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5.2 Workflow Review

In this lesson we'll recap the course and review the image restoration workflow one more time.

5.2 Workflow Review

Welcome back to archival photo restoration, I'm Marie Gardner for Tuts+. Deciding to create a photographic archive and to restore images is not only great fun for those of us with an interest in photography, but it can also become an important historical document. Your first step is to decide carefully what you'll keep and restore and which photos won't make it to the archive. Remember to think about photographs that tell a story, or show a way of life and that you don't need 20 images of the same thing. If images are damaged, don't write them off, there may still be lots you can do to bring them back to their best. If there are photos you decide not to keep, consider donating them to local groups or societies. Once you've made your selections, think about writing any information you already know on the back of the photo with an archival safe pen. If you don't know anything about it, how can you find out? Ask local history groups, the local publications, or even local groups on Facebook. You'll be surprised at what you can discover just by putting an image out there. Everyone's prints are degrading due to the nature of the chemical process involved in printing. So we try to slow this down by treating and restoring in the right way. Keep images away from direct sunlight, chemical compounds and high humidity. Avoid storing in lofts and basements, instead, find a dry cupboard and put your photographs in a polypropylene or polyester sleeves before placing them into an archival safe box. Avoid cardboard and wood as they give off harmful chemicals. When handling the images, wear gloves. And if displaying them, use a copy where possible rather than the original. If framing old prints, try a clear polyester envelope for an extra level of protection, and avoid putting them under fluorescent lights. When you're ready to digitize, make sure that both the scanner plate and the image are free of dust or fluff. Set the scanner to as high a resolution as possible, and save without compression to give yourself the best possible image to work from. Add important metadata, such as a descriptive but short title, keywords of anything prominently featured in your picture, and any other information you have such as the photographer or the date of the photo was taken. Once your house is in order, you can get to repairing any joins or rips using tools such as lasso and. Then tidy up the image, removing any scratches or dirty marks, and bringing back any lost detail in the image. Remember to only restore what was there, and avoid the temptation to try and improve upon an image. If there was litter in the road, then leave the litter in the road. It could be part of a bigger story when looking back. Once your photograph is whole and clean again, you can adjust the colours and tones to bring it back to how it should look. If you want to add or restore colour in your image, then remember to use overlay or colour layers for each section to make your workflow easier and look more natural. Cheers colours that are as close to accurate as possible. If you struggle with knowing what colours to use, then try and find references on line. Lastly, think carefully about what you want from your digital archive. If something should happen to you, does anybody else know it exists? Have you made provisions for it to be handed on to somebody else to continue? Think about trusting a partner or friend with a copy. Or include something about donating it to a society in your will. Congratulations on deciding to start your digital archive. Hopefully, this course is giving you a good basis of how to select, care for and restore your images. It can seem like quite a big task but if you tackle it one photo at a time and stay organized with your storage and metadata, then you'll soon find it growing into something you can be proud of and hopefully, something that will be a great historical document that can continue for decades, or even centuries to come. This was archival photorestoration. I'm Marie Gardner. Thanks for watching.

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