Techniques to maintain and preserve antique images

We take pictures for one basic reason which is; having something physical to look at when remembering the pasts and photos are definitely a great way to chronicle one’s life. But all things are subject to time and photographs as great as they are also subject to the ravages of time, poor conditions and over exposure which can lead to the loss of great pieces of memory.

If you have lost an antique photo to age and poor conditions, do not be disheartened for I know how you feel which made me come up with several tips and techniques on how to achieve antique photo restoration. Before restoration, comes preservation and after restoration still comes preservation, therefore how you preserve old photos should be seen as the most important step in managing your memories and we shall be starting with:

How to Preserve Antique Photos

  • Storage– the general method of storing old items–in dark boxes located in your basement—might work for old furniture but doesn’t cut it for photographs for the lack of air and some light would have their effect on your images. Therefore, try to invest a little in plastic frames, cabinet cards, and air-tight albums made from polyester or polypropylene and antique storage devices to keep your precious memories safe.
  • Organization– do not stack your photos haphazardly against one another that is front to back with each surface rubbing onto the other because with time, this images would lose their coloring or sharpness to the surface of another. You can go back to the first point of how to store for more information.
  • Polythene bags– larger antique images that cannot be stored in albums needs some prior investments before adequate preservation can be achieved. Investing in specialized polythene bags, pure rag acid free mat board for attaching to your image surfaces and even polythene lined vaults for more expensive photos.

How to achieve Antique Photo Restoration

Thanks to the advent of the modern computer and photo editing software, the restoration of antique images can now be done from the comfort of your home or outsourced to a professional for more advanced image editing requirements. Different Photo restoration techniques and applications can be used to solve problems that include:

  • Color disfiguration
  • Missing parts
  • Torn photos etc.

The techniques used to repair the above damages include:

Color Restoration– which involves the use of color filters and gradient adjustments to restore faded colors where and when needed as well as to convert black and white images to its corresponding colored format.

Photo Restoration– software such as Photoshop, photo filter and co. can be used to design the missing parts of an image for a complete photo restoration of an incomplete antique photograph. Cropping tools, shading tools, adjust contract and lighting tools can all be used to create a new body for a torn photograph.

Digitalizing Photographs– this technique can be said to be more of a preserving technique than that of restoration for it involves the conversion of hard copy photographs to soft copies, so that they can be stored on your computer or on the web. This is definitely the best form of storage for nothing can depreciate the value of your photographs.

The Benefits of Antique Photo Restoration and Preservation

The benefits include:

  • Safe storage
  • Longevity
  • Online use- digitalizing your antique photos allows you share your favorite pictures with family and friends on your favorite social media platforms.

Article publié pour la première fois le 04/03/2013

Janet Bocciardi
Janet Bocciardi

Your post came at the perfect time for me! I just inherited a box of old photos and I want to save them for future generations and my genealogy work. Thank you!

Spyros Thalassinos
Spyros Thalassinos

Hi Janet! Thanks for stopping by and glad you found our article useful :)