Before & After
I spend a lot of time cleaning up old photographs. I don’t really enjoy talking about the mechanics of the process. I guess that it ruins the zen of it. But Chris keeps saying I should put up some before and after images so everyone can see what it’s like.
So here’s a typical example. Straight from the scanner, it looked like this:
That appears to be my mother and two of her siblings, so I would imagine that this is at least 60 years old. I’m not sure exactly what type of film it is. It isn’t Kodachrome. That doesn’t fade this much. The slide holder says “Ansco Color”.
As you can see, there is a lot of dirt stuck to the slide. I could have soaked it in photoflo for a while and gotten a lot of that off. But there’s also a lot of scratches and damaged areas on the emulsion. There’s no way to fix those up. So I just cleaned all of the dust and damage up by hand in Photoshop.
The result looks like this:
I could get more aggresive at trying to restore the color, but I want it to still look its age, so I think that this is as far as I’m going to go with this one.
If you’d like to learn how to do this yourself, I recommend the book Digital Restoration From Start to Finish by Ctein.