You might remember that during my 2015 Genealogy Resolutions, I aimed to grow my collection of family photographs.
The up-shot of that is that I have about a dozen old original photos that are creased, flaking, distorted, torn – I’m sure I’m not alone in having these. I also have a few that are modern prints of damaged photographs – where I’ve been able to temporarily borrow a photo to copy it.
Each one of these is just that little bit imperfect that it doesn’t quite make the grade when it comes to enlarging, printing or framing.
As the new year chimed in, I received an email out of the blue from Nick at Photo Restoration Services, in Kent, here in the UK.
I’d not really prioritised my photo restoration, as I can meander my way around the likes of Photoshop okay-ish and have made some improvements to the lesser-damaged images in the past, but nothing too adventurous. I think I’d mentally filed the more damaged images in my ‘to-do’ file… you know, the one that must be huge and probably has a 10yr waiting list. That one.
Trying out a photo restoration service
So, on the offer of a freebie, I thought that I’d give it a go. Why not? I get a photo repaired and Pick Nick gets a photo to show off in their portfolio. Everyone’s happy.
So, let’s take a look at the original – this is a photograph of my Great Grandfather, Ernest Edward Thomas Dewey. He served as a Private in the First World War, with The Suffolk Regiment, The Royal Munster Regiment, and The Royal Irish Fusiliers, and saw action in Gallipoli.
…and within a few days, I received an email back from Pick Nick with the photo restoration job done.
I’m really impressed at the result. The photo is much crisper and the sepia level is less aggressive, but those creases have been removed, and the missing bits of the photo that have long since flaked away, have been replaced – seamlessly returned to their rightful place about 100 years since the photograph was first taken.
To feed my curiosity (I’m never one to shy away from such nerdery), Pick Nick sent me a video link that shows the photo restoration done in 3 minutes. From my own dabbling experience, I know it would have taken hours rather than the 3 minutes to do – it’s a very tricky art to master!
So, bringing new life to an old photo has inspired me to rummage and find some more photos that could do with a new lease of life in 2016.
For now though, I definitely know who to recommend if I’m looking for someone to restore my old photos in future.