Thanks to modern technology, we can bring new life to old photos.
A client brought me this photo of her mother and her mother’s basketball team. Based on the date on the basketball, the image was 87 years old, and it was showing its age: curling, creases, tears, abrasion, discoloring. Fortunately, the mother’s face was unmarred. The client wanted to share copies of this photo with her siblings at the summer family reunion.
I scanned it in, and returned the original image as is. That’s one of the luxuries of scanning: The original in most cases can be retained if desired.
Then I ran through a rudimentary photo editing software, of which there are dozens on the market. Free photo editing software will only get you so far; you can crop and enhance the color but usually that’s about it. If you need to do extreme editing (as in this case), you’ll need to spring for some software or enlist a photo organizer in your endeavors.
I cloned in some corners, softened some of the abrasions, knitted together the rips and, per the client’s specifications, retained the sepia tones (an even more extreme makeover would colorize the image). Here’s the result:
It’s by no means perfect, but it’s better. An observer can see smiles first now instead of photo damage. Imagine it on display at the family reunion, affixed in an album or framed to enjoy. Oh, the conversations it will inspire!
The best part is I sent the electronic copy straight to the local drugstore where the client was able to pick up prints for herself and her siblings. Those prints are now 2019 versions that will last another 87 years.