A friend asked me to help her with a photo of her father and his mother that was cherished but in very poor condition. The photo had been printed long ago from a transparency and had faded in its frame to the point where the faces had become dark shadows and bright blobs. In addition, the top of her father’s uniform hat had been cut off and she asked if it could be put back on. After a little Google research on Marine uniforms, I was able to affect a reasonable improvement of the photo but… I’d wondered if they could find the original negative or slide. I was sure I would get more “information” in a good scan of whatever original they could find. Here’s the photo from the frame and the temporary fix… still very poor.
Huzzah! My friend’s father came up with an original slide transparency of the photo. I was hoping that the original had the rest of the hat… that whoever printed it had just cropped it badly… but… NO, it was taken that way in the camera. The good news was it was not scratched nor overexposed, so… there was lots of information in the image and little spotting to do.
This time the detail had to be there when I repainted the top of the uniform hat. A few color blobs wouldn’t do the job. With a bit of Adobe Lightroom adjustments and Photoshop the faces came out of the shadows which is the whole point of an image like this… a cherished memento from a happy time with a loved one from a long time ago. The details are what makes the experience of being transported back to that moment.
Did I get it right? I don’t know yet. My friend is happy with the results but I want to hear from her father. Is the day right? The light? Can he feel the pressure of his mother’s white gloved hand on his arm? Does he remember pinning on her corsage… or watching her face as she pinned it? Does he remember feeling the pride that is so obvious in the expression on her face?
I hope the new print will bring back wonderful memories for a very long time.