This Polaroid will alter the way I think about pricing my work. It is the most extensive restoration I’ve done to date. Until now, the most extensive restoration I had done was this three-hour job, so I used three hours as my benchmark for this request. These cracks seemed a little more faint, as if they might wipe away a little easier. I also wanted the work, so I gave a quote of two hours at $21 and hour–a $42 job. Oh, how wrong I was. I stopped logging after ten hours, and the job still was not finished. Read more…
I recreated the left side of this gentleman’s hat entirely from what remained of the right side, although a hat could just as easily have been copied from a similar photo. The latter method might have been preferable had I needed to replace a detailed insignia, but the method I chose ensured similar colors, lighting, etc. Value: $40-45.
This soldier is in the thick of his basic training for Vietnam.
Adding color where there is none is a trick, but teasing out colors that are there and hiding is not too difficult. Playing with a few sliders and trying on a few automatic color enhancers can quickly produce striking results. In this instance, I bartered a little extra work for permission to post the picture here. Creases and negative dust specks have been removed. Value: $8-$15.
I enjoy restoring damaged, worn, and faded photographs to their original splendor most of all, but I have other tricks up my sleeve. If some unwanted objects are spoiling the ambiance of your treasured memories, I can often wipe them out of the picture.
Here is the B’nai Abraham Synagogue of Philadelphia. Bernard Levinathal, Rabbi of the B’nai Abraham, officiated the marriage of my great-grandparents in 1909. Removing the power lines from the clear blue sky was relatively straightforward. Removing the garbage bags from the front left took a little more work. Lastly, I tweaked the contrast to bring out the colors. Value: $30-35.
Taking color out of a picture is simple. Adding color to a black-and-white photo is a trick. Aunt Rose’s valiant attempt at hand-colorization didn’t quite convince. The skin tone is unnatural and heavy brush strokes span the lips and eyebrows. Removing most of the color and cleaning up around the lips and eyebrows quickly restored this photograph near to its original splendor. Value: $15.
Sometimes a customer may be interested in settling for something passable, rather than perfect, if the customer could thereby save time and money. Although I quoted this request at three hours, I ran into trouble while restoring the standing boy’s left hand, which had been completely obscured by a stain. Instead of piling on the hours, I simply copied the sitting boy’s left hand over and slightly modified it slightly. Although, I spent about four hours on this request, I’d charge the quoted three hours and leave the customer with the option of buying more time to work on the hand. One possible solution would be to photograph a model’s hand and then replace the boy’s hand with that of the model. Value $60-65.