Photo Restoration Sebastian Wintermute Studio Photo Restoration Sebastian Wintermute Studio
Restoration of antique photograph

Photo restoration services

Quality 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 photo 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.

Restoration of rolled-up photographFactors taken into consideration include the image’s physical condition and shape (rolled up or warped photograph will have to be flattened, stains and creases repaired, etc), and necessary requirements for a final print of a restored photograph. Based on that, an estimate is produced and the photograph enters the first stage of restoration process.

Photo restoration is a difficult and time consuming art form, especially when it comes to extremely damaged photographs on which important parts, particularly facial features, are missing. Even in such extreme cases artistic expertise and experience working with historical photographs allows for successful undertaking and completion of even the most difficult restoration projects.

Producing a high quality scan of a photograph or of a document is the first and an extremely important step in photo restoration. The quality of the scan determines the quality of the result. Discount photo restoration services may use low quality scanners or require the clients to scan photographs themselves in hope that later whatever imperfections or problems that may cause could be fixes in Photoshop. Sebastian utilizes professional equipment and software to ensure that the scans made by him capture even the smallest details or the minute color variations needed for high quality photo restoration and art replication.

Prior to scanning the original photograph is cleaned of any surface dust and residue. Scans are done at resolution of aRestoration of photograph of The Dakota buildingt least 600dpi if the image is to be reproduced at its original size. Higher resolution is used if the image is to be enlarged or if small details are a factor, such as fine art reproduction, publication or photo archiving.

With the high quality scan, the repair and retouching of the digital image begins. First contrast and brightness are adjusted to bring back faded tones to the original levels. Next, close magnification identifies the minute scratches, tears, ink spots and mildew marks. The damaged areas are carefully retouched and matched to the undamaged parts and areas.

While discount photo restoration services rely on use of automatic options available with scanning and retouching software, Sebastian feels there is no substitute for scrutiny in restoration; he carefully retouches the image, replacing missing or damaged parts with pieces taken from undamaged areas or by carefully replicating the details, avoiding loss of quality and clarity associated with use of shortcuts.

Detail of unretouched scan made at 600dpi resolution.

Note the appearance of the original grain of the print as well as the fine cracks of the photo emulsion, scratches damages and other imperfections of the print showing on the scan

Same scan after application of dust and scratches filter.

While the scratches and other damages were removed, the image lost sharpens and the original grain is no longer can be seen.

Scan retouched by hand.

Careful retouching removed all signs of damages while preserving the sharpens and the original details and the grain of the photograph.

After all damage has been repaired and the restored image meets client approval, a test print determines the correct settings and detects any areas that may require additional attention. If the test print is approved, a final print is made and trimmed according to client’s specifications.

Restoration should not be a temporary fix. High quality printing is the key to the longevity of any restored photograph or document. Sebastian believes that only the supplies and materials that are guaranteed to last for generations should be used in this important step. All prints of the restored photographs are produced on fine art natural fiber acid free papers on a giclee printer. The manufacturers of paper and ink guarantee the prints to last for well over 150 years without fading if prints are to be displayed under normal conditions; for over 250 years if prints are kept in a proper archival environment.

Upon request a client is provided with a CD or DVD containing digital files that can be easily shared by email or uploaded to a website.