01 November, 2010

Heritage Photo Restoration

Since having a break from teaching, I have discovered skills I have that could be used to produce some income. The hardest part is inspiring people and getting them to give you 'a go'. Unless I was to invest in advertising, many of my skills will continue to be used for personal projects only! An example of a service I offer is 'photo restoration'. Recently, I happened to be talking about restoring an 80-year old photograph in front of a fellow stallholder. She had paid a professional $25 to restore a 50-year old photo--the only childhood shot she has of herself. She was very disappointed with the result but paid anyway because she wasn't sure of what could be achieved. I offered to 'give it a go' for free.

Below is the original photograph which measures 6cm x 8cm. It is pretty typical of the quality I have encountered in older-style photographs (in terms of creases, scratches and blemishes).

My fellow stallholder paid $25 for this 6" x 4" print but had wanted it cropped and the original colours retained, rather than the rather dark tones on her face. I explained that the original resolution/clarity will always be lost when a tiny heritage photo is cropped, then enlarged to the 6" x 4" size. I was pretty confident, however, that a better result could be achieved.

Below is my attempt at restoring the photograph using a professional scanner and Photoshop. Given the limitations of the image, it's about as good as I can get it. I would usually charge between $5 and $20 for a complete photo restoration provided in digital form. As this lady preferred the actual print, I would have charged her $15 in total for this job. Pretty good value! Now...how do I get the word around?

No comments:

Post a Comment