Past generations don’t have the luxury of going into the archives of the Internet and looking back on their lives through sites like Facebook and Instagram. Many memories are locked in photo paper that rarely stand the test of time.
Connie Redwood had been in a similar situation. After spending time researching her family ancestry she found an old photograph of her great grandparents who had passed away in 1913 and 1938.
“The picture is large, 16 x 20 inches, and is over 100 years old. It is in fairly poor condition due to being stored in a shed for many years and sustaining some water and mildew damage.” – Connie Redwood
When done correctly, photo restorations are the best way to breath new life into historic, damaged photographs. In a sit-down with our photo retouching wizard, Stephanie, we learn about the challenging process from start to finish.
What condition was the photo in when you got your hands on it?
The photograph came in pretty dark, so I had to increase the contrast to brighten it up and make the blacks richer. This can be tricky since their faces are overexposed, so I used layer masks to help target problem areas.
Can you tell us the steps you took to clean it up?
I used a tool in Photoshop called Spot Healing Brush that removes blemishes, dust, and scratches. It samples areas of the photograph that surround it and patches it up. Then there’s the Clone Stamp Tool that gives more control. It lets you select an area and clones the spot.
The stains from the water damage are pretty large. How did you fix that without affecting the whole image?
I initially started with the clone tools, but they weren’t the best options since it didn’t come out looking consistent enough. To remedy this, I swapped the background using clipping masks. Then I traced the outline of the people by hand and replace the background with our own.
“CanvasPop’s restoration of the photograph is truly amazing, with the water damage and tears being removed and the colour restored. Also, I was delighted to see details that were not evident in the original, such as my great grandmother’s necklace.
The restored picture is a part of our family history that will be of great interest to current and future generations.” – Connie Redwood
Have any old photos you’re looking to restore? Choose CanvasPop to bring it to life.