View Full Version : Restoring a photograph

Fred L
2-Jun-2015, 18:16
Following the thread about bring back density to a thin negative, this video is about someone who can restore faded photographs, back to their original (or as close to I guess) condition.


3-Jun-2015, 16:11
The problem with this technique is that you loose much of the fine detail and low density gradations. The image becomes more contrasty and much less like the original. The tradeoff is that you now have an image. However, the image 'is' only a stark rendition of the original. If you scanned the image (well) and worked from there, one would probably get better results. In the bleach bath some silver just floats away, especially the small bits. That is, those small bits of the detail and in the thin gradations.

Many Photography Conservators will offer this bleach and redevelop service, but no one is really happy with the outcome. Personally I don't do it.

A thin negative on the other hand, can be that way from its inception. Using Photoshop is the very best way to get the most out of a thin negative. I have done this for a living and it is very successful when done with care, not following pre-set parameters, but doing it all by hand.

Tim Vitale
Paper & Photo Conservator
Oakland, CA

3-Jun-2015, 17:03
His process appears similar to the bleach and redevelop sepia toning method. But why does he include an extra step of exposing the print under light after he bleaches?