After my first recent success with restoring teh DLI Trophy I decided to have another poke about in grandma's photo albums, and found a whole host of pre and post war photos taken by (or displaying) my grandparents and parents. Fortunatly for grandma, she keeps her photos in albums, so they have survived the test of time quite well (the oldest photo I found was taken in 1917 according to the date on the back!!) However this doesn't help me much! There were some great photos there, some real moments of history captured, that let stories live on long after the moment had past. Thats one of the reasons why I became a photographer, being able to freeze a moment in time, so people can relive it over and over again through my photos. Seeing the smile on my parents/grandma's face as they recount long forgotten stories some related to the photos, some just memories jogged by seeing old familar faces, was one of the most heartwarming times I've had in a long time. Everyone loves photos, the memories they bring back can be just as rewarding as the experience that prompted the photo in the first place. One of these photos which unfortunatly did not last as well as the others, was of my great uncle Tom in his military uniform, I don't know a great deal about him, but I'm going to ask my grandma (his sister) about him very soon, and update this blog, as this post is just as much about him, as it is the restoration. What I know so far is that he was the younger brother of my great auntie Alice, who, was born in 1911 (and shes still going strong at 100!!!!), and the big brother of my grandma, who's around 87 (and fitter than me, seriously, she goes to the gym three times a week!) He died when he was 90 years old, and that was only fairly recently, from my best guess, I would say he  was born in around 1916-1919. I'll confirm this with grandma and update, but I think im pretty close either way. He served in the army, and as far as I'm aware fought in world war two (he was the right age), so im sure there will be many a story to be told! The photo in question was a service portrait, these were usually taken for soldiers to send home to loved ones while they were away on deployment overseas, the photo had written "1950" on the back, so this particular one was post war, but still a lovely photo all the same.
great uncle Tom

great uncle Tom

                                                As you can see, the photo itself isn't in too bad condition, with most of the damage being on the outside of the frame. The discolouration happens over time to most photos, this one was printed on card, which probably helped it survive so long. The  edit was a pretty simple one, after the photo was scanned, I set about colour correction first, making the image black and white. Most of the colour information was naturally in the red and yellow channels, so as I made it black and white, I played with these channels until I got the look I was after, then adjusted the contrast, and finally used some doging and burning, mainly on the face to get the shadows "right" to give his face a little more definition thats been lost over time. The next step was to clean up the scrapes, this was done mostly using the healing brush tool, this is pure magic, and does a great jb getting rid of scrapes, although can get it very very wrong if over used, so being careful and selective, I managed to eliminate most of the scrapes with this method. Next was to get rid of the breaks and creases in the photo, this was the most prominent damage to the photo, but when spending a bit of time on it, its probably the easiest to fix. Using a combination of layers, and the healing brush tool, as well as (mostly) the clone tool, I built up and covered over the damage, with the left breast pocket (from our, the  viewers perspective) needing a little touch up with the dodge/burn tools and a black brush. I touched initially deleted the outer frame, but the image just looked wrong, so I went back and just touched it up, leaving the edges rageddy, but fixing the damage on the inside, I just htought it kept a little of the character of the photo. Finally, I picked up the actual image, and mad it slightly larger in the frame, I just thought that this fitted slightly better in the image. So, here it is. please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments. thanks for reading.
Great uncle tom, all cleaned up

Great uncle tom, all cleaned up

  Chris. (I'll be editing lots more family portraits soon, so if you like this please keep checking back!)

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