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Words and Design rescues, restores, re-touches and recolours all sorts of precious old photos - faded, cracked, torn, mildewed. Also enhances and prepares photos for books and publications. Will also scan and convert to digital formats: jpg, tif and others.


BEFORE

AFTER

A precious water-damaged A3 hand-coloured family photo that client wanted restored and reframed.

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring restore your precious old photos

When I first saw this old photo I thought the job would be impossible. It was stuck to the inside of the glass and almost obscured by dampness and mould. We prised the frame open and tried to separate photo and glass. To our relief the backing board had bent away from the glass so that face and smocking had been largely preserved and were retrievable after we had painted away dust and mould spores with a soft brush. But much of the photo had water damage, brown stain and mould speckle, and had yellowed over many years. Rather than attempt a repair of the old background, which was dirty and discoloured, we created a new background. After cleaning up the glass, we were able to put the photo back into the original frame against a new backing board. The client said the restoration was "magical".


The only photo of their Dad - taken from Army archives - and restored for his adult children

photo restoration, Hutt Valley, Wellington restore your precious old photos

This was not a difficult photo to do. It was mainly a case of removing yellow colour cast and bringing out detail in the highlights. The client wanted the photo in grayscale


Client wanted these photos of his grandfather and relatives restored for his family.

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring restore your precious family photos

This was a large A3 photo with writing at the bottom that needed to be removed, severe cracking of the photo finish, scratches, blotches, stains, and irregular colour fading of colour. In additon there was a dull finish to the photo that the client wanted brightened. Blotches, cracking and scratches through eyes gave some rather sinister looks to two of the faces and needed careful removal. More work could have been done on this photo but time and money were factors.

The same client wanted 2 very different photos turned into one.

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring restore your precious family photos

This was a bit of a challenge. The photo of his grandfather (left) was about A4 size with very sharp definition and high contrast. The photo of his grandmother (centre) was a full length photo, high and narrow, with soft focus. The client wanted them joined together in a new photo (right) in an above-waist shot, the final photo to be A3 size! Grandma had to be more than tripled to work in the new photo.Excessively enlarging photos ruins appearance, so it was a battle to sharpen her up without introducing dark edges and noise and destroying her face. I got round the problem partly by putting a soft focus over grandad to make them look as if they belonged in the same photo. I also had to replace the busy background behind her with a recreation of the curtains behind him and sit her apparently in front of him by masking out part of grandad's right arm. Grandad had also faded to very yellow and rather than going to the expense of re-colouring both of them - and because of time constraints - the client opted for grayscale/Black and White. At A3 size Grandma didn't look too good from close up but their grandson was very pleased with the result.


Client wanted this photo of her father restored and a slight sepia toning added.

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring restore your precious family photos

Client wanted a bad restoration job redone

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring

The photo on the extreme left was the original. The one in the centre was a restoration job done by an online restorer that the client said made the photo look worse than the original.

On the right is my restoration from the original. The original was very blurred and only limited sharpening could be done before the face disintegrated into noise. Scarring of the photo surface was repaired and yellow removed from the wallpaper

The client was more than happy with the result.

restore your precious family photos

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AFTER

This was a memorial photo of the client's mother and he wanted the grandchild removed so the many other grandchildren would not feel left out. This involved recreating parts of Mum's ear, cheek, jawbone and clothing. The photo was technically challenging in that a small 180dpi digital photo had to be enlarged to A3/ 300dpi. He was delighted with the result

photo restoration, retouching, repair, recolouring restore your precious family photos

Client wanted to restore and frame old house plans for hanging in her front foyer. The orginal was an old A3+ photocopy bearing fold marks and the discolouration typical of photocopies of that era. She also wanted some drawings taken out, others rearranged and terra cotta colour added to the roof.

 photos and house plans retouched and restored

The result, BELOW

 old house plans restored

Client was not satisfied with a photo of his father reproduced by a local business and wanted colour casts removed, greys changed and detail restored to shadows and highlights. The client - himself very handy with a camera - was very pleased with the result.

photo restoration, remove colour cast, retouch old photos restore your faded old family photos

The job below was a challenge. The client emailed me a very poor low-resolution file in black and white, in a file format that is NOT intended for photographic images and appeared to have been taken from a newspaper clipping. The highlights were blown out (the dresses of the 2 women in the centre had next to no detail in them and the face of the woman centre-right). Half way through the job the client wanted the photo coloured. I had no idea of original pattern or colour of dresses, earrings or skin so had to create them, and also areas with no details. In addition the client was viewing my emailed progressive edits on a monitor that did not appear to be handling image tonality very well, so everything appeared much darker to her than it actually was. I had to bring the file up from 72 dpi to 300 dpi for printing out and also slightly enlarge it - which can be a recipe for problems. Naturally the printed out photo lacked the vibrancy of the same image she had been viewing on-screen. I'm not sure what she thought of the end result, but she paid promptly.

photo restoration, convert black and white photos to colour recolour your old family photos

A challenging wedding photo taken 40 years ago. It had faded back to yellow and details of the gown and sky had blown out to nothing. I also had no miniature originals to work from.

retouching and recoloring of precious old photos restore your old wedding photo

Old, discoloured and dirty, this photo - over a metre long - of Wellington in 1886
was scruffy, bowed and joined in three places.

restored 120 year old photo of Wellington

AFTER

120 year old photo of Wellington restored locally
detail of restored 120 year old photo of Wellington

Detail from the lower left of the restored photo also showing a repaired join. The client wanted a sepia toning and was very happy with the finished job.


BEFORE

AFTER

Sibling photos (A3) taken at different times by different photographers. They were about to be hung together. Client wanted them all to look similar, with removal of fading and colour cast.

This photo had to be converted to portrait
from landscape and sleeve and chair created


Wedding photos (20 x 25 cms) taken 40 years ago and badly yellowed. Clients said the restored photos looked better than the originals


3 large family photos taken in the 1950s, cracked and badly faded.
They needed to be converted to black and white then recoloured from scratch

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graphic designer,  photo restoration and colour correcction, putting my photos on CD, restoring faded photos, Lower Hutt, Wellington photo restoration and repair of cracked, faded, mouldy torn photos, Lower Hutt

 rescuing precious old photos, restoring, recolouring and repairing old family photos, Lower Hutt, Wellington,  photo restoration, photo repair, photo retouching, photo colour correction, Lower Hutt, Hutt Valley

A badly torn, mouldy, and dirty photo restored for a happy family


 photo restoration, corecting under or over exposed photos, burn my photos to CD, rescuing my old photos, Lower Hutt, Wellington  photo repair, restoring faded, torn, mouldy, creased photos, Lower Hutt, Wellington

A very under-exposed photograph taken for a book. In the book the photo appeared as above


 scanning, repairing and printing old photos, Lower Hutt, Wellington  photo rescue and restoration, Lower Hutt, Wellington

A precious family photo that was very small, with crease marks, stains, and very faded. After editing it was 5x the size and looked as above right


 photo retouching, colour correction, conversion to digital formats, photo-editing for books and publications, Lower Hutt repair and restoration of old torn and mildewed photos

A large faded wall photo that was blemished and had turned blue. Right, the same image after editing

And many many more ...