From as far back as I can remember, photographs have been important to my family. So, when my parents asked me if there was anything that I could do to fix their wedding picture, I told them that I'd see what I could do...
The picture was 5"X7" and had been displayed behind glass, on a shelf in their living room for more than 40 years. Fortunately, it rarely saw direct sunlight, but the fading was still severe from the light that was reflected off the walls.
Details had faded away, and were no longer visible. The color had shifted dramatically. There were scratches and marks all over the print. But it was their last wedding picture.
So, I brought it home, and took it to my office. From there, I scanned it using an Epson Perfection V600 photo scanner at 900 DPI (dots per inch), giving me room to inspect it REALLY closely, and since most images are printed at 250-300 DPI, allowing me room to blow it up, if need be. Fixing the color shift took a little work, as did the dust and scratches. However, trying to recover details that were barely visible, proved to be the biggest challenge. Once I had finished (it took about 20 hours), I told my mom, that with another year or two of fading, the image probably would have been unrecoverable.
After that, a friend of ours (Joanne Pollard) handed Jennifer a picture of her father in WWII that was severely damaged, and asked if there was anything that we could do to fix it. It had been folded up, and carried in a pocket for years - I assumed by Joanne's mother.
Again, It was scanned at 900 DPI and HOURS of work began as I tried to use what little evidence was available in the creases and seams to rebuild the image. After I had the repairs finished, I needed to match the film grain that was now missing in order to make the picture seamless.
Then Denise Baranowski asked if we could fix a picture of her grandfather, also taken during the war.
That one was a fairly simple matter of repairing a color shift, and fixing some minor scratching.
Then my cousin opened a box in her garage (in Victoria) and found a picture of my dad's family taken in the late 1940s. It had some scratching and mold spots, along with a minor color-shift.
When I finished it, I printed a copy for my father, who told me that he hadn't seen that picture since he left home in 1963...
It is now framed in my parent's living room, beside their wedding picture.