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Simple Question

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  • Simple Question

    I'm curious on oppinions on the following question. Do you think a restored image is ever as good as the original? I'm not talking retouchs here, I mean full blown restorations.


    ps I would have posted this as a poll, but Im clueless on how ro go about that.

  • #2
    Hi Ken,
    To address your last comment, when you start a thread, at the bottom of the page is a section for starting a poll. It walks you through the steps.

    I have seen some restorations that blow the original out of the water, but generally I don't think so. Usually the damage is too bad. As you have seen, having to sometimes splice or paint parts in just changes the original too much. You see that on the latest challenge. I think a lot of people will do a wonderful job on that picture, but it is too far gone to be better than the original.


    • #3
      You Call That A simple Question?????????


      • #4
        The original negative is always better. When ever you reproduce a photo the contrast goes up and depending on how good the restoration - depends on how good the restoration is. If there is very little on the image - say a tin type - then the restoration is never going to be as good as the original photo. If there is minor/standard damage then the restoration should be pretty good.

        I was recently asked to restore an image for a big coorporate company that had damaged an image while coping it and was able to produce a far more sharper image than the companies copy - plus it was restored...... some times we produce better but wouldn't we all like these images never to be damaged in the first place!!! (of course that would mean less business!!!!)



        • #5
          Whew, a very complex question! And my brief opinion -

          I think we have to consider the answer in relative terms. An original is always invested with intrinsic value (disregard monetary value), perhaps historical, perhaps sentimental and very probably intangible. To be very brief, I think a restoration then could in no way be better than the original. The restoration is a copy and a mimetic entity. This is not bad in itself, but the restoration is a different object and creates a new set of values.

          Can the restoration be “better” then? Yes it could. In the restoration of pictorial material, in most likelihood it has made something visually tangible and in this case is a relative improvement of the original. The historical and sentimental value is probably improved too because it has clarified and made recognisable an image which was in question. The Challenges are very good examples of this and I would point to that by “themanda”.

          Is themanda’s restoration of the Tortuous Tintype better than the original? No it is not. It was made at a different time, in a different emotional and historical space. It is a different entity.

          Is themanda’s restoration better than the original? Yes it is. She has made clear and recognisable the murky image and on top of that, she has provided a whole new set of very believable historical values. This restoration, or any other, is really an alternative to the original. It could be better if it fulfills expectations, it could be better if it clarifies questions, but ultimately it is (or is not) a “better” alternative.

          - Hanuman scratching his head.


          • #6
            I think what Ken is asking, is if a restoration can be totally brought back to the condition of the original version. If that's the case, I think a restoration can *sometimes* be brought back very close to original when information is added, but never better. To make a print better than the original, you would have to scan an original negative. But I guess that would not really be a restoration of the print, since the print and the negative are two different things completely. Of course, this is only one person's opinion. Very interesting question though.



            • #7
              Thanks for all the replies to this. I guess it wasnt as simple as I implied.