I often get calls to reproduce art, and repair damaged photographs. This work takes time, and a good working knowledge of digital programs like Photoshop and associated plugin programs. I started using Photoshop back in 1991, (I believe it was version 2.0). Back then it was only available for the Apple Macintosh. When I first started using the program, you could do basic retouching only. When they introduced layers in the mid 90's, I remember having a hard time wrapping my head around how a "Layer" worked, but once I figured it out, the potential of the program seemed endless to me.
So here we are today with a program that allows me to do anything I can imagine to a photo. I am glad I started back in the 90's learning the digital processing of photography. In today's photography, a great deal of the processing of the "Look" of a photograph is done digitally on the computer. There are many programs that can "automatically" process a photo, which is fine for snapshots. To get that "Look" in your photos, you need to learn programs like Lightroom, OnOne PhotoRaw, or Photoshop. These types of image processing programs can take your photographs to a different level.
This brings me back to the reproduction of Art and digital repair. I recently received a call from a woman who had a pencil drawing of her late husband. She wanted the original reproduced and printed, so she could give it to her daughter for Christmas. The drawing was originally done on a colored, textured art paper. She brought me the print rolled up. The print had some water stain stains and was fairly old.
I took the print back to my studio and placed it on a work table, being careful not to damage the original in any way. The corners and sides were held down with a specialty tape used for art work, so I could get as flat an image as possible. The lighting was placed to create a proper natural look to preserve color and the original tones of the art. I use an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport so I can match the color during the processing of the image. With my camera attached to a tripod boom, and using a macro lens, I shoot the image so that the plane of the art and the camera are the same. I take a few different shots.
Now that I have the images in the camera, I upload the images to Lightroom. In Lightroom I adjust the color and tone to match the original. (This is where the ColorChecker comes in handy.) After I am done with the basic corrections, I then transfer the image over to Photoshop to create the copy that the client had requested, which includes removing the background color to create a white background, sharpening, cropping, and re-sizing for printing. I also moved the signature up so that it is visible in the final crop. This whole process took about 2 hours to do, for this image.
Once the image is ready to print, I then printed the image on a photo art paper that has a texture similar to a watercolor paper. This paper gives the photograph the look of an original pencil drawing. You see the before and after in the included blog images.
If you need reproduction of images or have family photos that need restoring, please give me a call (805) 703-4565. Have a wonderful day.
Dan - JamesD Photography.