,
Quote:
....If I am doing restoration and not something creative, does it make sence to remove distractions caused by sunshine? How many zooms should I go relative to the dpi? Should I give greater attention to important details and spend less time on others?
I know exactly how difficult it can be to say 'STOP' to oneself while deep into a restoration job!!!

But I've learned that 'Less is more'... I couldn't agree more with that and it makes me very happy that you ask yourself 'how far you can go' too! I found this The DigitalCustom-Alinari Model Ethics Guidelines .. very interesting ad useful.. hope it helps you too!
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:12 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: How far should I go

i used to struggle with this same question, and i suppose still do a bit, but, what i found was that if you print the image and DONT see those lines, dont worry about it. now, that's just a rule of thumb. there may well be cases when you shld go that extra deep step, but those instances are somewhat rare. most times, if it prints nicely, quit worrying about it
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:45 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: How far should I go

FotoFixer,
My own personal opinion is as follows:
(a) For Historical Restoration - Often you are given no guidance as the owner assumes you will restore the image to its "original" condition, as best as possible. Hence, you should not get creative, remove distractions, nor add color. Stop when comfortable that you have done all appropriate tasks to preserve the image and restore what the eye can see. For all those teeny-tiny specks, they can always be removed in the future, especially with advances in technology. No need to do it now if it does not add value. Again, you goal is to capture, preserve and recreate what is seen today, and what could be lost if the image is not restored.
(b) For Client Restoration - All aspects of the restore should be discussed with the client. You should develop a form/checklist to use for this purpose. This provides a fair estimate for both of you to decide on time spent, corrections made and cost. Whether you get creative, remove distractions or add color is up to the client.
[By the way, a similar process for family saves a lot of confusion and headache !]
(c) For Practice - you are completely on your own. I would consider whether or not you are learning anything... for instance, are you learning from removing all those tiny specks? If not, then stop. Move onto another step, or another more challenging image.

Hope this helps and good luck in the future !
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