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Thread: To restore or not to restore - Family photos

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    Member khendar's Avatar
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    To restore or not to restore - Family photos

    I've spent the couple of weeks or so scanning and cropping photos from an old family trip album from 1988. They were taken with my father's Pentax MG SLR. Some are dark/grainy, some are washed out/overexposed, some have scratches and dust, some have faded over time, some were written on the back which has bled through, plus the cheap cotton gloves I initially wore to "protect" the prints seem to have left lint on some of the prints.

    So far I've pulled them into Picasa and geo-tagged them where possible. I'm of two minds whether or not to post-process the photos to fix up the colours, remove scratches etc. In a way the faults in the photos add character to the images, and I was primarily scanning them to have a digital copy in case something happens to the originals. However having nice clean versions, with adjusted levels etc would be nice as well.

    So what do you guys think? Better to leave them unaltered to fix the flaws?
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    only you can answer that surely ?
    Darren
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    True, I was just asking what other people would do :P

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    Copy them and fiddle with the copies only.
    That way you have both.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Geoff79's Avatar
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    Personally, if I had the time and the post processing skills, I would love to go back and "fix" a lot of old photos I have taken.

    My wife and I went to Heron Island () with her old Kodak 4 mega-pixel or something like that, and I actually got some good photos - some that still sit upon our wall at home many years later... but there was a big black blur in a lot of the photos due to the camera being in the midst of dying. Would love to go back and get that black blur out of the photos. And I will, one day.

    Anyway, long story short, as I said, if you have the time and skills, I'd do it. I'm still not confident in my post-processing skills to alter some old gems I may have, but hopefully one day. There's admittedly some great snaps in there that could come to life with a few alterations.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    And if you could scan any of the original negatives you'd be streets ahead. (OK, some blocks at least.)
    (You can take this as an "Well, I would.")
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Yeah - that would be ideal however I suspect the negatives are long gone. The albums themselves have survived several house moves, storage in a tin shed for several years, rats, dust, heat, children etc. I was was lucky enough to find all of the albums in the first place, tracking down the negatives is nigh on impossible :P

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    I did this with some old photos from the 1950's and decided to restore them (as far as possible) to their former glory.

    A lot of work however!
    4WD Exposure - capture the image!

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    Restore, for sure.
    Damien
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    Member nixworries's Avatar
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    i have been keeping an original and a repaired copy, i personally like to see the photo returned to it's former glory
    canon 5D mark III tamron 24-70 2.8 vc, 50mm 1.8, tamrom 70-200 2.8 vc, remote tripod
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    I've done all our family photos - the earliest being a glass plate circa 1860. I keep the originals and I've given cleaned up copies to each of the kids. They can fight over the originals when I'm not around any more.

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    Member JayR's Avatar
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    Ive left all mine as is (just finished the final scans last night in fact)

    I like the fact that theyve aged a little, its like a bit of history or character to it (but hey, I also like a bit of lomo and expired films )
    Pentax K7, MZ-30 (film), ME-Super (film), Diana mini, Holga Sterographic (3D)
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    Speaking as a keen family historian, I would restore copies, as long as the original integrity is preserved, that is try to keep the important parts of the photo true. Things like dust, scratches, faded parts etc will benefit from the restoration.
    Di
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