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Digital Restoration of Photos, Slides and Negatives

We are in the digital age - television, radio, music and even cameras, have all gone digital. When information is captured in a digital form it preserves the data with more permanence and purity and facilitates enhancement using powerful computer-based processing techniques.

It's the same with photographs that have aged or have been inadvertently damaged. The method used to digitise photographs, slides and negatives is called scanning. Once an image is digitised it can be preserved, enhanced and repaired to an extent that would be difficult if not impossible using traditional photographic methods.

At Astroprints we have more than nine years of experience in producing faithful scanned reproductions, using three different professional-class scanners aimed respectively at medium and large format film; 35mm and APS format film, and documents or photographs up to 11x16" in size. After scanning, we have a digital image which we can then enhance and repair on a computer using advanced processing techniques (more on this below).

Consider what we can do: photographs are an important part of our family heritage; they become increasingly important with age, yet they also deteriorate increasingly with age. We can take a battered old photo and transform it into something of beauty, that will bring precious memories flooding back, that can be treasured by you and your forebears for eternity. While the reconstructed photograph will not last for eternity, we provide you with a digital file which will enable further photographs to be produced in the future - which with reasonable care, should last for centuries.

from this...
...to this

The restored photograph above shows many aspects of what we can do: repair of major damage including tears, splits, and creases; removal of major blotches, stains and fading; removal of minor spots and blotches, and colour cast correction. But there is more; at the request of her daughter the bridesmaid on the left is now facing the camera and her bouquet no longer obscures part of her face*. We have also cleaned up the cracked pavement. The restored photograph has sufficient quality to make a 10x12" enlargement. Thus from a battered old photo we have created an heirloom to be treasured by the descendants of these fine people for eternity. Let us do the same for your treasured old photos.

*Note that any major reconstruction is done by consultation, never at our discretion alone.

How does it work?
First and foremost, we give you back your original print, completely unaltered. This is important, as sometimes a photo becomes a keepsake because of the damage, and the way it was damaged.

The first step is to scan the photograph (or slide) at high resolution (which does not alter the original in any way). At this point the original becomes digitised and all work from that point is digital. To repair and/or reconstruct an image we use Photoshop in combination with other advanced image processing applications, using techniques which we have learned and refined over nearly ten years. Once the work is complete we produce a print (to your specifications) and we preserve the digital image on CD-ROM, both of which we deliver to you.

Our focus is on advanced repair and reconstruction work - some consumer level scanners include software which is capable of some basic repair such as dust or spot removal, and basic colour cast removal. If this is all your photo needs, and you feel capable, then we encourage you to "do it yourself". Of course, we are more than happy to do such work if you wish, however these days it has become a basic capability which many can do themselves. The level of work that we do requires many years of experience, using advanced equipment and software applications.

How much does it cost?
In the case of digital repair and restoration, this is a difficult question to answer without inspecting the original, because so much depends on the extent of the deterioration or damage. It is best to contact us in the first instance, since we can often give an estimate from a rough description by phone or email. If the estimate seems reasonable then we would ask you to send the original to us whereupon we will provide a firm quote. Usually this will be within 10-20% of the estimate. If the quote is acceptable then we will proceed with the work. In the meantime here are some rough guidelines:


Minor Remedial Work
Examples: removal of spots, dust, minor scratches, tonal and colour balance correction

Included in price of scan  

Moderate Repair or Reconstruction
Example: the above including removal of significant blemishes (dust, spots, scratches); uniform colour cast correction

£20 - £50 depending on the extent of work required  

Major Repair or Reconstruction
Examples: the above including major tears, splits, and creases; removal of major blotches, stains and fading; irregular colour cast correction

£50 - £150 depending on condition of original and the extent of work required  

The above is a rough guide only - as always, please Contact us to discuss your requirement - we are more than willing to agree appropriate pricing for multiple orders and special requirements.


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