While going through an old antique box recently, I came across a bunch of photographs that had definitely seen better days. They were sepia colored and some were in such a state of ruin that it was difficult to identify the faces of some of the people in those photographs. But from the ones I could, it was with a sense of shock and amazement that I realized they were photos of my great grand parents and that too only because I was able to read the dates written on the back.
What was even more interesting was there were images of my grandma in her young days taken in group photographs and single portraits of her in stiff poses and elaborate attire complete with hat and stockings. This was a great discovery for me since I had no living relative by then although it did worry me as to whether I would be able to have these ruined photos restored to their former glory so that I could display them in my living room.
My thoughts went to a photographer friend who was an expert at his job and on making inquiries I realized he was even more excited than I was at the prospect of retouche photo that had seen worse for wear. The problems with these photos was, not only were they terribly faded but they also had tiny holes in them with certain areas peeling and cracking. But my friend’s excitement was highly contagious because he was quite sure that he could restore my precious photographs to look good as new.
His explanation was succinct and very interesting to listen to. He had, he said amazing software that he had bought for this specific purpose and with a great deal of effort and skill he was sure he would be able to bring those faded images back to life. Being not very technologically savvy, I wasn’t able to understand everything he said, but I did understand that he would be using Adobe Photoshop software to bring out the lost images and also close up the holes and missing areas through the skillful use of detourage photo.
From the photos in which the images were clear I was amused to see that many had their eyes closed which my talented friend said could be easily fixed by cutting out the eyes from one picture and superimposing them over the eyes that were closed. Clever, I thought, what modern retouch photo can do. Wherever backgrounds were not discernible, he was planning to replace them with new backgrounds which he said was not difficult because my sepia photos had mono colored backgrounds.
Advancements in technology have made it possible to edit and enhance photographs to suit anyone’s requirements. Creativity also plays a major role in photo editing since you have to know what will look good and what will not, in order to bring out the best in a picture. Detourage photo is an advanced skill that takes a lot of learning and experience; but once you get the hang of it there’s nothing you cannot do. As for my retouch photo project, I was to say the least delighted with the final result and has recommended my friend to many who needed their photographs edited as well.