The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, June 26, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

When I first started playing around with digital photo editing my main purpose was to work through the mountains of old family photos restoring where necessary and just digitizing the rest. (Am I finished -- NO!) Every now and then I will get a request from someone to restore a cherished family photo. Just being able to digitize a photo is a great way to insure it will be around for generations.

OK -- I hear you on copyright (and everyone knows how big I am on protection of intellectual property). You can check this link to read about how long certain works are protected. There are certain rules in effect for work created after January 1, 1978 and those created prior to that. In some cases of photos the original copyright owner is either dead or cannot be found to secure a release. Most of the photos (probably 99.9%) I deal with were created prior to 1978. It is my feeling that in the case of some that still might be protected by copyright -- if the original photographer is not around or can't be found -- the family needs a good photo. Perhaps the caretaker of the photo did not know the best way to care for it or perhaps there was a tragedy like flood or fire.

In contrast to my feelings on this -- when I hear of someone getting school pictures of their child, purchasing one of the least expensive packages, and then copying the photos to get more without compensating the photographer -- well -- we all know -- that is totally wrong.

Back to the photo on the blog. My dentist was one of my first big clients. In her office hang many of my backyard photos. She has been a great supporter of me as a photographer. She told her assistant about me. The assistant had some photos of her mother and other family members that were damaged. She wanted a "fixed" print. The one on the blog is her mother. This has been one of my favorite restorations. I love being able to take something that is what many feel is beyond help and bring it back to almost as good as new.

The photo was restored using Photoshop Elements (my editing program of choice) and using Silver Efex Pro to tweak it back to the original black and white. Some people are amazed that an inexpensive program like Elements can do the job. I used to use Microsoft's Digital Image to do it until I switched to Elements. You don't need an expensive program -- Elements does way more than I will ever need or want. Just some basic cloning and healing got the job done here. I did not scan -- I took a photo of the original photo and then want to work.

Since I repaired this one -- they have given me a stack of photos! I think I will be busy with those for quite a while!

(and if you did not notice -- Vintage Photo Friday has a new name)



Laura Cameron said...

Great restoration work!

Mernie said...

I did notice the change in the title...I do like it!

Yes, great restoration work!
Thanks posting the before and after and for the information too.

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