From time to time someone will ask me to have a look at an old family photo with a view to performing some kind of restoration. Almost invariably these images are faded or damaged in one way or another and just as often they hold some kind of personal significance. It is a privilege to even be asked to perform this kind of work and I find it tremendously satisfying. Here I have decided to show a few examples of what can be achieved.



This image came in heavily damaged, with a large tear across the front and folds and scratches. The blemishes have been painstakingly removed and the tear has been cloned out. To finish the faded sepia was colour corrected and the whole image was smoothed to provide a much cleaner and better defined portrait.


This was a fun project. Not only to clean away the folds and blemishes but to also colourise the image. The trick to successful colourisation is to try  and make sure your colours are accurate. For example here the subject was wearing a uniform. A little research lead to the discovery that it is the uniform of the RUC, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and the original image provides a date, 1950, for further reference. A small trip to my friendly neighbourhood Google gave me plenty of source material.



Here I had to remove the red halo around the edges of the shot, some colour adjustments and the usual smoothing and blemish removal. The resulting image is clearer than the original and therefore easier to view.

So that’s a few examples of what can be done to save your photos with some TLC, and there is plenty more besides. Next time you find an old photo you love which has fallen into disrepair you should definitely think twice about throwing it away.

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