It can be exhilarating to look through the records that your parents or grandparents have and find old photographs in them. Many of these images are decades or even centuries old. Using them in a project, even if it’s just to make a family scrapbook has to be done with care as these images are already prone to tearing.
It’s not just family photos and memorabilia that need to be preserved in this manner.
Maps and evidentiary documents also often find themselves shoved at the back of the file cabinet or in a box. Important images need to be repaired and restored before they can be used. This is due to the fact that the years of neglect could have caused some serious flaws in the results. This means that not only do you have to deal with discoloration; there is also a high chance that fine details could be lost due to all the fading.
Handling them incorrectly could end up causing irreparable damage which could also render the photo completely useless to you. In such scenarios, you want to make sure that you’re not only using them effectively but are also able to preserve them in a manner which adds to their appeal and also to their life. A good option for this is to opt for photo restoration services
However, before you opt for these, you have to pay attention to a few more things. When it comes to old photos, you can’t just brush off the layers of grime and dust on them and just start to use them. The following are a few factors that you need to take into consideration to effectively use old, damaged photos:
Knowing the Extent of the Damage
The fragility of old photos is further emphasized by the damage they sustained because of poor storage methods that were used for them. Ideally, your photos should be kept in an acid-free sleeve in a folder. Even picture albums need to be made of a special type of material. Otherwise, it is all too easy for the glue of the album to cause staining or discoloration of the photos.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Most photos are usually in a loose pile, thrown into a box or a folder and usually abandoned at the very back of the shelf, cupboard or box. When you’re looking at the method of storage used for these photos, you can also determine the extent of the damage by looking for the following three major factors that cause damage:
- Dust – When stored poorly, dust can collect on old photos and cause a lot of damage. Discoloration, image warping as well as holes in the imagery can occur because of dust. Additionally, where there’s dust there are insects like dust mites and silverfish. Silverfish, in particular, thrive on such neglected files, folders and photos. Over the years, they can cause a lot of damage, sometimes completely destroying the old photos.
- Strong Sunlight –Always make sure that your photos are stored away from strong sunlight. This ends up causing fading of the images. In many cases, it can also cause discoloration which can be more difficult to remedy when you are dealing with black and white photos. Regardless of the kind of colors that the images have, you should always make sure that they are kept away from strong sunlight and UV rays.
- Moisture – If the photos were found in the basement or the attic, there’s a high chance of finding moisture damage on them. Based on the exposure to moisture, this can either be discoloration, image warping or even permanent destruction. Another factor that you should look out for is the presence of mold on the photos. In such cases, there’s little to no chance of saving the photo and you will have to throw it away.
By paying attention to the storage method and the state the photos are in, you can get a better estimate regarding the overall damage done to the photos. By paying attention to this, you can then also make a better decision on how to use old photos effectively.
Restoration May Be Necessary
Before you start using these photos, you should consider using photo retouching services. For old and damaged photos, these can be very effective, helping to colorize them and also correct any errors that might be in the image. The use of modern technology also means that some blurry details can be sharpened, colors can be rejuvenated and corrected and a host of other tricks.
This is an extremely useful service to make use of when you are using black and white images or have important photos which have been partially destroyed. With this option, you get to literally turn back the hands of time here so it is definitely worth looking into. Based on the type of old photos, the damage and the number of images you need to get colorized, this service can also be very budget friendly for you.
You Have to Get Them Digitized
Sometimes, the best and safest option is to get your old, damaged photos not only restored and retouched but to also have them digitized. With the help of the best photo digitizing services, you can ensure that you have a permanent soft copy of the old photo. This is the safest option since you no longer need to worry about the storage options, storage type and the method.
Additionally, soft copies can be easily shared, transferred and stored without any worries of misplacement or accidental destruction. These scenarios can be difficult to rectify if the damaged photo was the only copy you had of it. Many places also offer restoration and digitization services so you can easily kill two birds with one stone here. This will save you both time and money.
With the help of these things, you can get to use your old, damaged photos as effectively as possible, without having to worry about anything!
Brandon Harris is the owner of Smooth Photo Scanning Services – One of the leading photo scanning service providers in Lodi, NJ providing Slide scanning services, Negative scanning services, Convert Cassette To CD and VHS To DVD Services etc Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.