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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Impossible restoration

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2004, 06:25 PM
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Hankster65 Hankster65 is offline
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Impossible restoration

I've been away from restoration for awhile (been concentrating on photography) but still occasionally dabble. Yesterday a friend brought me this image and asked if I could restore it for an elderly friend of hers. Seems the young fellow pictured was very dear to her "many, many years ago." She has kept this image all those years. Apparently its an old tintype. I know virtually nothing about old photographic media, but, it seems to be made from tin so this my assumption. Its very bent up which makes getting a good scan all the more difficult. (No way am I going to attempt straightening it!)

Anyway, this image is VERY dark. Its only about an inch wide and with the naked eye you can barely discern that it is a picture of a person. After a levels adjustment I was horrified to see cracks, cracks, and more cracks. I'm thinking all I can do is levels and some very basic restoration and print it.

Posting it here in case there have been some incredible breakthroughs in technique since I've been away, but, mostly because I thought folks here might find it interesting.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:55 AM
Xaran Xaran is offline
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Can you post a larger copy of the full image, having the close up in the same file means we get less of the full image to work on.

Christine
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Old 05-18-2004, 01:25 AM
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Take a photo of it under natural diffused light with a digital camera - or find someone to do it for you. You will be amazed at the difference. Bracket your exposures as you will need 1 to 2 stops more exposure than incident or grey card meter readings will give you.

Roger
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:03 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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I think the camera idea is the best, would use double polorized light instead of the diffused, as it appears that there is some silvering in the image.

Mike
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:19 PM
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What the heck, I gave it a shot.

I took a shot at this while listening to Hannity and Colmes tonight. Don't know how much quality you pro's can get out of this, but this took about 30 minutes.
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:03 PM
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Hankster65 Hankster65 is offline
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Thanks!

I really appreciate the input from everyone! This forum is the greatest.

I had a little time today to shoot a digital pic of it and I think that may, in fact, be the best way to go. I hadn't thought of trying that. I need to play a little with getting the light right.

Christine, I'll be glad to post a better sample of it. I just scanned this site's FAQ and didn't see what file size limitations there are now. Hope this one is OK.

Fritter12, that's a great shot at it! I'm very impressed. Maybe there is some hope for this shot afterall. Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:06 PM
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I agree that double polarizing is the best way to go, but if you don't have those resources availible to you, difused is a good second choice and will be way better than scanning. Try a black card with a hole cut in it for the lens to stick through to minimize reflections if there is any. Or in stead of a black card do it 4 or 5 feet in from a window which just sees sky so that what is above/behind the camera is a lot darker than the light source to minimize reflections. In this lower light you will need to use a tripod or use a table to steady the camera => push a table up against a wall, lean the photo agaist the wall, set the camera on the table at an appropriate distance, focus, push down on the camera and squeeze the shutter release slowly or use the self timer.

Roger
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:15 PM
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Hi Tim,

We cross posted. That looks good, try more exposure on the camera (you will get less noise with more exposure in the camera instead of lightening it up in Photoshop) and blocking more light coming from the cameras direction. Maybe take a flashlight and move it around to determine the angles that need to be blocked - it is hard to see since the original is so dark and the reflections are subtle until the increase in exposure makes everthing too easy to see.

Roger
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:15 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Tim,

I'm sure you solved your problem with Roger's advice and tips ... I wish I had the know-how to correct problems from the very beginning!!!

...But just for fun ... I had to try the 'impossible restoration' ....

It involved a rather long restoration 'procedure' .... so .... it might not be worthwhile if you are doing this professionally .... but it's not 'impossible' ...

P.S. I restored the young man's head only ... didn't touch anything else.

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Old 05-19-2004, 02:53 PM
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Flora, You Did It Again

Outstanding!

Alan
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