Photographic Services, Restoration and Editing by NetInvent

Photographic Restoration and Editing

Due to the availability of cheap Chinese photo restoration services, we no longer provide this service except by special arrangement.

Photographic restoration

If you have old or damaged photographs, or scans of them, we can effect considerable repairs. The best results are possible when we are able to scan the original negative or print ourselves, but we can also make major improvements to already scanned images.

Some people are unfortunate in that they only have jpeg files of old photographs: the originals having been lost or are inaccessible for whatever reason. The process of jpeg compression can do considerable damage to a photograph in itself. Some of this damage can be repaired, with considerable improvements in image quality.

In the example below, we didn't take the restoration process too far and maintained the original colouration and contrast of the image, as well as some of the aging effects such a minor scratches. This was done so that the restored result would blend seamlessly into an existing collection of old photographs which had not been restored or tampered with.

A badly damaged photograph from the 1950s (11Kb image) The damaged photograph, after restoration (12Kb image)
BeforeAfter

The only available copy of the image above was a badly compressed jpeg file. The magnifications below show how seriously the jpeg compression had damaged the image. To make matters worse, the photograph was clearly in some distress when scanned. The sharp details introduced by the crease damage have only served to exacerbate the compression damage by introducing unwanted high frequency elements into the image.

Close up of jpeg artifacts and other damage in the photograph (10Kb image) Close up of photographic damage (8Kb image) The compression damage is clearly visible here in this 200% magnification, in the form of strange colourations and seemingly random pixels. You can also see the extent and severity of the crease and scratch damage, which obliterates vital areas of detail in the image. It's also apparent that the source image is not of a high resolution, which is a pity, though there probably wasn't a great deal more useful detail to be had from the original print.

It's possible to repair this kind of damage, as well as stains, discolourations, and the kind of scratch damage that typically shows up most obviously on polaroid shots. We can also add false colour to old back and white images, or recreate new sepia tints that give better contrast when printed than plain black and white.

Photographic Editing

Original wedding photo excerpt (3Kb image) Wedding photo with bride and groom isolated on a pleasant leafy background (2Kb image) When editing photographs for use in web page construction, the most common tasks are cropping and removal of backgrounds. We can also perform more involved editing. People can be removed from photographs, or new backgrounds inserted - or both. Sometimes you just want to use part of a picture, or separate out an element.
In this case the objective was to isolate a single figure from the original damaged photograph, producing an 'antique' photograph of a scene that never existed. When reproduced under the right conditions, it's unlikely that the edits would be noticed. The restoration of the entire original image was performed only as an example of what can be achieved. It's also possible to take the process further and achieve an entirely different kind of result. Typically, adding color to such images results in the old fashioned hand-tinted look: before the availability of cheap color film it was not uncommon for black and white prints to have color painted on top with transparent ink, though with much more effort it is possible to create a genuine color photograph look - this requires adjusting the brightness of each colour area carefully to account for the differing responses exhibited by black and white film to colored light.
Recoloured version of old photo (9Kb image) Recoloured version of old photo (9Kb image) Recoloured version of old photo (5Kb image) Stylised version of old photo (5Kb image) Recoloured old photo with grass in background (6Kb image) Recoloured old photo with stony beach in background (4Kb image)
Restored old photo with figure isolated (6Kb image)