Breathing new life into old photos since 2012.

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Photo Restorations by Tim G. to table the Bucks County Ancestry Fair


It is with great pleasure that I announce my attendance at the upcoming 9th Annual Bucks County Ancestry Fair! This will be my second fair, albeit this time at it’s new location at the Bucks County Community College. I had a splendid at last year’s fair, and I look forward to doing the same this September. I will have my scanner with me again, so bring a small photo or two from your collection that is in need of repair! I will scan your photos at the fair and repair them over the following few weeks. First come, first served! I’ve also got a door prize this time around: Two free repairs via e-mail for the lucky winner! For further information about the Bucks County Ancestry Fair, visit the event web site at I look forward to meeting you and your ancestors!

52 Ancestors, No. 8: Antonino Rocco Scaletti, Prolific Sicilian Farmer

Of all the heros on my family tree, I believe none are more widely and openly venerated by his living descendants than this man, Antonino Rocco Scaletti. I say widely because that describes the breadth of his progeny. I say openly because he is the only one of my great-grandparents for whom photographs and memories are facebook news feed staple among his living grandchildren. Continue reading

Moderate Restoration: General Cleaning and Repair

The original image of this young gentleman did not look quite so bad, but getting up close and personal with a scanner at 600dpi revealed an accumulation of dinge to wash away, the byproduct of many loving hands over many years. The cleanup was not so difficult against the solid background, and the result was worth the effort. This image took about an hour to restore.

Major Restoration: New Challenges; Pervasive Cracking

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. Continue reading

Major Restoration: Missing Pieces

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.

Touch-Ups: Color Enhancement

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.

Moderate Alteration: Removing Small Distractions

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.

Light Restoration: Desaturation, Clean-Up

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.

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