When I first set out to teach myself to digitally restore photographs almost a decade ago, my family kindly donated hundreds of images for me to ‘practice on’. I did restore many of them and learnt a great deal from doing so. Some of those early images are still featured in the restoration gallery on my website but I still have quite a pile to work though.
These past weeks have been rather quiet so instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs, I sifted through those images looking for a new challenge.
Here is one I found; This is a photograph of my great grandmother known as Grandy Watson. Originally from Scotland, she settled in Australia with my Grandparents in the early 1900s.
I doubt that it was ever a clear image. Taken in contrasty lighting conditions with what appears to be accidental exposure of the film causing that white streak down the left hand side. The other faults are obvious. Fading, staining, scratches and tears and possibly even ink .
How it came to be in this condition I cannot be sure but it was obviously in need of a little TLC.
I began with basic exposure correction, black and white conversion then cloning and healing to repair the obvious damage. I then spent a great deal of time dodging and burning to darken those areas which needed darkening and to lighten those areas which needed lightening. This is a very time consuming procedure but I always find it delivers the best results.
So, here she is now. It is still not perfect but I am sure you will agree, it is looking much better than the original. My Mum and Aunty will be happy that I have ‘finally’ restored this photograph.