Do I need an appointment?
YES. Please CALL or
for an appointment.
How long does it take to restore a photograph?
In most cases it takes between 5 to10 business days to have a photograph restored. However, if a photograph is extremely damaged or if Sebastian is engaged in a large project, it may take a bit longer. It is particularly advisable that you bring in photographs to be restored well in advance of holidays such as Veterans Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
How much does it cost to restore a photograph?
Each restoration project is unique. Estimates can be provided only upon thorough examination of the original. The assessment is also made based on client's requirements for the final image: size, tone, even the lighting where the restored photograph will be displayed.
Though no price can be put on the experience of seeing an old and nearly gone photograph of loved ones being back to life, the actual cost can range from $80.00 to hundreds of dollars and more for museum quality restoration of a large print with extensive physical damage. But whatever the case, a client can be assured that the final result will be worth every penny.
To obtain an estimate, please make an appointment to have your photographs examined and to receive a comprehensive answers to any questions that you may have concerning all aspects of photo restoration.
Pro bono work and discounts are offered to survivors of Holocaust and combat veterans of WWII.
Can I send you a scan of a photograph to be restored?
Producing a high quality scan is the first and one of the most important steps in photo restoration. Unlike many discount photo restoration services that use low quality scanners in hope that later whatever imperfections of the scan, low resolution or color changes can be fixes in Photoshop, Sebastian Wintermute utilizes high quality equipment, to ensure capture of even the smallest details or the most minute color variations of the original that are needed for high quality photo restoration and art replication.
However, if you are unable to bring the original photograph to the studio or send it to be restored, you can e-mail or send a CD with high scan file of a photograph to be restored. Have a photograph scanned at a minimum resolution of 600dpi at full color setting, even if photograph is black and white, do not apply any color correction, scratch and dust removal, or any other filter that may change the appearance of the photograph.
I have a document signed by one of the president of the United States. The signature on the document is very faded. Is it possible to make the signature visible again?
Sebastian Wintermute does not modify, enhance or alter signatures or any other parts of legal documents and/or photographs that may have historical value or significance. However, it is possible to make a display copy of the document on which the faded signature will be made visible again.
Is it possible to fix a photograph that is in good condition but covered with some blue residue?
Most likely the photograph is displaying the signs of silver migration or “silver mirror” as it is commonly referred in photo restoration. Silver migration is the process opposite of formation of patina or layer of oxidation on the surface of silver or bronze objects. If a photograph was not properly processed, with time, molecules of free silver begin to appear near the surface creating a shiny layer.
Unfortunately there is not much that can be done to remove this layer. Some photo restorers suggest that a light coating of Vaseline can reduce the appearance of silver migration, but usually such treatment can lead to long-term irreversible damage to the entire photograph. The better solution is to produce a high quality scan of a photograph and to remove the damage by expert photo retouching.
Sebastian Wintermute has successfully restored many such photographs including those that came from the vast collection of historical photographs of New York City belonging to history associations and private collectors.
Can you restore a photograph stuck to glass?
Depending on the extent of the damage a photograph can either be separated from the glass with a minimal loss or it can be restored by cleaning the glass surface, making a high resolution scan, digitally retouching the damaged areas, and making a high quality print to match the original photograph.
How do I flatten a rolled up photograph?
Restoration of a rolled up photograph or document is one of the most challenging and difficult of all restoration tasks. It is highly advisable that any photograph of value that has been rolled up and stored in such condition for a prolonged period of time is handled by a skilled restoration and conservation professional, otherwise a photograph will suffer additional distress or may be damaged beyond repair.
Sebastian Wintermute has extensive experience of restoring such photographs, from 1880 panoramic views on New York City to pictures taken at WWII military training camps.
If you have a photograph that has been rolled up and that you would like to be restored, please CALL or
for an appointment to have it examined.
Can you restore the original photograph instead of making a digital copy?
Traditional photo retouching service is offered on case-by-case basis. If an original photograph is damaged only slightly, it may still be possible to reduce the appearance of scratch marks and other imperfections by careful application of retouching spot tones.
The great misconception about photo restoration is that in the old times the true photo restorers whose art is forever lost were able to repair and restore an original photograph no matter how damaged it was.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Though some damages such as scratches, minor blemishes or tears in the original photograph could and still can be retouched and repaired by a skilled restorer, anything more then that required making of a copy of the original photograph.
The usual procedure was to photograph the original image onto a special copy film such as Kodak Professional Copy Film 4125 that was designed for retouching. After a copy was made the photo restorer would carefully retouch the negative removing all visible signs of damages and imperfections by applying special retouching tools and pencils. After the negative was retouched it would be printed on photo paper, this producing a restored duplicate of the original damaged photograph.
Nowadays, instead of making a negative from the original photograph a digital file is created by scanning the photograph with a high quality photo scanner. After the digital file is retouched the restored image is printed on specially designed paper of higher quality and longevity then most of old fashion photo papers.
Is it possible to enlarge a small photograph?
With high resolution scanning and careful retouching and restoration a small photograph can be enlarger to 4x6 or even 8x10 size. Making a photograph much larger, as was done in enlarging thumbnail size digital images to fit a HD screen for the opening credits of the documentary "The Lavender Scare", is possible but usually requires a considerable amount of skill and effort.
Can you remove replace a background and remove a person from a photograph?
With careful retouching it is possible to replace a background or to remove a person from a photograph without making the image look artificially changed. It is also possible to remove the background on a photograph or change the lighting, making the faces covered by shadows to appear lighter. Sebastian Wintermute offers such services when a photograph is needed for private use only. No such photo retouching is done to alter the appearance of photographs of any historical significance or if such photo retouching may violate professional code of conduct, such as changing the appearance of images for publication in newspapers, magazines or on-line publications.
How do I protect photographs and documents from fading?
To prolong the life of your photographs or documents and to prevent any additional damage we advise that you always store the original photographs in archival acid-free envelopes and boxes that can be purchased from your local art or frame shop. Keep them away from any areas that may experience dramatic changes of temperature and humidity such as garages, attics, basements or any areas near fireplaces or windows. Display the photographs or documents only in frames that are covered with UV protective glass. Keep them away from exposure to direct sunlight, fluorescent light and drastic changes of temperature and humidity.
If your photographs or documents are mounted in frames, do not use chemical cleaners or solvents on the protective glass or the frame. Chemicals may penetrate the openings between the glass and the frame and cause additional damage to the photographs. Use only clean rags or paper towels with water to clean frames and glass. If frame or glass become damaged or you would like to replace them, do not do it yourself, take them to a professional framing shop, specifying the use of archival materials for mounting and framing.
How long do the digital prints last?
All photographs and documents restored by Sebastian Wintermute are printed on fine art archival papers using specially formulated inks. With proper care and display, you can expect up to a 150-year life span, which will guaranty that many more generations in your family will enjoy these photographs and the history behind them.
Is it safe to send photograph or documents by mail?
Due to the numerous problems with US Postal Service it is advised that you send all packages via FedEx or UPS.
Prior to shipping, place all photographs or documents into separate envelopes, and then place those envelopes between pieces of sturdy cardboard. Do not forget to request a copy of shipping bill and a tracking number. It is strongly recommend that you specify full insurance coverage and direct signature for your parcels and place highly visible notes outside requesting careful handling.
Under no circumstances ship framed photograph without first removing the glass from the frame.
Sebastian Wintermute will not be liable for any damages occurred during delivery of items to the studio and reserves the right to refuse the work or to change the estimate price if the items arrive damaged or were not shipped according to specifications.
For how long do you keep digital copies of photographs?
All digital files are kept for the period of no less than 3 years.