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Mirroring Or Mold?

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  • Mirroring Or Mold?

    The thread "Metallic Glow?" was very timely and the help offered there is terrific, but I'm stuck on something.
    I'm currently working on this photo.

    First a little history of this photo in case it may help:

    This photo was taken in 1929 along with her sister (I finished working on that one and it was a breeze) but instead of a typical photograph at the time (black and white w/ sephia toning?) she opted for a "Glamour shot" of the photo. Which included hand coloring of the dress, cheek blushing, and the coloring of the sky in the background WITH sephia toning. Very fascinating photo...anyway..

    Most of it appears to have Mold damage of some form or another. But then I spotted the images below the bench on the left side. It seems to be "greying." and it seems to occuring in a fairly regularly edged spots of sorts. It seems to start at the left knee, down across the bench to the left and jags towards the pillow and up towards the knee again.

    I've tried using the techniques described in the "Mirroring" thread involoving inverting the image. But I can't get the blasted discoloration to go away? Any suggestions?


    Attached Files

  • #2
    Did you try selecting the area with a soft selection and use the eye dropper to pick up the color then create a new layer in color mode and fill the area with the color you sampled? Then adjust the opacity to blend in and use a layer mask to clean up any over/under painting. Don't know if it will work or not but it's worth a try.

    I can see the discoloration at the far right side from the bench down but I'm not so sure I see clearly what you are talking about on the left around her knee down.


    • #3
      Rick, From looking at the photo it appears likely that what you are seeing is either (1) sulfiding deterioration caused by overused fixing bath or (2)thiosulfate contamination of the print perhaps by the print being stacked in the wash water or handled by someone with hypo on their hands during processing. Depending on whether the tint was a pigment or dye based product would also affect its stability but due to the spotty nature of the problem, I kinda doubt the problem lies with the coloring medium. It really looks like a processing problem--actually not uncommon in the older photos. Dj's suggestion for the fix is what I would do. Thats a wonderful photo, by the way! The detail is simply grand! Tom


      • #4
        DJ: Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a shot later on tonight.

        I didn't initially notice the "defects" until I was zoomed in on the picture and I had to ask my customer for the photo back as a reference photo. Did'nt know if it was a bad scan, a problem with the original photo, or just plain bad eyesight.

        In my scan, you can definitely see the black and white "border" along the bench, I don't think you can really tell until you're watching it under a higher resolution.
        there you will see a copy at a higher resolution.

        The far bottom right corner you are refering to, I determined was an issue from the original photographer/development process but I will try to correct that as much as I can.

        I think it's an awesome photo. I never dealt with one that had this kind of work on it previously. when I saw it I was totally tickled pink when I saw it. (If you knew me in real life, you'd know how rare that is)

        I just wish I can have the actual physical photo to pass around. It's an awesome sample and a good bit of history around it.




        • #5
          Rick & Dj, The discoloration at the lower right from the bench down is typical of sulfide deterioration, most likely from the development process in using exhausted fixer. The blotching also typically goes along with that type of deterioration. To retard further deterioration the print should be stored in a buffered storage sleeve, humidity around30-40%, temp should not exceed 65 degrees and display should be limited. Unfortunatly, at present I am not aware of any way to halt the deterioration as it is due to the gradual accumulation of silver sulfide from the print itsself, due again, to the sulfur from the developing process. I would suggest making a hi-res scan , keep it original and save it to CD. Eventually, barring some magic bullet, the photo will turn a reddish color and image data fade away. Rick, When I first saw the image, I was enthralled! The amount of detail, right down to the beaded purse is awesome!! That photo is a treasure trove of 1920's data!! Thank you for sharing it!! Think I'll go back to your post now and just stare at it a while! Tom
          Last edited by thomasgeorge; 10-25-2001, 07:30 AM.


          • #6
            Hey Rick
            I liked your cereal box. However the photo wasn't there. Only the one of the sister.


            • #7

              That's a great photo! Any chance of submitting it to the archives? It's a winner.



              • #8
                Got to admit you sure are a great source of information on the developing processes used. I will definately use you as a consultant in the future. Hope your fees arn't too high.


                • #9
                  Bale of hay and a bucket of oats is the usual charge. Tom


                  • #10
                    let me add my voice to the chorus - those are some great photos. the other sister didn't opt for the "make-up" etc, i take it?

                    and i like the cereal box too. makes me remember i haven't eaten yet. you might have a promising second career selling cereal.


                    • #11
                      Actually, I totally forgotten that cereal box was on there. It's one of me when I actually went to Battle creek on some Kellogg Business. But it's an excellent conversation piece. (I still have 3 more boxes that I keep at home and at the office)

                      Kath: You're right, the other sister wasn't "Flamboyant" like her sister was and simply wanted a simple photo, which I also fell in love with.

                      Ed: I will ask her if she wants me to rescan it and submit it as much. I think it's an absolutely marvelous photo and an excellent example of the techniques that they had at the time.

                      and I did a mental oops, I will go ahead and put in the photo up there later tonight and let you know when it's up there.



                      • #12
                        Hi all...

                        To those that is interested in the full sized "One sister" feel free to take a peek. I uploaded it in the highest resolution that Yahoo would allow me.
                        Be forewarned, it's a doozy.


                        Regards, all


                        <I'm looking for a few pennies. >


                        • #13
                          Well, I finally got around to finishing that particular photo:

                          I do appreciate the tips a great deal, thanks.

                          You can find the photo at:


                          Regards and thanks for the suggestions.



                          • #14
                            Looks like an excellent restoration to me Rick. I know they will be very satisfied with it.


                            • #15

                              How 'bout attaching a copy here, so posterity can appreciate it even if that link dies?

                              Good work, btw
                              Learn by teaching
                              Take responsibility for learning


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