Sweet People

Restoring an old photograph

A little while ago Aaron’s dad gave some old airplane books to Matthew, and while were were flipping through them we found a photo. It was clearly old and on the back all that it says is the photographer information and handwritten in the corner it says “Othello Wash. 1949” I liked the picture but it wasn’t until Aaron saw it that he recognized it as being his Grandpa Burns. Well I’ve been collecting pictures to make a photo wall in my living room, and this one just seemed perfect to add to it! Only problem was that it was torn in several places… had water damage, and was just cracked and generally beat up. I’ve been experimenting with Photoshop for a while now and I thought I’d try my hand at restoring it.
Here is what it looked like originally…
And here is the after…
Pretty awesome picture if you ask me! It still needs some tweaking here and there, but overall I’m pretty happy with how it came out. All I can say is… technology is amazing! There is so much detail that you just can’t see in the photo! Matt’s face alone is an improvement… in the photo I would never have guessed that was him. But after fixing it up I can actually recognize his face!

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It’s amazing to me what even just a little tweaking can do for a picture. I edit all photos that I make prints of, though typically I only edit for things like brightness and contrast. These days most photographers will take a child’s photo and smooth the skin, correct discoloration, remove scars, or whatever. To me that is silly, children are beautiful and there is no need to do all of that. The most I ever remove from one of my kid’s faces is food on the face (typical of kids!) or sometimes a scratch… like in one Christmas picture when Matthew was 2 he fell and got both a purple bump and a scratch on his forehead the day before we went to see Santa. Well I didn’t feel too bad removing that because those are temporary, and we were sending the picture out to everyone in the family. But to remove the red mark on his forehead? No way, it’s part of who he is.
Here is an example of what I mean… take a look at beautiful Mattie:
She is gorgeous! There is absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. But personally I prefer to brighten things up a bit. She has such beautiful porcelain skin, but everything looks just a bit grey here.
And here is the after…
Her face stands out a bit more and now that it’s been lightened up her blue eyes really pop!
Anyway, I’m not sure of the point of this post I guess, mostly that I loved that picture of Matt and am excited I could clean it up and make it good enough to go up on the wall. It makes me wish I had more old photos to restore.