Many people are interested in their family tree and some are lucky enough to have old photographs of by-gone generations lying around in a drawer or a box somewhere in the house. The problem with storing these old photos this way is that they are exposed to acids and lignins from the paper that either they are mounted on or that the other photos in the box or drawer are printed on. When these acids and lignins are released from the old photo paper, they cause old pictures to slowly become yellow and brittle. Then, one day you decide to show that prized picture of dear ol’ great-great-Grandpa Fred to someone only to find that the person in the photo is nearly unrecognizable. Time to think about photo repair and retouching!
The first thing to think about when it comes to repairing an old photo is who is going to do it? You might be tempted to give it a shot instead of using a professional, but resist the temptation. Although there are software programs out there that allow amateurs to try their hand at photo repair, they are expensive. The restoration process requires an artistic eye and lots of practice and experience. Think about it – if you aren’t artistically inclined or a technical person, how are you going to recreate a face that has a scratch down the middle or a portion of the head missing?
When a professional works on photo repair and retouching, they will scan it into their computer and use a design program such as Adobe Photoshop to enhance the image, add depth through changing the contrast in the image, and sharpening the images. They also repair scratches, add color to faded areas, and fix rips, stains, mold spots, and other damage the picture has endured through the years. One of the side benefits of having a professional do your photo repair and retouching is that they are doing these repairs digitally so your picture looks as nice as it did the day it was originally taken.
Another neat thing about the retouching and photo repair of your family’s treasured keepsakes is that the restored photos don’t even have to go into an album any more. In addition to a typical “paper” photo, you can have a photo restorer load your pictures into a digital format. That way, you can share them with family and friends through email or online photo albums, you are able to print a copy out at any time, and you can keep the digital version for about 100 years (long enough for your own great-great-Granddaughter to take an interest in the family memories).
It’s a really good idea to restore your entire collection of old photos and family pictures before they literally fade into the sunset. This fading process can happen if you display them and you haven’t used UV protective glass in front of the picture. The sunlight (and even natural light) will fade any photo over time. Photos stored in photo albums will turn color from the acids on the pages of the book unless they are stored on archival-quality paper. But once you have restored these old pictures, they can be copied onto a CD or a DVD that will keep them safe and in perfect shape for years to come!
For more information about photo repair and retouching, contact Digital Pickle at 1-800-889-0730 orthem today.