For over a decade Sebastian Wintermute has been providing those interested in preservation of visual history and ancestral legacy an opportunity to restore photographs, images and documents that otherwise would literally fade away with years. Through his hands went thousands of old pictures and faded pages, from camera obscura portraits of American settlers to NASA documentation of Apollo Moon missions; from Revolutionary War veteran’s land grant signed by the Founding Fathers to snapshots of GIs crossing the Rhine during the final months of WWII.
Many of the photographs and documents were brought in by neighborhood residents, others were sent in from as far away as Hawaii and Europe. Some were lovingly kept in family albums, passed from one generation to the next, others were found in dusty attics and dirty basements. However, all of them contain great personal value as well as a visual history of people, their families and heritage. Working from a studio located on Manhattan’s culturally vibrant Lower East Side, Sebastian helps people from all walks of life, from recent African immigrants, to decedents of European nobility, to preserve their pasts, their family histories and traditions.
Sebastian’s knowledge of arts, photography and restoration techniques makes him a true expert in the field of photo restoration, while his deep knowledge and passion for history often turns seemingly simple restoration project into fascinating journeys of discovery of long forgotten names, places and events. Whether a photograph or a document is signed by a US president or a high school sweetheart, they receive the highest quality care available. Because of that Sebastian has been entrusted to restore and to preserve photographs and documents not only by individual clients nation wide, but also by some of the most prestigious and well-known companies and organizations in the country.
Photo restoration services
Quality photo restoration done by an experienced professional returns photographs that are about to vanish forever back to near pristine condition, to be appreciated as originally intended and to be safely shared with family and loved ones.
The process of restoration begins with a consultation during which the damage to the photograph is assessed and the client is advised which techniques and materials might be required to bring the image back.
Restoration of old photographs, particularly those of the loved ones who are no longer with us, can be a very personal and moving experience for many people. Sebastian appreciates that, carefully listening and following any suggestions and wishes expressed by clients and striving to fulfill all of their expectations and instructions.
Photo scanning and photo archiving
Growing interest in genealogy and preservation of family history sparked a high demand for photo scanning, photo archiving and sharing of old family photographs and documents. Unfortunately many companies that offer photo scanning services are not prepared to deal with fragile heirloom photographs and documents. Risks of loss or damages to originals are compounded when work is outsourced to offshore companies that use outdated equipment operated by semi skilled workers.
Sebastian Wintermute offers high quality photo scanning and archiving providing scans of unprecedented quality and retention of details, with the highest degree of attention given to preservation and safety of the original prints and transparencies.
Photo retouching and photo coloring
Some situations require photoretouching services beyond the realm of photo restoration. Because of the challenge and fun, Sebastian rarely turns away such requests, be it coloring of an old black and white picture or turning a digital snapshot into an antique photograph.
Applying color to black and white photographs adds a wonderful touch to vintage and modern photographs alike. Originally a very difficult and costly process involving application of oil paint and markers onto the original photograph, it has now become more affordable with the advances of digital photo retouching and allows a variety of colors and shades to be applied onto a digital image with extreme precision and without any possibility of damage to the original.
RESTORATION OF A ROLLED UP PHOTOGRAPH
Flattening and repair
Restoration of a rolled up photographs. Restoration process starts with a careful unrolling and flattening of a photograph, The procedure consists of controlled humidification, which introduces moisture into the layers of the photo emulsion and the paper and make them pliable followed by slow drying.
RESTORATION OF AN OLD FADED PHOTOGRAPH
View of the Madison Square
Restoration of a faded photograph with the view of the old Madison Square Garden presented a challenge since sections of the original photograph were missing and it was showing uneven fading, but excellent quality and sharpness allowed the photograph to be restored to its former beauty. Restoration began with making a high-resolution scan of the image.
RESTORATION OF CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPH
Faded sepia print
Photographs dating back to the Civil War often exhibit fading, chemical deterioration and silver migration. Each of those images deserves careful consideration and preservation because of the historical significance that the are depicted on those photographs.
RESTORATION OF AN OLD MAP
17th century London
Restoration of 17th century map of London printed for and dedicated to Sir Robert Vyner (Viner), Lord Mayor of London (1674). The map had suffered cuts and scratches from broken glass when the frame was damaged during shipping.