Carte De VisiteCarte De VisiteFaded colour copygrime - tobacco and age stains

There is a phrase to remember when restoring faded photos : If it's been there we can probably get it back - if it was never there - we can't .

All images, which have been recorded using light, are likely to fade, in time, when exposed to more light. The more they are exposed to light the faster they may fade. But if a print was well made in the first place it is probable that all the tonal structure was there originally and we can digitally stretch the tonal scale now to rereate the original range.

If, however, the original print was too light or too dark the information has never been there for us to restore and we can't simply make it up.

In this carte de visite taken around 1865 the original was a professionally produced image with a good tonal range. There are no shadow tones and the highlights have darkened with age. 

What you need to remember when restoring a faded photograph is that when you enhance the image you are also going to enhance any problems such as scratches, fingerpirnts etc

After altering the tonal curves we can bring back the shadow detail and lighten the highlights without drastically altering the feeling of the image. If you go to the extent of converting the image to black and white you are essentially changing the entire character of the image.

I aim to restore a photograph so that is as close as possible to how the photographer intended, without over embelishments, but just removing some of the ravages of time.

 
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Specialist Photo Restoration Lancashire, GB
Specialist Photograph Restoration in the UK.  
Stephen Gill DipPP, PGCE: 1 Cann Street, Tottington, Bury, Lancashire, BL8 3PE
email steve@photo-consult.co.uk
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