As present day custodians of our ancestors’ photographs I believe we have a duty to care for these precious records of social history so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.
A full restoration and copy service is available. New negatives are produced and all photographs printed in the darkroom using the same traditional methods employed since the 1800’s to ensure they will stand the tests of time.
Services include dealing with some common problems such as:
FADED PHOTOGRAPHS: Fading can be caused by processing problems, exposure to sunlight and poor storage but even the very ‘yellow’ ones can be restored to their former glory. Be sure to take action before the facial details completely disappear.
You could also consider reproducing your faded colour photographs in black and white. Darkroom produced, silver halide black and white prints have a life of 100-150 years whereas colour photographs will on average show signs of fading after 30-35 years so once you have these reproduced in black and white, you can then add the photographs to your family history archive and know they will last for generations to come.
MIRRORED IMAGES: Black and white photographs contain silver halide crystals and due to processing problems these can, over time, give a mirrored appearance, particularly in the very dark areas. This can be easily rectified but like fading is a progressive problem and should be dealt with as a priority.
TATTERED AND TORN photographs repaired and restored to their former glory
TONING AND HAND COLOURING: Authentic sepia toning (the brown tones) can be applied to photographs to produce a new image sympathetic to its years. The photograph will first be printed in black and white and then bleached and toned which will give greater archival permanence.
Once the photograph has been toned, hand colouring may be applied using photographic oils to the areas required to provide a soft coloured image.
ENLARGEMENTS to 12” x 16” produced on matt or semi-matt paper with a warm tone finish to create a copy sympathetic to its years
Please call or email to discuss your requirements.
To give you an idea of work undertaken, the following is a sample of items currently undergoing restoration/conservation:
- Photographic montage with signatures: Photographs have faded from this historical piece so a replacement will be constructed providing sepia toned, silver halide prints and a copy of the signed backing made on acid free card for display – the original being placed in archival storage
- Broken ambrotype: Flood damage: The black shellac backing has deteriorated and the ambrotype is broken into three pieces. This will be reassembled with replacement backing and sandwiched between optical quality glass. The original frame has also been restored as much evidence of rust was present as a result of being in a flood.
- Family archive: Presenting some faded and silvered out images which require negatives and replacement silver halide prints. Storage also reviewed to ensure archival quality goods used throughout to preserve this archive for future generations.