There is a very common saying that reads, “A picture is worth a thousand words"! Such invaluable photographs truly capture a moment in time and using appropriate techniques can help you preserve them for a long time to come. Photographs are very much similar to any living organism as they also have a definite and fixed lifespan. Photographs are made using a chemical process and with time these chemical states are susceptible to damage and decay. BY making use of some simple and easy to follow photo preservation and restoration methods, it is possible to carry on the photographic heritage for generations to come.
How to Preserve Old Photographs?
There are numerous ways by which the antique photos can be preserved and protected from deterioration. Here are some useful tips to safeguard old and tattered photos:
• It is always important to store the photographs (whether old or new) in a suitable environment. Ensure that they are not kept in attics, garage or the basement. On the other hand, choosing a cool, dry place is beneficial as places with extreme changes in temperature and excessive exposure to sunlight can easily ruin the photographs. In cases where the photographs are priceless, it makes sense to store them in a climate controlled storage facility.
• The old photos that are still their original albums need to removed from it and put into clear plastic sleeves or attached to a pure rag acid free mat board. If they are on albums that have acid based papers, the acids will leak into the photographs and create a havoc. Never use any glue or adhesive to put pictures into the albums. If you want to display these pictures, make a copy of the original picture and use that to frame. The original photographs should be archived in order to prevent any kind of damage.
• Alternatively, apart from using preserving techniques, it is also possible to restore old photographs. Physical restoration of photos involves using the actual photograph and doing some work on it using conventional methods. The drawback in this is that there is a higher risk involved as the original picture is used and there is scope only for limited improvement.
• Another photo restoration technique involves using digital techniques such as computer software and a scanner to make digital copies of the antique photographs. Making use of a computer provides a greater scope for improvement as the original picture is scanned and the digital copy is only used to restore. By making use of digital processes, it is possible to restore contrast, balance colors, removal of dusts, rips, stains and scratches. It is possible to choose a very high resolution and thereby improve the clarity of the image. These digital files can also be stored in numerous places, printed a number of times, transferred electronically as well as have an eternal life.
The various photo preservation and restoration techniques should be applied at the right time as any delay can cause extensive damage to the condition of the old photographs. The digital restoration techniques give the pictures a revamped and revitalized life!
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