Restoring Old Documents
When it comes to restoring documents, I treat them just as I do photographs. This certificate had seen better days; torn in two, sections missing and water damage. The owner wanted a restored copy for display.
I began by scanning each piece individually then stitching them together. This was the easy part.
Next came the restoration. I do not recall how many hours I spent recreating lost characters and dodging and burning stains and spots. This sort of restoration cannot be rushed. I began by converting the image to black and white. This process alone, if done correctly results in the removal of many stains. Next I replaced those missing pieces and restored the obvious tears and creases. Finally, many hours were spent dodging and burning to restore the image and a tone added. This is just one of my dodge and burn layers…painting with light; It helps to demonstrate how light is used to correct tonal flaws.
Here is the finished result however the size and texture shown here really does not do it justice. It was giclee printed on a beautifully textured, fine art paper, ready for framing. It should last for many years to come.
Many thanks to the Hardman Family for allowing me to share their document restoration.