Icarus Photografix
RESTORATION, REPRODUCTION & RECREATION    

Icarus Photografix's
Tips About Photo Restoration to Ensure Best Results

It should be noted that a photo to be restored can only be as good as the image allows. If a image is blurry to begin with it cannot be sharpened and the details magically brought back as if it was shot correctly when it was brand new. The tone and contrast can be adjusted to salvage what detail may exist but in the end it will still be blurred. What you've seen on TV crime shows and the blurry license plate that's blown up and not only readable but razor sharp is a Hollywood myth.

Extremely tiny details that weren't clearly resolved by the camera cannot be enlarged to magicaly appear. If someone's head in a 4x6 image is the size of a pea, it cannot be cropped and enlarged to make a perfectly clear & sharp 8x10 - the camera/print didn't contain the detail level to begin with. There are some limited exceptions in small old photos - but they are the exceptions to the rule. Images will be assessed during time of quote if an image's details can meet a customer's requests. If not then suggestions will be offered.

• • • • •

Sun damage/bleaching to colour photos is an extreme type of damage. In many cases the colours can be brought back to their original. In many other cases the colour can't be brought back or only some of the colours. One solution is to convert the image to B&W and repair the damaged tone and in many cases makes for a very good image - sometimes even superior to the original colour version. Other solutions are to attempt to repair the colour through hand colourization similar to how old B&W were coloured. Using this method still produces a great image but not like when it was brand new.

• • • • •

Images stuck to glass frames or stuck in albums. Don't attempt to remove the photo from the frame glass or album page. Doing so will likely cause more damage. For restoration Icarus Photografix will clean and scan through the glass or scan the image while attached to the album page.

Tape on photo surface. Don't remove. Treat the same as stuck on glass or in an album.

• • • • •

Images emailed from family/friends and then printed on a desktop printer to then be restored. The best image to use will be the original. Often the emailed image is far to small to make a high resolution print - it may look fine on your monitor but monitor resolution and print resolution are not the same. Secondly, the family member who orignally scanned the image likely didn't use correct scanning/imaging practice to maintain the maximum detail in the photo. Thirdly, your desktop printer and paper probably further degraded the image - rule of thumb is every copy of a copy loses some detail. If you have access to the original source photo or suitable lab produced copy then it will always give you the best results for restoration. If you can get the original then always opt for that choice over an emailed copy or family/friend printout.

• • • • •

Old dusty photos and cleaning before restoration. Best advice is to leave the image dirty and don't attempt to clean it off other than light dusting. If the dirt doesn't come off with a shake or very light dry dusting then leave it alone and let Icarus Photografix deal with photo. More than one well meaning customer thought they'd clean the dirt off an image they found in the basement with a wipe so they could bring it in only to cause more damage. Many old 'coloured' photos were hand coloured with water soluable paints that will disolve with a wet wipe. Also many early 1800's/1900's early B&W images were enhanced with charcoal or pastels which are easily smudged with pressure or moisture.

• • • • •

Image salvage. Sometimes all you have is one old photo of a person and it's dark, faded, blurry and damaged but you really want to clean it up a bit for sentelmental reasons. If that's the case, Icarus Photografix will do it's very best to 'pull out' or salvage the photo and outline exactly what can or cannot be done and what you can expect at the time of the quote. Not all photos are great but the memories can be just as important.

• • • • •

Due to the nature of photo restoration and that every photo is unique, jobs cannot be quoted until the image(s) are viewed and the nature of the damage is seen in relation to the image's details. Naturally some images are harder to repair than others due to where & type of damage you would like repaired (eg. cracks through faces are harder to repair than similar damage to backgrounds).

 

Bottom Rule ©2008 Icarus Photografix - Geoff Lussier
The copyrights to all artwork, photographs, and images within this domain belong to Geoff Lussier unless otherwise assigned.
Copyright shall subsist in all artistic works which appear in this domain pursuant to the Copyright Act R.S.C. 1985, C-42. No work herein found shall be reproduced, converted, adapted, publicly represented, published, etc., except by prior written permission of the artist.