One of my favorite jobs I am increasingly getting at work are photo restorations. For someone who is always running all over town setting up photo equipment, shooting, breaking down and hitting the next location – the option of sitting in one place for a couple of hours is pure joy to someone like me. Since I’m just in between doing a family studio portrait session and a photo editing job at the moment,  I thought I’d share this military portrait photo restoration I did for a new client at work over the weekend. There was just enough loss of critical detail that it took more artistry than technical know-how to get it done correctly. My new client was very happy I could recover his military portrait, and I was very happy getting a break so I could listen to about two-and-a-half hours of podcasts in pure silence while having an interesting job to focus my attention upon.

Military Portrait Photo Restoration

Photo Restoration: Before and After

Photo restorations are a common and welcome request at Leighton Photography & Imaging. I did my first restorations in 2008 and because I’d already had over a decade of using digital restoration tools in my everyday workflow when working with “less-than-perfect” images, it was a logical progression.

Years later in 2014, I finally decided to add it to my regular services. Not because I have a particular passion for it, but I see and hear so many upset customers who have first turned to the many box-store services and Photoshop hacks that do such poor jobs by using an automated “one-size fits all” program function that the results most often look terrible.

After a lifetime of artistic composition and technique classes, and actually using the non-automated functions of today’s best digital editing software daily, it may not be easy, but at least I can restore old damaged photos the right way in a reasonable amount of time. It takes time, and often imagination if the original print is damaged, ripped, stained, or if sections are even missing. It’s all digital, but all done by hand with a professional editing tablet and pen, state-of-the-art software and dealt with in just the same style as an old-school stencil restoration. The tools are a little different, and I can zoom in really close to work pixel by pixel, but the technique is exactly the same. Long, laborious and rewarding work – for both myself and the client!



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Rich Leighton
October 25, 2016
©2016 Leighton Photography & Imaging