Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Restoration Process

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Restoration Process

    Okay, what are the basic steps to photo restoration?

    I’ve read a few posts and gone to a few web sites and I must admit that I am a bit confused. I know it all starts with a photo that needs restoring, and then you scan it and clean it up but then what?

    Once the photo is retouched do you just print it out or do you print it out and photograph it and the customer gets the photographed copy? I am confused because I have read posts talking about negatives, posts talking about photographing the final images and posts talking a about printing the image on quality paper, even posts talking about photographing the image before you scan it. So what is the basic process?
    Last edited by T Paul; 06-23-2002, 06:28 PM.

  • #2
    Well, lets see. First, photographing before restoration is just another way of scanning the image actually. They use digital cameras with mega pixels to get a file copy of the raw photo.

    Your out put is what you or your customer wants. Maybe they want prints from a photo finisher. In that case you need to save to disk/CD and bring it in to be printed. First find out what your local photo finishers need ie file type, size and format (zip,CD etc) Maybe you have a high end printer with archival quality prints and that is your ultimate out put. Some want digital files on CD. If you do that, never give away your PSD file. Always flatten and make a tif, or jpeg copy to put on their CD.

    As for the basic steps, each photo is unique and will need to be assesed to plot out the best plan of action. Generally you do the clean up first (cloning out damage, cutting and pasting etc) then color or tone corrections. If I want to color a photo, I usually do that toward the last. Always save your work often and when you are finally satisfied with your results do your sharpening.

    Another thing to do is keep your layers if you can and save a version of your PSD file so you can always go back and change things even if you think you are done and printed.

    Hope that gives you somewhat of what you were looking for.
    DJ

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks DJ,

      This is a field I want to explore more and I am trying to learn as much as I can.

      Comment


      • #4
        T Paul, Dj covered it very well. My usual method is to first examine the photo closely and try to determine an approx. age. Next what damage is present--stains,curling,cracking etc. Is there any writing on it-front and back. Is this writing significant to what ever is depicted in the photo or is the writing superfluous,perhaps the scribblings of child armed with some type of writing insturment. At this stage I am in contact with the customer and ask any questions I feel are necessary to get the feel of the photo. Next the scan, then the photo or negative is placed in an archival storage sleeve and either given back to the customer of stored in a fire resistant/waterproof box or safe. The scan is saved exactly as imported from the scanner. Next, pretty much what DJ said. Each photo presents different challenges so a "cookbook" approach is not either possible or advisable. Everyone develops their own technique,or "signature"if you like, which makes their work unique and thats part of the fun. There is a general outline of steps but nothing is set in stone. hope this rambling epistle is of some small help, Tom

        Comment


        • #5
          Something I feel I must add here is the importance of referring back to the original during the restoration.

          More than once I've thought I was finished and I print out my first draft. Then I realize something I thought was a component of the image was actually a flaw of some sort.

          In one case I actually sharpened and restored a section that I soon found out was actually a dent in the photo not obvious from a straight-on view. It could only be seen by catching the glare of light off the surface (of course the scanner caught it).
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, I think that was covered very well. The only thing I would add refers to what Debbie said about when people copy a photo instead of scanning. There are times when a photo, for some reason or other, does not scan well. This photo can often be copied as Debbie suggested, or it can be copied with a traditional camera. If a traditional camera is used, prints can be made that will usually scan better than the original. Keep in mind that there is another generation necessary when working in this fashion, and each generation loses just a little in quality. Now, if you have a film scanner, it would be advisable to scan the film instead of the print. This eliminates one generation (film to *print* to scan). If any of these methods are used, the copy technique must be good in order to assure a good quality end result.

            Ed

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Ed,

              I'm learning a little more each day! This is something I am seriously looking at getting into. My husband is military so we move around a lot. Hence, the job market is difficult for me. My background is web design, but we are currently living in a small town and the interest is limited. I am hoping if I branch out to photo restoration that I may be able to drum up some work, besides it is something I truly enjoy so it will be good for the soul! :-)

              Comment


              • #8
                Forgetting the physical part of the process which has been covered in the previous posts I think restoration/retouching is the ‘art of the possible’ and if doing the work for recompense it becomes ‘the art of the possible within the cost framework’.

                If you are in business and don’t rigidly follow condition 2 then your either losing money or its become an aesthetic hobby and you shouldn’t be worrying about other peoples images but enhancing your own material.
                Last edited by chris h; 09-08-2001, 01:46 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, well said!

                  Ed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I recently had someone request a general tutorial for restoring a photograph. I thought about it, tried to write it, and then I found this thread, which seems to sum it up nicely.

                    I especially like Tom's assesment which says

                    Each photo presents different challenges so a "cookbook" approach is not either possible or advisable.
                    There are a few basic steps that I do at the beginning of a restoration job that are the same no matter what I'm working on:

                    1. Check the channels for damage
                    2. Adjust my levels/curves
                    3. Check my actions palette for anything that might be helpful

                    After that, I decide on a course of action based on the image itself.

                    One thing I find that I have gotten away from as much as possible is massive amounts of painting and cloning. Sometimes they are still just plain necessary, but they are also huge black holes waiting to suck up all of my time, energy and profit.

                    What advice would you have for someone just beginning to learn Photo Restoration?

                    Comment

                    Related Topics

                    Collapse

                    • Rick
                      Digital to Print Output
                      by Rick
                      I have a customer who is needs to have a portrait redone (fairly simple remove creases and tears) but she is going to want it reprinted so she can hang it with the rest of the photos of her family.

                      The picture is 11x14 and it's being scanned today.
                      The questions are:
                      ...
                      08-26-2001, 10:35 AM
                    • Gerry Monaghan
                      Photo Restoration, Finding Truth or Creating Illusion?
                      by Gerry Monaghan
                      Hi all - I am currently photoshopping an extremely damaged photo from the 1880's for a family. It has been taped back together on the front. It was in at least 3 major pieces, and there is a grime layer on top of water stains and scratches and wax. So as I am working, I am asking myself how much of...
                      11-27-2002, 09:11 AM
                    • roger_ele
                      Archive Business Idea
                      by roger_ele
                      I have recently started archiving a collection of old photos and negatives for my family, and have thus realized that this is a need that lots of people may have. Where restoration is motivated by people that want a photo fixed, archiving is for those that want their collection of photos to be saved...
                      11-20-2002, 12:59 AM
                    • thomasgeorge
                      1885-1920 Modern photos emerge
                      by thomasgeorge
                      There is really nothing magic about the date 1885, except that around this time photography began to evolve into the state we know it today. Prior to this time, the Albumen Photograph ruled as the foremost photographic technique, but waiting in the wings, largely due to advances in making dry plate...
                      04-05-2002, 12:02 PM
                    • Doug Nelson
                      photo repair (not restoration)
                      by Doug Nelson
                      I get about an email a month asking for actual physical repair of a photo. I'd no idea there was actually an industry for this until Jim Conway posted.

                      So, let's discuss. Who's doing it? How's it done? What educational resources are there out there?
                      11-20-2001, 01:20 PM
                    Working...
                    X