With today's technology, not much really surprises me anymore. However, as I am writing this, I am nearly stunned at what I am looking at.
I have a brittle, old photograph of my 3rd great-grandfather, David Brown (there I go again talking about my Browns...). Time has faded and cracked the photo. Many years ago I scanned/digitized the photo to preserve its current state. I really did not think there was much hope in ever restoring the photo to my satisfaction.
When Miles Abernathy (of 399Retouch.com and a fellow genealogist) offered to touch up one of my worst photos I knew exactly the one to send him. Less than a day later he emailed me the results. And here I sit, still comparing the differences, stunned. Here are the before and afters. You really need to enlarge the image (click on it) to appreciate the details:
While I've never claimed to be a photo restoration expert, I know enough to do some good things with photos. Seeing what Miles did for David's photo gives me a greater appreciation for the experts out there. The experts certainly make use of the photo editing software's "Clone" tool.
Four years ago my son scored his first-ever goal for his soccer team. Of course we were all excited, and I even happened to get a picture of his reaction immediately afterwards. Also a part of the picture was another person, whom we've nick-named "Muscle-Man". While I'm sure he's a great person, I didn't want him to be a part of this picture. Using the "Clone" tool it was pretty easy to remove him. I know ... some will think that I've "changed history" now, and normally I like things just the way they are to preserve history, but my son is happy.
While I haven't even scratched the surface in this article, there are thousands of websites and books with tips and advice on how to restore and preserve your photographs. Cyndi's List lists 51 such resources here.
What about you? What experiences have you had in restoring old photographs or "cloning" to touch up your digital images? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below.