Image quality is paramount.
Re-take the photo.
Find an alternative.
Convert to art.
When showing photographs on Printed paper or on Screens, the most important thing is a quality image!
But you cannot always start with a good quality image.
So, here are some ways to “get by” with what you have.
Retouch the image.
Re-take the photo.
Find an alternative!
Convert the photo to an artwork.
Let’s look at them one-by-one.
Retouch the image.
If you have the skills you can scan the old “poor” quality photograph and improve it. Or send it to MyBigBrag!
For tips on “best scanning practises” see our tutorial on Simple scanning.
Then, learn how to improve the image by watching our tutorial Part 2: Photoshop.
Click the images to enlarge and see more detail. Apart from cleaning up scratches and tears, I have improved contrast and added a bit of warmth but still kept the “historic” look of the 1946 image.
I must say up-front that I am a huge “screen” fan. And the reason is simple. The photograph of my father on his horse was not only scratched and damaged BUT was a mere 80mmx130mm print (3”x5”). That makes it very hard to view on paper. But after scanning it at 1200dpi and retouching, I can show it on-screen at a huge size. So I’ll attempt to show the size difference.
Click to enlarge to get a better proportional view. I have made the retouched image black & white to show variation.
Re-take the photo.
This is usually only applicable for images that are fairly current OR still exist in original form. Some buildings may be able to be re-photographed.
Find an alternative.
For many vehicles I owned in the 1960s, I have NO photos! So the alternative was to find a replacement on-line from copyright free sources. Sometimes I was lucky and found the same colour and model. Sometimes I had to change the colour to reflect “my” old vehicle.
The photos shown here are one of the bikes I owned in the 1960s. They were all found on-line and modified slightly. The animation is an example of what we can provide for you.
The magazine cover is just to set the scene!
And we can create fantastic slide shows for you, see slide-shows
Convert to art.
In some cases it is impossible to find a high quality image to print out to the size you want. Remember that if you go to print on paper you need to be at 300dpi at the same size you want to print out. So if you have no art skills, there is a way of converting images to art in applications like Adobe Photoshop and create pieces that disguise the poorer quality, that show easily in a standard photograph. See my examples.
Or you can draw the image or part draw over the photograph. A few techniques can disguise poor photo quality and allow the image to be shown at a bigger size clearly.
The best way to allow HUGE printing of images is to convert the photo (which is bitmap format) to a Vector file that can be enlarged to very, very large sizes.

How to fix faded colours.

Many photos stored incorrectly are damaged by sunlight.
Direct or even indirect sunlight fades colour prints very quickly. In fact even photos shot in the 2000s!
This example was taken only a few years ago really – in 2003 – but was already so faded, it was hard to see the people. Luckily it was a professional photograph so I knew there was good sharpness hidden under the fading.
MyBigBrag result is very satisfying.

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Old camera

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