Repairing Old Photographs – George Steele LRPS CPAGB BPE 2*

February 12, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information

Family photographs, lovingly passed around, kept in wallets, displayed in bright light, often end up in a parlous state, faded, cracked, creased and stained. Digital photography of course provides the possibility of recovery and repair, and with patience and skill they can even look better that they did originally.

George has acquired great skill over the years in doing this restoration work and he showed us examples of different kinds of repair. These techniques of scanning, tonal adjustment and cloning can, of course, be applied to any photograph and remarkable things like making cars, telegraph poles and even buildings disappear with a bit of careful cloning can be of great interest commercially, though some would frown at the excessive use of the technique in our competition pictures (it is expressly forbidden in nature photographs).

George showed a remarkable way of cleaning up noise in a digital image using the LAB channels in Photoshop. Much software is available to help clean up noise but this seemed remarkably effective in the example he chose. With the image in Photoshop he displayed the LAB channels (Image>Mode>LAB colour) and then used “Dust and scratches” to both the A and the B channels. I am sure some of us will be trying this technique on our own work very soon, so watch this space!

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