Photo Restoration
By Josh Harrison |

While it's not a big part of my work, I do occasionally get requests to do photo restoration work. People will often contact me with old family photos that they would like to have a new print from, as well as a digital copy of the original. If you have some basic editing knowledge and a camera it's usually something you can do yourself. Sometimes this is pretty straight forward and sometimes the original images can be quite badly worn and damaged meaning they require significant editing in Adobe Photoshop. The first step is to photograph the original image. Depending on the age of the original photo it may have a gloss finish so it's important to use off camera lighting to avoid as much reflection as possible from the lighting. Once I have the new raw file I can open the image in Photoshop and begin editing. I use the healing tool to do the majority of the work such as removing scuffs and tears.

Photo Restoration Yorkshire

As you can see in the image above there was substantial damage to this photo. After I used the healing tool on the majority of the damage I then had to use some of the undamaged areas to blend the repaired areas, for example with the bricks in the background I needed to be careful to try and align the joints between the bricks as they were originally or it becomes blatantly obvious that it has been edited.

Once all the damage has been repaired I can crop the image and start working on the colours. I tend to just balance out the shadows and highlights and then bring in the light and dark levels. Since this was a black and white image originally, I then added a black and white layer. It does look slightly different to the original but I also worked on the assumption that the original had faded already. Now I have a completed edit I can output the image as a hi-res jpg and create new prints.

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