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Need Help Restoring Old Photo

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Old 07-05-2011, 04:38 PM
aldago aldago is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Need Help Restoring Old Photo

I have attached two photos: an original that I scanned into my computer and an edited version in which I simply adjusted the brightness and contrast of the original. The original is over 50 years old and was undisturbed in a box with other photos. There seems to be something clinging to the surface of the photograph and I was wondering if there is some bath I could use that might remove some of the material (which might be black mold) without destroying the underlying picture. The material does not brush off. I'm new to photographic restoration and need all the help I can get. I scanned the original as a 600 BPI tiff. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg N&A edited (453 x 600).jpg (98.0 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg Norm&Arnie1.jpg (48.5 KB, 78 views)
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:46 PM
John Wheeler's Avatar
John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
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Posts: 559
Re: Need Help Restoring Old Photo

HI Aldago

IMHO using chemicals on an original negative/print needs to be done with extreme care and only after the best possible scans have been done (since the original could be destroyed in the process).

Here is a link to an article about removing fungus/mold from film and prints from Kodak in 2002:

Do note their cautions in this PDF file in particular not using a chemical with any water content.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:49 AM
Tony W's Avatar
Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: Need Help Restoring Old Photo

John is correct wet cleaning of any type is potentially fraught with dangers and the physical act of cleaning could possibly remove the fungus along with the emulsion - but you will have a nice clean background with no image .

It is also possible that the emulsion has been attacked/eaten and therefore is no longer there so cleaning may have no benefits.

If the image is of great sentimental value then perhaps consider the services of a specialist in this area to clean up as much as possible.

If want to try yourself and are prepared to risk damage then the first thing is to make the very best scan of the original as it is now - this is your backup in case of disaster!
One waterless based system that most rec. is Pec-12 which is available as liquid and swabs. Probably one of the safest ways to attempt a 'wet clean' Link to info.
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