Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Old Photo Restoration

This is not a normal photography project for me to undertake, but coupled with an interest in history I have had since I was kid, I was intrigued to see what I could to bring an old photo back to life. Of course, this is not my own photograph (it is an example from Flickr), but using a step-by-step guide I found on the net (adding a few of my own steps in Nik Color Efex at the end), I painstakingly restored this photo back to something at least intact!

It does take a lot of photoshop skills to complete the restoration but I would say 90% of the job (after fixing the pieces back together) is clone-stamping and spot-healing to remove the creases and tears.

I actually wouldn't mind doing this sort of thing for a living, but seeing what some people charge to restore old photos, I would be lucky if I could afford lunch. Considering I worked on this over 2 weekends (probably totalling 8-9 hours), a decent day's pay would seem a reasonable return, but it seems many people are happy to do these restorations for much cheaper. I suppose you would get quicker and better at them, but I still think the work is undervalued.

Anyway, see 4 stages of the photo below, up to the completed image. The first one is the untouched original. Click on any image, and then use the arrows to compare with the other stages:

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