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What is a "restoration"?

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  • What is a "restoration"?

    Exactly what is a restoration? Is it something that brings an item back to it's original state altogether? If you drastically improve the looks of a speciman of a long gone process digitally, is this a restoration or is it a copied renovation or simply a retouched copy version of the original? We usually don't think of this, but when you scan a photo, it is actually a copy. Is it possible that a customer could take you to court saying that he expected a restoration, and instead received a copy that had been improved? What are your thoughts on this?


  • #2
    At the risk of offending some of the fine people on here, please don't take this personally.

    To me a restoration is to bring back the moment that the photo was taken.

    I would like to go ahead and make it look like the day it came back from the printers the moment it hit the owner's hands.

    "Renovation" to me is the "liberties" that are taken with the photo in regards to the backgrounds, clothing, or floors. (the removal of people, objects, and whatnot are also included in this genre as well.)


    <tosses 2 pennies>


    • #3
      I think you are right. Restoration means to restore to original condition. Manipulation means to manipulate or alter in some fashion. Sometimes those 2 processes will merge because the original is missing vital pieces. This may repair a photo to an acceptable representation of the actual original for the personal pleasure of the customer but it is no longer a true restored copy of the original. To do that you would need a negative or at least a complete photo to copy from.


      • #4
        Excellent points all,folks. I encountered an interesting example of what you are discussing last fall when a client came to me with two photos-an original and a copy which had been restored. First he showed me the restore. A tractor of about 1928 vintage, out buildings and so on. I couldnt see anything wrong with it, clear,crisp and the Lettering on the tractor able to be read. Then the original--- Oh Boy!! Missing from the restore were a fence,plow,wood rain barrel and a few other things which were very faded and indistinct. But what stood out was the tractor. The name John Deere was very faintly visible on the original, it had become a boldly lettered "Ford" on the restore. I will now draw a curtain of silence over this "less than a kodak" moment and steal away to contemplate the incomprehensible. Tom


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