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  • Old collage pics

    ​I have a framed collage that was made for me by my mom in the 70's of my life in pics up to that time. 45 years later, and the collage is showing it's age. She had put some kind of shellac coating over the pics, and the coating has yellowed and cracked. (SEE PIC).

    Any suggestions how to take the best pics possible individually of the photos and as a whole? The frame and collage is starting to fall apart.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Kah5683

    I was given a similar mixed age photo collage by a client to restore - containing color photos from the 1960's, 70's and 80's and 90s. Mine was a mixture of black and white and color images. I chose to do a high resolution scan of the image (it was around A4 size). If your collage is larger I would either look at scanning it in parts and carefully stitching it together in Photoshop or taking high resolution photos. Unless you have a high resolution camera and studio lighting and can set it up carefully (lens parallel to image surface) it maybe easier to scan, as lighting and alignment of lens and obtaining a high resolution for restoration could be easier to achieve with a scanner. There is information on this site elsewhere as to how to scan for restoration (you need at least 600 dpi or higher, in full 16 bit per channel and in TIFF format with a calibrated scanner ). For a camera RAW format with a minimum of a black and white card for calibration (depending on your camera, with a tripod and lighting)

    Regarding restoration I looked at the ages of the photos and grouped them by their era ( as the color movement was similar dependent on the photo age). Then I masked off those that were similar in terms of damage and treated them for color movement. There are so many different ways to restore color it is very much a case of trial and experimentation for each group. Sometimes I use a mix of color methods. Interestingly while mine was not varnished the color had still moved.


    • #3
      Originally posted by kah5683 View Post

      Any suggestions how to take the best pics possible individually of the photos and as a whole? The frame and collage is starting to fall apart.
      For taking a picture of the whole collage with a camera ... one technique I use for correcting for being out of alignment is to measure the original exactly. Then use the Rectangular Marquee Tool and set the Style to Fixed Ratio. Enter the Measurements in Width and Height. Use that to create a guide that will match the shape of the original then copy the layer and free transform to match your guide.

      Lighting wise, soft light source (Find a deeper porch is the easiest) coming from the side far enough away that the light is even - black cards or material around/behind camera if are picking up reflections

      I am assuming Photoshop

      It is all faded so I would start with overall adjustments, then adjust more the areas that need more work.



      • #4
        Hi Kah5683

        I attempted to adjust what looked like the black and white photos in the collage and the photos that had turned red. (I may not have got all the black and white images it was a little hard to tell) I masked off the two different areas and treated them both differently and grouping them into groups making a copy of the background layer with a different mask in each group and limiting the adjustments just to that masked area. I made some very rough adjustments - to give you an idea - I have outlined these in red to highlight them. The baby in the center of the adjusted images should have a line around it as it was not adjusted, Given there is varnish on parts of this image you will also probably have to mask off those areas and treat them differently. Hope that helps.

        Attached Files


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