PetaPixel

Restoring a Tintype Photo from the 1870s

Photo restorer Bob Rosinsky of Top Dog Imaging wrote an interesting article describing how he restored a tintype photograph from the 1870s brought to him by a client.

My standard operating procedure is to use an ultra-high resolution camera combined with a top-of-the-line macro lens to photograph tintypes. I use strobe lights to illuminate the artwork. Strobes produce “hard” light, much like the sun on a clear day. In addition to the strobes, I place a polarizer over the camera lens and polarizer gels over the strobe lights. This eliminates all reflections and enables the camera to pick up a greater tonal range along with more detail.

[...] I began the laborious process of restoration, which involved a prodigious amount of retouching.

Reminds us a bit of this 76-year-old Chinese Photoshop master’s work.

Restoring a Photograph from the 1870s (via kottke.org)


P.S. Earlier this week another tintype photo from the same decade sold for $2.3 million.


 
  • http://twitter.com/simonmeisinger Simon Meisinger

    so what? the guy knows how to handle photoshop, oh my god …

  • Anonymous

    He took the tintype out of a tintype. thrilling. 

  • Jyve

    How he photographed it is more interesting than the restoration process. Clone, heal, some filters. It’s mainly just time consuming…

  • Jyve

    How he photographed it is more interesting than the restoration process. Clone, heal, some filters. It’s mainly just time consuming…

  • Jyve

    How he photographed it is more interesting than the restoration process. Clone, heal, some filters. It’s mainly just time consuming…

  • Jyve

    How he photographed it is more interesting than the restoration process. Clone, heal, some filters. It’s mainly just time consuming…

  • http://photographyforthefunofit.com Bhorn

    Having done a bit of restoration on old photographs I know how difficult it can be to get from a very scuffed up original to the end product he has here. I’m looking forward to trying some of my toughest scanning challenges on a copy stand with polarized lights to see if it cuts down on some of the surface noise. I wish he had gone into more detail on the steps he took between the initial capture and the end result.

  • dragonfist

    A nice piece of work. No matter what he used to accomplish it he made for a happy customer. The customer wanted a restoration and I am sure didn’t give a hoot how it was accomplished. I had some family tintypes done that were impossible to repair until digital came into being. I tried several old time photo labs 30 or more years ago and they all turned the job down.