When I get asked why I don’t use a scanner I always answer because of the resolution but it’s also the ability to focus on the subject and not have a mount alter the focus position. This is a case in point. It’s a CdV Ferrotype from USA around 1862 and the image is approx 20mm x 15mm.
When scanned at 2,400 Dpi it looks like this:
Not only can you see the scan lines but it is also rather muddy. The highlights of the card surrounding the ferrotype has blown out even though it was recorded as a TIFF file.
This however is from a Raw file shot on the camera. The comparison is about 9,500 Dpi. The top one will reproduce an image of just 6 inches x 4 inches at 300 Dip. The one from the camera would go to 30 inches x 20 inches at the same resolution but is also showing a better tonal range as this one has come from bracketed exposures and Merge HDR done in Lightroom.
This Ambrotype from about 1870 is housed in a well preserved case made of ‘Gutta-Percha’ which is an early mouldable plastic made from natural resins and wood pulp. It could be pressed into amazing designs. This example is fairly basic but still crisp an clear.
The inner is similar to the traditional wooden/ leather cases but the exterior is fully designed.
This week I have two more online talks – Manchester and Lancashire on Wednesday and Westbury on Thursday. I think Manchester will be a big one with people from all over the world taking part. I have books going out this week to Bristol and Denver, Colorado so it is a real honour to be able to help people from so far apart understand their old photos.
Do you remember the old school photos of the entire school? They were long and thin with thousands of pupils. They often are rolled up so tightly they have now cracked and are badly damaged. This is one such roll. But by treating it first to relax the paper fibres it’s then to re-photograph it flatten it out, restore it and create a new version.
During the first world war a couple in Vignacourt near the Somme turned a barn into a photographic studio. Many years later many hundreds of glass negatives were found including these two. The relatives of the couple were traced and they wanted them restoring. One is a double exposure, so the plate has been used twice. An almost impossible job to split them. The other was dirty and faded but they wanted it in colour. Here is the result. The negatives had been scanned many years ago in France and unfortunately have jpeg artefacts embedded in them causing them to be grainy.
This July I am honoured to be one of the specialist speakers on the Genealogy Show. A month long exhibition and speaker event aimed at anyone interested in Family History. Click on the link for more details.
When we look at people in our old photographs we may well want to know more about them. Who are they, when was it taken, how was it taken? There are countless tomes out there that describe in detail some ways of discovering the answer. But I believe many of those books just aren’t readable. I decided to write a book based on my experiences as a speaker for Family History Societies answering the questions that I get asked and in terms that, hopefully, everyone will understand. I look at the past, present and future of family photography and how to get the most out of your photos. “The Family Detective ” is 140 pages packed with over 250 high quality illustrations plus plenty of reference guides.
Following it’s early success and reviews I decided to take it a stage further as one of the most difficult areas of family history is accurately dating old photos. Existing books on costume may well show great examples of Victorian and Edwardian costume but the reproduction of the images is such that it makes it difficult to pick out the details mentioned in the text. I decided to use my restoration skills and create new colour images from the old examples and really make the details stand out so even the amateur sleuth can see how style changed over the years and be able to apply that knowledge to their own research.
Written in clear chronological order it is easy to find how your own photographs fit into the timeline of style. “Dating by Design” will be available mid May at the special price of £15 plus P&P for advance orders.
See the page on www.photo-consult.co.uk to email and request your copies.
My new book, ‘The Family Detective” is available now. If you have a collection of old photographs and want to know more about them, their history, the techniques, the story they tell – then this is the book for you. Over 250 illustration in colour, 140 pages including great reference sections will guide you through the history go family photography.
Based largely round my own collections, the story of how photography went from an expensive professional service to an important part of every mobile phone will intrigue and educate. Largely designed using the kind of photographs that might be found in the average shoebox there is, hopefully, something for everyone.
RRP £14.99 but £12 direct from myself. P&P £3.50.
Over the last few years I have been asked if I had a book available covering points I raise in my talks. Well the day has arrived and the book is finished. The Family Detective – a forensic look at the history of family photography is ready for print and due out mid January 2021. It is a complete guide to identification, age detection and understanding of your collections of old photographs.
Ideal for genealogists, family historians or anyone interested in finding out more about their own family collections it’s available for pre-order now for just £12.00 plus £3.50 P&P. RRP is £14.99
With 140 pages, 250+ colour illustrations and plenty of useful tips it’s an ideal present.
To pre-order your book fill in the form on this site or email Steve@photo-consult.co.uk. www.photo-consult.co.uk/book
I was delighted last week to receive notification that I have been awarded the highest qualification available to photo-restorers, the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. Founded in 1839 it is the oldest organisation in the world dedicated to photography and associated arts and crafts. Receiving this accolade I understand I am the only photo restorer in the world that has achieved this qualification. The RPS has also awarded me ‘Accredited Senior in Imaging in the Creative Industries’.
Thank you to everyone who contributed references etc. It is hugely appreciated.