Zoom Talks and Lectures

Posted on August 19, 2020 by Admin under Uncategorized

This Friday I will be presenting a talk to Buckinghamshire Family History Society on the History of Family Photography via Zoom. Apart from all the members of the Society in this country there will be others from Europe and even Australia.

So if you want a speaker for your society and you are running meetings via Zoom, please get in touch.

Zoom lectures

How to identify Autochrome and Dufaycolor

Posted on June 21, 2020 by Admin under Restoration news

Identifying old photos

Posted on June 16, 2020 by Admin under Uncategorized

I do get annoyed when I see online auctions of old photographs and they are described as Daguerreotypes and in fact they are nothing of the sort. In fact it’s quite easy to identify the three main types of Victorian, cased photographic processes. Watch the short video to learn the basics.

Cameras found

Posted on November 26, 2019 by Admin under Restoration news

When a neighbour asks me to look at some photographic equipment found in the loft I get a little excited. This turned out to be:

A rare 19th century whole plate tailboard camera made by W. Stanley who went on to invent the Stanley knife, a 1920’s quarter plate single lens reflex plus a boxes of unexposed quarter plate glass negatives and 5 x 4 glass negatives.

If you have anything of photographic interest then let me know.

Autochrome Images Restored

Posted on October 8, 2019 by Admin under Restoration news

Autochrome can be one of the most difficult photographic processes to restore because of the way they were created. They were a fore-runner of Kodachrome or Ektachrome they were produced using dyed starch granules as well as the silver emulsion. This means the final image is very dark and grainy. Restoring them can be difficult due to the amount of coherent light that is needed to keep the colour. Also in close up they look like a Pissaro style pointillist painting.

But Photo-Consult can now offer our Autochrome restoration service. Due to the difficulties it will cost a little more but then again the images are dreamlike in their style and worth saving.

Close up showing the grainy structure.

Wonderful 1915 French portrait. Lumiere Autochrome

Ambrotype cases restored

Posted on September 12, 2019 by Admin under Uncategorized

I can now offer a case repair service for many basic repairs. This is in addition to the restoration service.

Original reversed ambrotype
flipped and restored
Union case repaired and image added

Don’t take it for granted

Posted on May 29, 2019 by Admin under Uncategorized

When assessing the date of a photograph it may be , as with this one, that someone has written a date on the back. In this case it was 1895-90 ?

However a quick bit of research of the photographer’s name and address throws up a date of between 1901-1905 as that was the time the studio was in operation.

So check, check and check again. Or ask Photo-Consult to do it for you.

Scanner v Camera

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Admin under Restoration news

The established way to get an image into your computer is to use a scanner but that has lots of drawbacks when it comes to a three dimensional subject like an Ambrotype, Daguerreotype or Tintype in a union case.

The scanner lens system is designed to focus on the surface closest to the scanner glass.

When the photo is mounted in a case this means it focuses on the surround and mount rather than the image itself. 

Using my system which is a combination of 19th century equipment with 21st century technology I can make sure that the image is sharp in focus and use depth of field to also get the case showing in focus too.

With file sizes over 450mb in HDR raw it allows me great scope to restore and retouch.

Conventional scan from a Canoscan 9000 – the original image is reversed (see his buttons) and it has damage around the edge of the image.
Captured via a tethered Lumix G9 with Leica lens in Hi-Res mode, that creates 8 exposures and stitches them together. Three hi-res images bracketed then HDR in Lightroom 2019 before restoring in PhotoShop CC2019

scanner v camera

close up showing pixelation from scanner
close up showing grain of the original image

Repair Shop – composite images

Posted on September 21, 2018 by Admin under Uncategorized

This is a classic example of light getting on to the surface of a 120 film where the backing paper has come away from the film when loading or unloading. In this circumstance the image has never been there an it’s impossible to get it back. All you can do is rebuild what there is left and put something there that looks like it was supposed to be there.

Even with this work an amateur taken shot like this is never going to be impressive but by combining it with others I can make it something that someone will treasure.

So come to Steve’s Repair Shop and let me put it right for you.


Spotting as it was called.

Posted on by Admin under Uncategorized

The latest image to be restored threw up some interesting details. Since photography started dust on negatives and prints has been a curse. I used to spend hours with an 000 sable brush and a block of black water colour paint filing in white spots on the print where dust had been on the negative. To get a glossy finish on the resulting paint-work we used to mix the paint with the glue off an old envelope on our thumb-nails.

These days it’s a lot easier and quicker though I still do spot at a time. There are ways in photoshop to automate it but it can’t tell if the spot is meant to be there or not. I can.

This image was also covered in squiggly lines in the shadow areas. These were painted onto the negative usually with a pencil and were to reduce the deeper shadows. Again today I use three exposures and convert using a HDR process.

The result is as close to the original as possible.