Healing old photographs, removing damage from the image of a loved one, is something I care very much about. There is nothing better or more admirable than investing in the preservation of the images of our family and ancestors. Every image is digitally hand-corrected. This means many hours are spent up close and personal with your photograph to insure each inch of damage is touched. Having an artist’s background also allows me to recreate/paint in missing elements like clothing or facial features.
Hand-coloring or hand-tinting, originally used in the mid to late 19th century, brought life to monochromatic images. This art added something special when flat images could not offer the exuberance of color. Originally created using watercolors and pastels, I take a modern approach after restoration, by digitally painting in each color. After all, even after the advent of color photography, and digital filters, I feel the time and personal touch of hand-coloring photographs has a rightful place in this contemporary world.
Do you restore the original photo?
No. Never allow anyone to manipulate your original photograph. The first reason for this is your old photograph cannot easily be replaced. It may be the only one of its kind. Secondly, the original photograph is in a state of decay. Old methods and materials did not create photographs with the capability to last for many generations. Just like you wouldn’t try to attach sticks to hold up a dying flower and paint it’s wilted petals, it doesn’t make much sense to spend time and resources fixing an image that is dying.
In our modern era, we now have archival, acid-free paper and inks, which, if properly cared for, can last hundreds of years. The goal is to get the original image into that renewed, long-lasting format. Working from a high quality scan of the original image, I can digitally restore the photograph to what it would have looked like initially and produce a print that will last
Do you use an app or a filter to color these images?
No. Color filters applied to black and white photographs use random sweeps of hues based on tones. However, there are many things, in addition to tone, that should be considered when bringing black and white photographs into the world of color. For example, my knowledge and research of fashion and photographic history help me glean clues on what colors would be most likely. I can estimate the time period of a photograph which helps me understand the garment and accessory colors that would or would not be used during that time. Also, if the subjects of the photograph are in a room, I am able to know or research what colors would likely have been used in interior design at the time to give me a basis from which to work. If there is a military uniform in the photograph, historical accuracy becomes critical. All things considered, your final product will have a much higher caliber of color and greater historical integrity should you use a professional over an app.
What do you need to do this work?
For the best possible outcome I will need either the original photograph (if you are local) or a high quality scan of the original image (at least 300 dpi) emailed.
How much will this cost?
Cost is determined by how much time would be required to complete the project, and what size and quantity of finished prints you will need. Once I see the original photograph, and talk to you about your print needs, I can give you a quote!