I also do photo restoration mainly as a hobby. Would love to see some of your work and maybe share techniques and resources.
Here are a couple recent ones of mine. I should add that the actual hi-res finished images are better quality than what is shown.
Yes full time! My Blog is loaded with tips and gems of information and there are now 7 courses to view on Lynda.com that I have produced. Neil Rhodes — Photography, Photoshop: training, tutorials & online classes or the blog at www.image-restore.co.uk/blog/
Not sure if links are allowed on the thread but hopefully they will be of some help.
Hi Neil! Yes, I have seen your videos on Lynda.com. Great tutorials. I'll be sure to check out your blog too.
Thanks for the link. 😉
Just a little for personal use. This is one I did of my 3rd great-grandmother from a rather dark tintype. Some of the things I did was to photograph the tintype with cross polarizing filter to get rid of excess glare and on paper surfaces to help remove texture. The before shot was done without filtration. A lot more detail showed up with the filtration. Also I used some bandpass filtration using the highpass filter. What you do is use the highpass then gaussian blur to isolate spacial areas of the image. I used one setting to bring out the lace collar, another for the hair texture, one to increase the facial modeling, and one for bringing out the folds in the dress. The background was pretty messed up with dust and other crap, so I just recreated a new one.
Very nice there!
We've done C&R in our portrait studio for only about 39 years now. For many of those years, of course, I used Kodak Copy Film (4x5) loaded into the individual sheet film holders, affixed the image to be copied to our wall-mounted device for same, moved the camera on its motorized platform into approximate position, then used the cameras rail-mounted nature to size the image & gradation bars and focus the image on the ground-glass at the back of the camera.
Develop the film one at a time, then do a quick check-contact print to see if the exposure/development-time combination was appropriate for that print ... and make another neg about 20% of the time, then ... print from that neg.
Our print retoucher worked by hand on the image with pencils & oils, then I'd copy THAT image to make another neg to make the client prints from.
At times ... we'd go through three generations on really complex work.
Then one fine day, we got a scanner with the big SCSI chained cable system, and I scanned a small client image into it. Old b/w with the typical highlights down to middle-tan, blacks up to almost middle-tan. Picture of an old steam locomotive, given to the 80+ year old 'owner' by his grandfather of a locomotive he'd used.
We were hopeful ... but not too convinced this would work ... but the Olde Style process was such a labor intensive and imperfect process, you ALWAYS lost detail in highlights & shadows along with a little sharpness/resolution.
Got into Photoshop 4 ... did a simple auto levels adjustment.
And ran screaming from the room to get Miriam (wife, fellow photographer/darkroom/print restoration expert) and our employee print artist to come look.
What was on the screen was flat out AMAZING!
There was this beautiful image with blacks to whites, with clearly ... someone leaning on his elbow in the window! TONS of detail all over the place. And .... it seemed sharp.
So the one place we could get a neg made from a digital file, we had to get a removable something-or-other type drive, great expense for the drive enclosure and for the removable media ... and all they could produce was a 6x7cm (2-1/4 x 2-3/4 inch) negative, fairly "small" in our experience so ... we waited to see what that little neg could hold.
The result was even better than the screen! We were completely stunned ... and you look at our new 5x7 copy print (yes, scratches cleaned and all that) and compared it to the 2x3 original ... in the original, you couldn't recognize exactly what model loco it was, and there was no WAY to see the guy in the window but in our 5x7 you could easily see all identifying loco characteristics plus enough of the man that the old guy looked at it just stunned a moment, said ... oh my good Lord, that's my grandpa! Look at the hairline and that jaw!
We did use the 4x5 with things larger than our 8x11 flatbed could handle for another six months or so, then a lab nearby got the ability to patch together multiple scans up to 11x14 inch, and ... I think I've still got a box of Kodak 4x5 Pro Copy film (ortho) sitting here behind me.
What we've done since then is so freakin' amazing compared to what we did before ... and we were Hot Stuff at that in the good ol' days afore newfangled tools came out ....
Which is why I'm very comfortable at noting that your print is an awesome bit of work, including the different pass filters you utilized to get as much detail as possible in areas of vastly different amount and frequencies of detail.
Very, very nice, in fact ...
Thanks, Neil! Yes, I remember that copy film and the results. digital is so much better! I'm actually in the process of digitizing some 2,000 6X7 negs of my family. I went around years ago and copied as many old family photos as I could with my Pentax 6X7 - cross polarization was used. But now I want to digitize them all and wish I could go back and recopy the originals, but this is better than nothing. I've got a few glass plates from one of my great-aunts who was very into photography. Below is a shot she took (left image) of my grandfather (the little boy), her dad, and her sister Berta boiling down maple sap to make sugar. On the right is a image from a 127 Brownie, of Berta with me and my sister. Quite a span of years there.
Wow ... both to the scope of the project, and your results!
Very nice work! I have done photo restoration also. it's a lot of fun.