Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Image Restoration

One of the challenges of converting old photograph slides into digital images which can be stored in my computer has to do with the fact that the slides had been stored in the garage for several years. The exposure to the humidity, dust and mold has taken a toll on some of the images; some to the point of wondering if it was worth the effort of transferring them at all.

Enter “ArcSoft PhotoImpressions 6”, a softwear program which came with the VuPoint scanner I’ve been using to convert slides to digital images. I’ve been working on restoring a couple of the more relevant photographs, some which showed seemingly irreparable damage. Before scanning these slides I used a spray duster to get rid of accumulated dust; but there were other small embedded spots from mold or mildew which I was afraid would detract from the original image.

I’ll post a before and after on one I call “Wow 1a”, a picture of Lucy when we were visiting my grandmother in Florida back in 1972. I learned how to edit, some might use the term “photoshop”; but that leaves the connotation the original image was altered to make it look better than reality, fact is the image couldn’t come close to the beautiful young woman I took the picture of. I was attempting to restore a photograph by removing spots which had cankered the once near perfect image.

There’s a wonderful short story written by Bob Shaw, Light of Other Days, in which a product called Slow Glass is able to slow the speed of visible light from light speed to a much slower speed. This magical property actually has a scientific name, Bose-Einstein; although the manner used in the story is purely science fiction, or at least it is for now. I’d planned to link to that story but the link wouldn’t work. ( see link in title bar which now works ) The basic idea was to take an image, one that meant a great deal to the viewer, place a piece of slow glass in front of it and make that moment last well beyond normal parameters. The thicker the piece of glass the longer the image would last.

While taking some extra efforts to restore some of my favorite photographs; going over small sections, cloning and grafting specs of colors to replace damaged areas and then repeating the process to include the entire photograph I was able to reconstruct, as best I could, a memory from long ago. In a manner of speaking I had found a piece of slow glass and relived a moment from the past as if it had never faded.

1 comment:

Niya said...

Nice image restoration work. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing!!!

photoshop restoration and retouching