Some photos need color restoration if their colors are off. Photographs look the way they do because they have bits of color on white paper. Usually there are three or four colors, and they can be ink or special chemicals that respond to light. All is well, usually, with new photos. But over time, the colors lose their brilliance. This can happen in just a few years in sunlight, and even bright room light can be too much. Worse, some of the pigments used in the past are particularly prone to fading. Here’s a classic example from the 1970s, and you can see how we were able to bring it back:
Color Restoration for Old Photos
When colors are off, there are a few tricks to play. The first trick is to tell the computer that a certain part of the photo is true white. Then you tell it that a certain part is true black, and a certain part is true grey. The computer then translates all the other colors in the photo to match.
Once that’s done, we fine-tune the color balance. Once in awhile we can’t fix the problem this way, so we sometimes start fresh. In these cases, we can remove ALL color, to make a black-and-white photo. Then we color the black-and-white image until it looks the way it should. Sure, that’s cheating, but we’re trying to give you a good image! And it is your image… with a bit of help (which is why you hired us).
Color Restoration for New Photos
With newer photos, there is a different problem. Today’s digital cameras set the color balance automatically. They do this by finding the brightest spot and calling it white. This is fine if it is white! But sometimes a bright-but-colored object will throw the camera off. Here, the camera was doing its best to make the bright orange leaves white. In the process it shifted everything towards blue.