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Historical Stuff;Necessary or Not

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  • Historical Stuff;Necessary or Not

    How importiant do you think it is for a Restoration artist to be well grounded in historical aspects of photography, clothing styles, general social stuff covering the period of the 1840's thru the 1920's or so? Is a knowledge of such things a necessary "knowledge base" or just a waste of time? Why? Tom

  • #2
    I'm not sure how much of it would be "necessary", but I think a certain amount *is*. Learning something is *never* a waste of time! IMHO, the more you know about things like that, the better you are able to serve your customers in the fashion (no pun intended) they deserve. If you don't know about a certain aspect, and you need to in order to do a good job for the client, you will have to do some investigating to have your questions answered. And when it comes to photographic images, if you don't know something about the processes, you might get yourself in deep trouble simply by handling it in the wrong way. Another reason to be knowledgeable is that when you speak with a client, you will come across as a professional, and not just a guy trying to make a quick buck. I think educating the customer about the process of the restoration is always a big plus for both you and the customer too.

    Last edited by Ed_L; 10-29-2001, 11:02 PM.


    • #3
      when I get a picture from a customer if the clothing has been damaged in the photo beyond repair, then I'll let the customer know that I need to replace a shirt, jacket etc. I'll ask when the photo was taken or an approximate age and then seek out the fashion for that era.

      Generally a lot of the photos I've worked on the clothing seems to be the only things that's not's usually missing arms, legs or parts of the face.

      I also look at hairstyles for that period if there is a problem where the hair is missing.

      I think it's important to replace a damaged part with something in that same time wouldn't put a page boy haircut on a grandmother.


      • #4
        Well, restoring a photo from the early 1900s with 2000 clothing wouldn't fit, so a certain knowledge of the styles then would help but to make a study of it, I don't think that is necessary.
        True knowledge is not measured in what you know but knowing where to find the answers to what you don't know.
        So I would probably wait til the time comes when I need to do some research and continue from there rather than make a general study of all periods in case I get them someday. Actually I think we generally do have a fairly good idea of when a photo was thaken by the clothing styles already, if you think about it. I do agree that keeping to the period with the exception of maybe coloring photos per client request, enhances the quality of the restoration.


        • #5
          Over the past couple of years I have had many restorations with the same problems. So to learn more about the styles and fashions of the times I have built up a small collections of cabnet photos from the period which I find a great help. I am able to use these photos as a reference when the original gives me very little help. I bought a lot of the photos from Ebay just as a tool for restoration but have become very interested in them as a consequence.


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