Great Grandparents given new life…

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Art, Family, Memories, Personal, Work

as mentioned before, I have been restoring my family’s old photos. This is more of an enjoyment task for me, as I am not expecting to be paid anything by anyone, but I am glad to do them, as unless they are restored in this manner, within the next 50 years there will be almost no images left. Many families are missing an essential part of their family history, due to their older photos being lost, damaged, lost in a natural disaster, or similar. However, I see there to be no excuse to lose them to the sands of time… if there is time to restore and repair them for future generations, then this should be done as soon as possible.

My overall plan is to restore them all, then to categorise them into a catalog, sorted by family or perhaps individual, then burn all of them to DVD, both as a printable file, and a large-scale TIFF for future editing if required (Layers are my friend! I am keeping as many edits as possible on a duplicate layer, with the original, untouched image on the lowest layer).

Below you will find another sample of this restoration process. This happy couple show my grandmother’s parents, William & Cassandra May Dorgan. I have only recently found their final resting place as part of my family tree search. This was complicated by their grave marker being ‘borrowed’ at some point over the year, and no one remembering exactly where they were buried. I took it upon myself to make them a replacement marker, which is also shown below. I decided to make it out of timber without the use of nails, as William was a boiler maker and craftsman at the local rail yards, and seemed to enjoy making things with his hands, as do I.

William & Cassandra's Wedding BEFORE

William & Cassandra - My Great Grandparents. This image is the 'before' photo, showing the aged and discoloured photo. The black in the top half of the background has silvered, making the recolouration process rather difficult...

William & Cassandra's Wedding AFTER

William & Cassandra - My Great Grandparents. This image is the 'after' photo. Once restored, the image has a new lease of life. The blacks have been recoloured and darkened to where they probably should be, William's suit has been darkened to make it look black, instead of grey, and Cassandra's flowers have been slightly darkened to allow their detail to show through.

William & Cassandra's Grave Marker

William & Cassandra's Grave Marker - Handbuilt by myself using timber, but no nails. This was built to replace a previous marker which seems to have been stolen or 'borrowed'.

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