Help Photo restoration recommendations please

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by SheilaNaGig, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    Not sure if this ought to be in Suburban or here...

    So I’ve got this black and white photo portrait of a cat that a friend made for me. It’s old, made in the mid-eighties. It was in a frame, but then a certain person (passim) took the frame off the wall, dashed it to pieces and then tore the photo into four uneven pieces.

    I can’t reconnect with the person who made the photo, and even if I did I doubt she still has the negative.

    I want to have the photo repaired and restored, if possible.

    Is it possible?

    And where/who would do this work?

    It’s a one-shot deal. It needs to be a high quality repair. I intend to recharge the person who destroyed the photo. But I’ll pay even though I doubt he’ll cough up.

    I’ve kept the pieces flat between card since it happened three years ago.

    Ideas please Urban.

  2. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving


    I do already googled round. I know there are loads and loads of photo restoration companies. I’m hoping Urban can either give me a clear recommendation based on experience, and/or tell me what criteria I need to be aware of when making my choice.
  3. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Hi SheilaNaGig No suggestions I am afraid but I expect if you have the pieces it should be possible to piece them as closely as possible back in their original locations, scan the result and then tweak any difficult areas with photoshop.

    I don't know how you chose your restorer, perhaps just have a conversation with at least a couple and see if you get a feeling that they are competent and not too expensive.
    SheilaNaGig likes this.
  4. a_chap

    a_chap When the world came apart, where were you?

    Chilli.s likes this.
  5. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    So my first question would be: do I end up with a kind of digitised copy of the original, a scanned reproduction? Or do they restore the actual original photo?
  6. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

  7. a_chap

    a_chap When the world came apart, where were you?

    I wish!
  8. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    Oh hardee har har har.

    I’ve clicked through and seen what it is.

    Yeah... That’s a cheap shot a_chap .

    I actually explained in the OP how my photo was destroyed in a domestic violence incident.

    But y’know, knock yerseln out mate.
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I think you can decide what you get - you could get a print ready digital file or a print - but I do expect that it will have been digitised at some point during its restoration.
    SheilaNaGig likes this.
  10. editor

    editor hiraethified

    SheilaNaGig likes this.
  11. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    I'm sure I and other urbs would have a go.
  12. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    We'd just need a good scan or even a good flat photo of it using something good like the photoscan app
    SheilaNaGig and mauvais like this.
  13. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    Yep, if you have access to a decent scanner stick the parts up here and I’m sure there are plenty of urbs who’d have a go.

    Then if anyone is successful you can get the restored image reprinted.
    SheilaNaGig and mauvais like this.
  14. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    What they said. It'll be a digital process so you've nothing to lose by offering it up to a few people or a group. First step is find the highest quality scanner.
    neonwilderness and SheilaNaGig like this.
  15. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    Okay. So my mission is to find someone with a high quality scanner.

    Thank you for these offers Urban. You’re great!
    neonwilderness likes this.
  16. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Try that app I mentioned first. It may well produce high enough quality scans.

    Scan your photos - Google Photos Help
    SheilaNaGig likes this.
  17. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    The app edd mentions would need the bits to be nice and properly flat. Maybe put them behind glass in a frame first. Use plenty of natural sun light when taking the photo with the special app.
    They don't have to be lined up or put together
    neonwilderness likes this.
  18. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Don't use an app, use a flatbed scanner. The better the source, the better the potential outcome. Restoration is mostly about someone's time so don't start off with a bad copy.

    I've got one but it's relatively cheap and you'd have to post them.
    pug and neonwilderness like this.
  19. editor

    editor hiraethified

    For the record, I've had really good scans off the app to the point where I don't use my flatbed scanner anymore. Of course, it depends if you've got a half decent phone camera or not.

    Google PhotoScan
  20. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    I don't doubt that phones can do an OK job of image capture under normal circumstances. But the use of someone's time, or paying for a commercial service, is a one-off. Give them the highest resolution, most linear scan possible.
    pug likes this.
  21. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    How large was the original photo? Will the individual bits fit on an A4 scanner with a small gap between them? If they're too large to all fit together, make sure that they're all scanned with the same orientation. And either way, try to make sure that all of the pieces are scanned with the straight edge parallel to the edge of the scanner. Any rotation that has to be done even by one or two degrees will reduce the quality of the final result. And obviously scan at the highest resolution possible (without interpolation).

    The same would apply if you go for photographing rather than scanning, but scanning will probably make it easier to control. If you do photograph the pieces make sure the lighting is even across the width of the image and make sure there are no reflections, especially if the original was on glossy paper. If you use light from a window, prop up a piece of white card on the opposite side of the photo to reflect some light back. You'd be surprised at how quickly the brightness of light from a window falls off.
    Chilli.s and mauvais like this.
  22. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    All of these very good suggestions makes it clear why photo restoration can be quite pricey.

    My phone doesn’t have a good camera editor so perhaps I shouldn’t use the app.
  23. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Well you may as well give it a go seeing as it's free - and maybe see if you know someone with a better phone?
  24. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I have a flatbed which I use to scan _negatives_ so should be able to do an actual print at higher resolution than needed - I can do scans for you if you like.

    I'm not sure whether it would be a better idea to try to join the pieces then scan, or scan them separately then try to join them in software. But I mean you could try both, scanning doesn't hurt the original.

    If you know anyone in academia, I'd guess that a history or art department might have experience or know somebody who knows about restoring and archiving documents and images.
    mauvais likes this.
  25. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Put the bits together with about a 5mm gap between them and take a snap and post it here to give a better idea of what exactly is involved.
    weltweit likes this.
  26. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    My local library has a big scanner photocopier. It emails you your scan
  27. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    Here’s a couple of photos of the torn up photograph.

    D345602C-EA3A-45E0-8C7E-F7CABDEAF823.jpeg A7C4CCEA-37A9-4804-BF99-F137DBBE919F.jpeg

    The photo is quite badly yellowed, so I guess that ought to be sorted out.

    It’s in four pieces, as you can see.

    There’s a lot of damage on the surface where he dashed the photo frame and glass to the floor and wrenched it open and tore it all up. I guess it got grazed or abraded.

    It makes me so very sad to see this and to handle it and remember that awful night.

    So what can I do to repair this photo? Is scanning and photoshopping the best option?

    I’d really rather somehow mend and repair the actual photograph instead of create a copy.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  28. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    That's pretty easy to digitally fix, all things considered - it's not got damage through any detail and is almost abstract in its form.

    Although you want to, don't attempt to repair the physical photo. If you must, do it as a last resort once digital work is done to a satisfactory standard and there's nothing left to lose.

    The best general advice you got was from RoyReed in post #21.

    Because of the relatively simple damage, you might have an easier time fitting the pieces together as squarely as possible, no gaps, and scanning it in its entirety,
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It's a pretty poor quality photograph to begin with and I'd suggest that physically trying to put it back together and retouch it would be a tough job. If you've got a half decent camera on your phone - or know someone with access to one (or a good camera) - and can photograph the four parts from directly overhead, I reckon a few urbanites here could have a good go at putting it back together. Then you just need to send the file to an online printer.

    I'd be happy to have a go if no one else can do it.
  30. fishfinger

    fishfinger تپلی

    That would be fairly straightforward to fix in Photoshop. Repairing the original would be much more difficult (assuming you want it to be an invisible repair).
    editor likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice