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11/15/2021 12:56:35 PM · #1
My Mom has some OLD photos (late 1800s/early 1900s) and a couple of tintypes that we "kids" want to get restored for her. Does anyone have experience with one of the myriad companies that offer this service?

TIA.
11/15/2021 01:08:25 PM · #2
If you just want them scanned and digitally updated I don't think it matters that much.

However, if you want actual restoration/conservation of the originals I would suggest contacting a museum or university art department for a recommendation.
11/15/2021 01:12:08 PM · #3
There are tears, spots, fading and cracks that need fixing. I'm just not good enough with Photoshop to be able to fix that level of damage in a scan.
11/15/2021 01:31:02 PM · #4
There are certainly a number of folks on DPC who would be capable of the needed work. Some information that would be helpful:
- How many photos are there?
- What size are the photos, physically?
- Are you capable/confident to capture the digital files yourself, or would you be looking to have this done as well?
- Are the photos mounted or framed currently?

The second question is critical. Anytime you send the physical photos, there is risk (mainly shipping risk). If you can avoid that, great, but don't shy away from it if it means the best reproduction quality.
11/15/2021 01:41:19 PM · #5
I have to get my hands on them again to answer accurately, but I remember about a dozen of them (including the tintypes), mostly small (less than 4x6) but a couple more like 8x10, most unframed. As far as scanning goes, I just have a basic printer/copier/scanner. I don't know if that's good enough.

I will have access to them Thanksgiving weekend. I'm not averse to shipping them if that is necessary. Right now they're all in a box under the bed, mostly with multiples in big envelopes. So to some extent leaving them where they are is risky, too.
11/15/2021 02:05:27 PM · #6
Whatever scanner you use make sure you only scan and the "native" resolution (the physical sensors) -- don't have the scanner interpolate/upsample; you can always do that later if necessary ...

Ideally you want to scan at 1200ppi to allow for better detail and printing enlargements.
11/15/2021 06:09:15 PM · #7
What make and model is your printer/scanner? I can look up the specs and let you know what I think are the best settings to scan with for that unit. I'm betting that you can get pretty decent scans from it.
It would be great if you could post just very basic images, e.g. phone captures, of each of the photos so we know what extent of remediation is needed.
11/15/2021 07:06:03 PM · #8
Originally posted by kirbic:

What make and model is your printer/scanner? I can look up the specs and let you know what I think are the best settings to scan with for that unit. I'm betting that you can get pretty decent scans from it.
It would be great if you could post just very basic images, e.g. phone captures, of each of the photos so we know what extent of remediation is needed.


Printer is an HP OfficeJet Pro 9025. Scan resolution 1200dpi. I just looked it up ;-)

Here are some of the pictures. I took quick shots of them the last time I was at my Mom's. Since I found 16, I'm guessing the total number we want restored would be more like 20 images. Maybe 25. Some are clearly in better shape than others.

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11/16/2021 09:26:51 AM · #9
Some of them would be relatively easy, others would represent some tedious work to clean up properly, as is often the case with photos that are this old. Most don't really require really high resolution scans since there is not a lot of fine detail. The biggest challenge is that your scanner is only 8-bit in grayscale. I'd scan in color at 600 DPI and convert later. Some of the photos lack detail in the highlights, and it might be beneficial to scan these twice, once lighter and once darker, to enable as much detail recovery as possible.
11/16/2021 03:36:58 PM · #10
Originally posted by kirbic:

... it might be beneficial to scan these twice, once lighter and once darker, to enable as much detail recovery as possible.

and run those through HDR software?
11/17/2021 08:52:51 AM · #11
I am of no help, but wanted to say, lovely photos, loved going through them
12/16/2021 03:47:50 PM · #12
Here are the final results in my family photo library. The ones I processed are named by who's in them and when it was taken (to the best of my knowledge); the professionally restored ones (I found someone local) are all named OMalley-something. They were very pricey to do, but considering the shape of the originals I'm impressed. They even managed to do the one that was printed on convex metal which was cracked and bent in places, and the dark and corroded tintypes.

I discovered after scanning the ones I did, which I thought were in good shape, that they all had tiny creases and dots all over them. The "Dust and Scratches" filter helped a lot, but also softened the image if I used too big of a radius, so there was a lot of spot editing to do after I applied the filter. Very slow, painstaking work, I must say.

Now to give the photos and zip drive to my Mom for Christmas and get her to label the rest of the pictures :-)
12/16/2021 07:19:30 PM · #13
awesome results Mary .. i really enjoyed looking thru them .. :)
12/16/2021 07:41:11 PM · #14
Darn it Mary! Now you've gone and inspired me to try something that I know I don't have the time to do. :-} This is really awesome.
12/16/2021 08:18:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Darn it Mary! Now you've gone and inspired me to try something that I know I don't have the time to do. :-} This is really awesome.


Happy to be of service LOL.
12/16/2021 08:33:48 PM · #16
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Darn it Mary! Now you've gone and inspired me to try something that I know I don't have the time to do. :-} This is really awesome.

For goodness sakes then don't drop in on this thread!
12/16/2021 09:37:29 PM · #17
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Darn it Mary! Now you've gone and inspired me to try something that I know I don't have the time to do. :-} This is really awesome.

For goodness sakes then don't drop in on this thread!

Too late! Already been there and actually facing nearly the same scenario. Have moved copies of all digitial photos going back to 2002 to a 8TB hard drive and working on tagging, keywording, etc. Next step is prints. Lots and lots of prints. My wife wants more traditional photo albums to sit down and browse with the kids, etc.

Mary ... here's a sample of some of the old family photos that need some attention too. :)

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12/17/2021 07:07:32 AM · #18
Originally posted by MaryO:

Here are the final results in my family photo library. The ones I processed are named by who's in them and when it was taken (to the best of my knowledge); the professionally restored ones (I found someone local) are all named OMalley-something. They were very pricey to do, but considering the shape of the originals I'm impressed. They even managed to do the one that was printed on convex metal which was cracked and bent in places, and the dark and corroded tintypes.

I discovered after scanning the ones I did, which I thought were in good shape, that they all had tiny creases and dots all over them. The "Dust and Scratches" filter helped a lot, but also softened the image if I used too big of a radius, so there was a lot of spot editing to do after I applied the filter. Very slow, painstaking work, I must say.

Now to give the photos and zip drive to my Mom for Christmas and get her to label the rest of the pictures :-)

Very impressive!
12/17/2021 07:17:22 AM · #19
Originally posted by glad2badad:



Mary ... here's a sample of some of the old family photos that need some attention too. :)

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Oh, my. Yes, you have your work cut out for you!
12/17/2021 08:05:26 AM · #20
I have about 60 tintypes, most in pretty good shape (lots of pink rosy cheeks and blue highlights in dark hair) and a brand-new HP LaserJet Pro MFP M28w. WHat would be the best settings for me to scan them with, ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', '/') + 1) . ' kirbic?
12/17/2021 10:05:47 AM · #21
I looked at the scan specs for the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M28w, and in grayscale it only scans at 8-bit depth. It has hardware resolution of 600 dpi.
I would scan in color, which gets you 8 bits per channel, and scan at the maximum hardware resolution of 600x600 dpi. I would then bring that file into Ps, and first convert to 16-bit depth (Image>Mode>16-bit), then convert to grays. There are several ways to convert to grayscale, Channel Mixer is probably the most flexible (Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer). Check the box at lower left of the Channel Mixer dialog to output to grayscale.
At the end, you should have a grayscale image that is a good approximation of a true 16-bit scan, except that the dynamic range will be lower. that does not really matter, as the DR of the print is not great.

Message edited by author 2021-12-17 10:06:23.
12/17/2021 10:55:59 AM · #22
thanks Kirbic, think I get the gist of it :-) only thing is, I no longer use PS but Affinity. Think I can muddle through it though :-)
12/17/2021 12:44:36 PM · #23
Not familiar with Affinity, but the only difference in the workflow will be figuring out what is the best way to do the grayscale conversion in Affinity.
12/17/2021 04:40:03 PM · #24
Wow, Mary! Those look Great!!! WOw!
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