Retouch.

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So, when I was in high school I was pretty obsessed with photography. My school had Photo 1 through 4, and then you could go into independent study, which I did. We also had a photo club that took a trip to Germany. My sister and I were both members and spoiled, so off my parents sent us at the tender ages of 16 and 14. Did I mention that 16 is the legal age to drink in most of Europe?

Anyhoo, I liked photography a lot. This was back before digital was mainstream and you spent a lot of time in the dark waving your hand under a light in order to dodge and burn. So, it actually took me a while to embrace digital. I felt sort of snobbish towards it. It was so much easier. And of course the more difficult things are, the better…right? (Did I mention I was 16?)

I stayed snobbish for quite some while. I believe I was about 21 before I bought my first digital camera. I stopped being a snob. Because you know what’s awesome about digital? The pictures last forever. My memories will last forever on my computer, online photo galleries and my backup system. And that is important to me.

Why? Because people don’t. People like my father-in-law, who passed away before anyone had a digital camera. So, we’re left with memories that are printed on pieces of photo paper that are quickly fading. And that is SO SAD.

So, my husband asked me a few weeks ago if I could work on retouching an old photo. Of course I would take a stab at it. Nevermind that I’ve never messed with retouching a scanned in old photo. So, here’s my stab:

Original scanned image.

Retouched.

So, first thing to do is adjust the levels. You basically want the inside and outside arrows to be framing the majority of the black “hill(s)”. I had to burn the area where there was glare over his face. Also, A LOT of clone stamping where there must have been dust on the original set of negatives. Then I played with curves a bit and added a warming filter and vignette.

Ta da.

My husband loves it. He has so few pictures of his father because everything was film, and film was expensive to develop. I’m glad I could do this for him, but even more grateful for the technology that enabled me to do so.

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