Before & After

Things have been moving at a different pace lately, thanks in part to the pandemic. To help pass the time, I have been working on a monumental project – collecting school and sporting club photos from Hobsons Bay in Melbourne, to build an historic archive of all of the people that make it so great.

Each photo is loaned from a member of the public, scanned by myself at better-than-archival quality, retouched and any damage or deterioration repaired. I then add in as much metadata as I can, including names of those in the photograph, photographer’s details, school, date, keywords etc. All of this information is searchable, which in potential future applications, will be very useful. You see, my goal is to gift this entire archive to the Community via the Library. It will be able to be searched by person’s name, class, year etc, allowing someone to research their family history and locate photographs of their loved ones. Without metadata, this would be a very exhausting and near-impossible activity.

These images come to me in various states of repair – some torn, faded, aged, browned, spots, pen marks – I have seen it all!

The general level of repair is not too bad, with each image only taking about 20-30 minutes of work in-between client work. It is a good mental break from the regular work, and occasionally I get a real doozy that helps me sharpen my photoshop skills a little further, with a tear running through someone’s face, or a damage over a detailed area of the image that almost requires rebuilding the image completely.

Here is an example of an image that I would rate a 3-out-of-10 on the difficulty-scale. It has tears and folds, but its not too complicated. After showing the owner of the original, he was amazed at how well it had come up, and was talking about reprinting it for a few of his old classmates.

Apart from the visible damage, I have also corrected the which was a little off compared to other photos from the same school in the same year.

What do you think?

Bringing the Old into the 21st Century.

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