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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Restoration philosophy

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2010, 06:56 PM
R9jackson R9jackson is offline
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Restoration philosophy

I'm fairly new to restoration and have a few clients that are happy with my work. I have usually been finishing the restorations in a sepia or antique style. My question is, what is the standard: try to restore the photo to it's original look, or finish it as though it is an older photograph with clean up and aged appropriately? What if the original photo was a glossy black and white?

Maybe there are resources here on RetouchPro or there may be other web sites that discuss best practices. I would also be interested in good books to acquire about restorations.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:21 AM
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4personnen 4personnen is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

I will not answer directly to your question...I am a fan of old photographs. I gather them in boot sales, yards sales, attics etc...and of course some are coming from my own family. Seeing all these old things, mainly from the 50's/60's - some older, many of them are printed on glossy or textured paper with a pretty accurate sharp real black and white - not sepia (at least in France and GB), most of them are tiny which make them look sharper than they actually are, If you enlarge them, you must keep that sharpness (as long as it's not damaging too much the image). They are "better" than what many people may expect of an old photograph. So I'd say, and unless the customer say differently, keep them the way they are... But just my opinion....

PS: My best advice for books is Katryn Eismann
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photoshop-Re...1033567&sr=8-1

In a sense she owns the market...

Last edited by 4personnen; 11-29-2010 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:19 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

When you speak of "old" photos from the 50's and 60's you are of course referring to 1850's and 1860's? As one who started in this field in the late 1950's work from the 1950's and 1960's is not considered old, just middle aged, maybe.......

When I do this kind of work I find that customers can become upset if the copy does not resemble the originals color to some extent. If the original was old and had the sepia tone look weather intentional or just due to aging, then the copy also should have that sepia tone look. If I made the copy just black and white they usually did not like it. So I always gave them the option to either get it back black and white or I would sepia tone it for just a small additional charge.

I really do not know why they reacted to the color change so much but they did.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:17 PM
R9jackson R9jackson is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

That has been my experience too. The customers seem to want at least a little sepia or antique look even though the true original may have been black and white. I am also doing some restoration work for a historical society and they seem to want the original look.

I have just ordered Katrin Eismann's book "Adobe Photoshop Restoration and Retouching (3rd Edition)" and Ctein's book "Digital Restoration from Start to Finish, Second Edition". I already had Mark Fitzgerald's book "Adobe Photoshop CS5 Restoration and Retouching For Digital Photographers Only. The Eismann book was done in 2006 so it does use earlier versions of Photoshop, but I have found that each book has their own tidbits of information that you would miss if you didn't look at all of them.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:06 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

restore = to return to the original state. all too often i see folks do some fairly oddball things to 'restorations'. if a customer wants a restoration, make sure they understand you are going to take it back to its original condition... as best you can. if they want toning or detoning or 'enhancements', well, of course you'll do that, but it's an extra charge
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:56 AM
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4personnen 4personnen is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
When you speak of "old" photos from the 50's and 60's you are of course referring to 1850's and 1860's? As one who started in this field in the late 1950's work from the 1950's and 1960's is not considered old, just middle aged, maybe.......

I was talking about 1950's, but The "old" term differs from one person to another, and just sometimes one " culture " to another. In France, for instance, I had to deal with late 1800's/early 1900's photographs, and it's quite common, even if they're already are reproductions, done the old way. Here in England I find that people usually throw away their "rubbish" more easily when changing homes. Homes are not things that goes from generation to generation, it's more an investment on retirement here.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:44 PM
TPF TPF is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin View Post
restore = to return to the original state. all too often i see folks do some fairly oddball things to 'restorations'. if a customer wants a restoration, make sure they understand you are going to take it back to its original condition... as best you can. if they want toning or detoning or 'enhancements', well, of course you'll do that, but it's an extra charge
A good point. A lot of customers actually want a restore/retouch, rather than just a restore. Pays to get some clear direction up front.

If you don't have decent instructions I usually do a restore and retouch anything abviously wrong and then give the watermarked version to the customer for perusal. I have found that a lot of customers do not really know exactly what they want....but they always know what they don't like. So if you have made it too dark/light etc they can pick up on that and direct you that way.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:01 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

Quote:
....but they always know what they don't like.
hehe, good point
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2010, 07:41 AM
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SimonS SimonS is offline
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Re: Restoration philosophy

I generally restore & retouch. I find it essential to convert to greyscale when doing colourisations, else things get messy. Although I do always ask if they want the sepia style retained
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