Tag Archives: Photo Restoration

Grandparents in Haiti – Late 1930s

Back in late June, I got a call from Dr Yardlie Toussaint-Foster wondering if I would be interested in retouching some images of her grandparents taken during the late 1935-1939 time frame in Haiti.

Of the 4 images that I worked on, this was my favorite!

Grandfather Haiti 1930s
Images of Grandfather, somewhere in Haiti during the later 1930s.

This took me 4-5 hours, and what you do not see, is the hexagon texture within the paper!

Detail of the paper surface.
Detail of the paper surface.

Which posed a little problem, but scanning at a high dpi, 1200 dpi, in this case, really helped.

It’s a classic picture that just seems to say a great deal about the person and the times!

Thank you Dr. Foster for allowing me to work on these images!

What do you think?

- Andrew
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Restoration of Philadelphia Police 1932

I met with my client earlier today, as I delivered one of my latest restoration projects.

This was an image taken on May 4, 1932, of the Second Platoon, 40th District Police station in Philadelphia.

Originally, I was presented with a rolled up image that was approximately 8 x 10 inches wide, and had a 3 inch tear on the left side, which made unrolling the image for viewing, let alone scanning, rather difficult.

Once opened, one could easily see that there were cracks in the emulsion in several areas on the image, and that the left side had also undergone severe fading from the way it was stored.

Looking at it with more detail, and listening to my client, his grandfather is the left most person in the image.

“Think you can fix this picture of my grandfather?”

Restoration of Philadelphia Police 1932 - Second Platoon, 40th District
Restoration of Philadelphia Police 1932 – Second Platoon, 40th District

I said that was going take some time, and gave him a rough estimate, which he accepted and I was on with my challenge!

After finally being able to carefully layout the print onto my scanner, and doing a high-resolution scan, was I able to actually see black scratch marks, that had appeared to have been on the original negative.

What I also found very interesting about this image, from a historical perspective, is that there are at least two black officers and I believe there is a third, and shows how the Philadelphia Police department was ahead of its time when it came to racial diversity.

Thankfully, I was able to listen to several good books while I worked on the image, and after about 15+ hours of work, I was able to meet with him today, to return is original image and he was thrilled with the prints that he had ordered.

Based on watching my client scrutinize the prints I had done, and his reaction during the meeting, and think it is safe to say, I saved grandpa!

So if you have any images that you wish to be restored, please feel free to contact me for free quote.

- Andrew
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Lt. Col. John K. Robinson Restoration

This was one of those fun restores!

I was contacted by the client via email, and was told NOT to call her because it was a surprise gift for her husband!

Okay… No problem…

and could I scan it while she waited…

The picture could not be out of the house for very long, and they were retired…

It sounded like a movie script!

Needless to say, we connected, and I was able to produce the following –

Lt Col John K Robinson (Before & After)

Being the curious person that I am, I was able to find the following reports –

February 5, 1865, the command marched with brigade at 3 a.m. to Dinwiddie Court-House, via Reams’ Station, crossing Hatcher’s Run at Malone’s Bridge; met with very slight resistance; from Court-House the regiment was ordered on reconnaissance on Boydton plank road toward Petersburg. Captain McDowell’s squadron, Companies B and A in advance, went some five miles towards Petersburg; captured 10 or 12 wagons and 1 ambulance (from 46 to 50 mules included); made prisoners of 3 commissioned officers and 10 or 12 enlisted men (D. C. Clark, adjutant of Twenty-fourth North Carolina Infantry included); without firing a shot we returned to the Court-House. The command then marched to near Malone’s Bridge (Hatcher’s Run), and bivouacked at about 11 p.m., the Second Brigade forming rear of column and Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry forming rear of brigade, Captain Oliphant’s squadron, Companies H and G, acting as rear guard, who were followed closely by ten or twelve rebels, who fired occasionally into the rear guard, doing no injury, but capturing two men of G Company.

February 6, 1865, took up line of march at 2 a.m., and by a circuitous route struck the Vaughan road near Gravelly Branch at day-dawn; formed and cooked coffee; 8 a.m. marched with division one mile and a half toward Petersburg, where the whole division bivouacked; 10 a.m. firing commenced, at 2 p.m. our regiment ordered to make a dismounted charge against infantry holding a group of houses; the charge was made with complete success, both men and officers going in with more than usual coolness and bravery, making prisoners of at least 30 rebels. A flag-bearer was shot by one of our men, but the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, being mounted, in our rear, charged through our line and gained possession of his flag. Not being sufficiently supported, we were obliged to fall back and take position on right of the original established line; in this charge of our regiment there were 2 men killed and 3 officers and 14 men wounded. A second charge was made, the rebels retreating and finally withdrawing entirely from our front. At dusk we were relieved by infantry and bivouacked.

February 7, 1865, extremely disagreeable; raining and sleeting. Regiment in line, mounted, from morn till night. Nothing to be seen in our front except a few Confederate cavalry pickets. Relieved at dusk and bivouacked.

Needless to say, it is very interesting in exploring the past!

If you need a photo that needs to be Restored, please feel free to contact me.

- Andrew
§ § § § §
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Yesterday’s gone by

An old school friend of mine, recently updated his Facebook profile picture, and me being the OCD possessed person that I am, asked if he had the original scan of the image, so that I might be able to clean it up a little.

Unfortunately, the file was not available, and I was left with just a jpeg file that he had posted.

Thomas (Before & After)
Thomas (Before & After)

So, what do you think of our young man now?

If you have images that you need to be touched-up or restored, please contact me for a free estimate!

- Andrew
§ § § § §
Photo Restorations in Chester County PA

If you Like an Image, and do decide to download it for Personal Use, please consider making a small Donation.

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If you find some of the Information on this Site, useful or entertaining, please consider making a small Donation.

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Lackland AFB 02/1969 – Restoration

This is a recent photo restoration I did of the US Air Force Graduating class (Sqdn 3710 – Flt 0011) at Lackland AFB from February 1969.

The original image is 10 x 20 inches, and as you can see, was torn in half, and not stored flat, which lead to a lot of cracks in the emulsion of the paper.

Graduating class (Sqdn 3710 - Flt 0011) - Lackland AFB - February 1969
Graduating class (Sqdn 3710 – Flt 0011) – Lackland AFB – February 1969

I took me about 30 hours to get the final result that you see, and several good audio books.

If you are interesting in getting your own photos restored, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation and quote.

- Andrew
§ § § § §
Adobe Photoshop Retouching in Chester County PA
Custom Photography Prints in Chester County PA
Photo Restorations in Chester County PA

If you find some of the Information on this Site, useful or entertaining, please consider making a small Donation.

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If you Like an Image, and do decide to download it for Personal Use, please consider making a small Donation.

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Restoration of Michael Moran

Michael Moran Restoration - In Frame
Michael Moran Restoration – In Frame

Over the past couple of days, I have been exchanging phone calls with a potential Photo Restoration client, and today I finally got to met Eleanor and my new project, Michael Moran.

From what Eleanor had told me on the phone, was the original was 16×20 inches, mounted into a new wooden frame some years ago.

When Eleanor arrived, the picture was packaged in bubble wrap and a white garbage bag, being especially careful, since it had rained lightly earlier in the day.

As we sat and talked, I reiterated that it was not very common for people to get pictures done because of the expense and time involved, let alone an immigrant of the 1800s, and especially at a large size!

“I have a call into my brother to confirm that Michael Moran was from Ireland. He married Mary Hughes here in the States. Four children were born and 3 survived to adulthood (one of which was my grandmother). He became the Head Farmer for the Cassatt estate until he died of pneumonia.” – Eleanor

We chatted some more, and when Eleanor left, I knew I was in for a really good adventure with this Restoration project!

The first thing that I wanted to do, was document what I was doing, just encase I was confronted with some issue as I progressed.

Inspection

So, how was I going to get this thing apart?

Turing it over, I inspected how the internal frame was connected to the external picture, and I was able to find five (5) small nails holding the picture to the frame.

Restore Michael Moran - Connection Nails
Connection Nails

Thankfully, these nails were easily removed with a pair of needle-nose pliers and some careful tugs.

Once the exterior frame was separated from the interior one, the next element to be aware of was the large pane of glass, and when it was removed, and inspected more carefully, had several ripples as a sign of age.

It was also now possible to closely inspect the surface tears and map them to the backside of the frame.

Toward the middle of the image, there was this pair of tears, one going all the way through to the fiber of the cloth backing, and a strange blue mark:

Restore Michael Moran - Tears (Middle)
Restore Michael Moran – Tears (Middle)

and near the bottom of the image, there was this tear:

Restore Michael Moran Tears (Bottom)
Restore Michael Moran Tears (Bottom)

Note – You can double-click on the pictures to get a larger view of the damage.

Michael Moran Restoration - Surface Cracks and Water Stains
Additional Surface Cracks and Water Stains

Some of the damage appears to be simple cracks to the surface, along with other water stains.

Michael Moran Restoration - Top Edge Damage Detail
Top Edge Damage Detail

When looking at the edges, there is noticeable damage to the cloth used to connect the images to the frame.

Scanning

I always have a concern when I am faced with a large print, especially of this size!

What also makes this digitization more challenging, is the fixed wood frame that the image is suspended on.

Most of the time, I encounter loose original prints that are not mounted, and with the condition of the cloth material, there was no way that I was going to remove this image from the frame for scanning.

The scanner I use, is an old Epson Perfection 4490 Photo, which I bought numerous years ago, and has a scanning bed of approximately 9×13 inches.

Another requirement of this project, was to scan the original to be Printed at 100%, which I knew was going to make for some very BIG files, but I had a plan, and hoped that my scanner was up for the task.

My solution, like many times before, was to break up the scan into four (4) sections: upper-left, upper-right, lower-left, and lower right, and then combine them into one image using Adobe Photoshop layers.

The final concern, and the most important, the scanners depth-of-field, which is exactly the same concept as with cameras, but with desktop scanners, the depth-of-field is very shallow, and the beveled lip on the edge of the scanner was not going to help, even if it was only 2-3 mm above the glass surface.

I lined up the first corner, leaving just a little break between the scanners capture edge and the edge of the print.

Once aligned, I placed a soft folded cloth on top, and then added some weights to gently and evenly press as much of the picture surface to the glass bed of the scanner as possible, and repeated three more times.

Photoshop

Once I had the four (4) quadrants scanned into 16-bit TIFF files, my next step was to combine the scans into one image, making absolutely sure that the images overlapped enough to mask out any softness that might have occurred during the scanning stage.

Restore Michael Moran - Quadrants pre-combined
Restore Michael Moran – Quadrants pre-combined

Thankfully, and once again, my Epson did not let me down!

Once combined, the final image is beginning to take shape.

Restore Michael Moran Working Proof - Before
Restore Michael Moran Working Proof – Before

From here, it is just taking the time to use the various tools within Photoshop to clean-up the various issues caused by cracks, rips, tears and water. For more information on how to handle these issues, please consult the various reference materials that are available on the internet.

Proof Image

After several hours of clean-up and tweaking, the proof image looks like this:

Restore Michael Moran - Proof 01
Restore Michael Moran – Proof 01

but remember, it is always the Client that has the final say!

- Andrew
§ § § § §

If you find some of the Information on this Site, useful or entertaining, please consider making a small Donation.

Adobe Lightroom Training in Chester County PA

If you Like an Image, and do decide to download it for Personal Use, please consider making a small Donation.

Custom Photography Prints in Chester County PA
Adobe Photoshop Training in Chester County PA
Web Advertising in Chester County PA
Adobe Photoshop Retouching in Chester County PA
Photo Restorations in Chester County PA

Wedding Photo – Restoration

This was a 16×20 inch Wedding Photo restoration, mounted on cardboard, cut and torn in half.

Torn 16x20 Wedding Photo restoration (circa 1960s)
Torn 16×20 Wedding Photo restoration (circa 1960s)

After several hours of work, I was able to achieve the bottom image.

If you are interesting in getting your own photos restored, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation and quote.

- Andrew
§ § § § §
Adobe Photoshop Retouching in Chester County PA

If you find some of the Information on this Site, useful or entertaining, please consider making a small Donation.

If you Like an Image, and do decide to download it for Personal Use, please consider making a small Donation.

Adobe Photoshop Training in Chester County PA
Adobe Lightroom Training in Chester County PA
Custom Photography Prints in Chester County PA
Web Advertising in Chester County PA
Photo Restorations in Chester County PA