10 March 2008

Restoring Beatrice

Last year my mum gave me a family portrait which was badly damaged - cracked across the whole photo, with a lot of surface scratches and rust damage, as you can see.

I've scanned it and digitally repaired it, also removing the rust damage and hairs etc. It took about 12 hours to do, mainly using the Clone tool in Photoshop CS3. I also had to recreate my great-grandmother's neck and shoulder, and added subtle film grain effects to replicate the look of the original grainy photo.

You can see before and after in the two screen shots below :


So here I present to you - my mum's maternal grandmother Beatrice Irene Donaldson (a formidable woman - she received The Order of the British Empire (Civil) in 1969, as Vice President of the Finley Red Cross Society) and my great-grandfather Allan, on their wedding day (2 September 1914). She was a school teacher at the time of their marriage, and he was a farmer. They lived in Finley, NSW.

Click on the photos to see better closeups. I'm very happy with the repair - now I just need to print it out on glossy photo paper!

ETA : Yes, I use a professional version of Photoshop (Creative Suite 3) which is probably the most powerful image software in the world. I also have 19 years' experience as a graphic designer, and use a Mac, and a Wacom tablet & stylus, which makes this sort of image work much easier. And good idea about the paper, FoxySoxy, will have to see what I can find :)

18 comments:

  1. Fantastic work! I had no idea that was something you could do on your own. I thought it took sophisticated restorative skills - which obviously you have!

    I adore old photos.

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  2. Great job. these new programs really make it so we can leave our children pictures our their past. Mine don't care now but I know when they are my age they will appreciate it.

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  3. Great job on the restoration - you are too too clever!

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  4. Wow! I didn't know it was possible to do such professional work with a package like PhotoShop - or are you using a professional version of the software? I have a few old photos I need to fix up a bit but I honestly don't think I would have your patience - great result! Also, the family resemblance to Beatrice is quite amazing!

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  5. I love those old wedding photos.

    That reminds me, there are a bunch of digital photos I need to get prints of! Much easier to hand around to relatives than my whole computer.

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  6. I love old photos. Great bit of photo-retouching you've done. And you resemble your grandmum very much ... what a good-looking couple. How handsome your grandfather is!

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  7. My word, you are a patient lady. The photo looks wonderful. Your grandma must have been quite a lady as that is a beautiful wedding dress.

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  8. Wow what a wonderful restoration.
    However rather than modern day glossy paper why not try and find photo paper that is closer to the original to really give it that old world feel. Something a little grainy and matt.

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  9. Great job Jejune - those rare images are so precious and we need to care for them. I wonder if we take for granted all our digital technology (click, click, delete) these days and are too slack about preserving images from now for the future.

    Indeed she must have been a formidable woman - I think anyone who lived in Finley around that time must have been.

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  10. my husbands wants to know why no lens flare?

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  11. Awesome, truely professional work! You are gifted! And what a splendid photo. Wonder how old they were then? He looks a bit frightened. She looks resolved. You come from handsome stock.

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  12. How wonderful you were able to save a family heirloom. One of my husband's cousins gave us some old photos of his mother and her sisters and I adore them. I will hang them when I find frames to do them justice.

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  13. That is simply brilliant! Email me with how much you charge, my mother's wedding photo is slowly disappearing, and I'd love to have it restored, if it is at all possible.

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  14. That is amazing!! But worth every hour, such a wonderful family heirloom!!!

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  15. Wow, great job on the picture! It's amazing what technology (and technologically-minded people) can do.

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  16. What a pro you are! It's amazing!

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  17. wow, very impressive. I have CS3 from work on my mac but I know very little about how to use it. This post was so cool just to see something that the program can do.

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