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What does it mean to restore a photo?

When a photo incurs any type of damage, you might feel as if you’ve lost the tangible reminder of your memory. Damage can occur through a flood, the ravages of time, scratches, tears, or creases.


Digital Restoration


Photo restoration steps in to salvage the photo. Rather than attempting to physically repair the original photo, the restorer scans the original photo and works on a digital version. This allows the restorer to recreate areas that have been torn off or burned out.


When a photo has tears in it, the restorer scans each of the remaining pieces and rejoins them digitally. Once made whole again, the graphic artist can extrapolate missing data from the portions of the photo that remain.


Older photos may have yellowed with time, but using digital restoration, the restorer can re-create the original image. They can even fix the odd lighting that occurred in many older photos.


You can have an old black and white or sepia-toned photo colorized. The graphic artist may use existing color photos of the same individual to determine the information used.


Finally, the restorer prints a new photo from the digital. The photo’s owner receives both the original and the restored copy.


Physical Restoration


Museums and art galleries also restore photos, but they may work on the original. This typically occurs when the photo is an antique or tintype.


In this process, the restorer first cleans the photograph. They then repair any tears and if creases or cracks have developed in the photo, the picture gets pressed for a short duration.


A painter then re-creates the missing areas of the photograph to match the color and lighting of the original areas. This fills in the torn-off portions or worn areas.


Once restored, the photo’s owner receives the original back. In some cases, the restorer may also provide a digital version so the individual can enjoy the photo on a daily basis without exposing the original to further wear and tear.


A museum or art gallery, however, if the client, would typically frame the restored photo and display it using a method that reduced exposure to elements that could erode the photograph.


Restoring Your Photos


You can scan the photo you want restored to submit it to Pixel Promises or you can mail us the physical photo and we’ll scan it for you. You can have your photos restored after flood or fire damage. Contact us today.


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