Cleaning Up After The Clean Up – Old Photos

The two original shots

A couple days ago, before we were so rudely interrupted by who ever pulled the plug… Hey, let’s just look forward, all seems to be working.. Anyway, a couple days ago, Bob Kays sent me some images from lake Hopatcong to fix. Okay, no sweat. And at the start of it all, it seemed like just one more exposure repair of some 1920’1930’s images. Time can be rough on old photos. But as I was going though the paces of it all, I noticed something shocking. They had been photoshopped? WHAT? How can this be? Well, yes, in a way?  it’s just not called photoshop. Were they were retouched, or in this case, adjusted and fixed in the dark room.

Note the horizon, and lower left water

Back in the day, about 50% of a photos magic, happened in the dark room. And clearly this photographer knew that. Terms like Dodging and Burning, were all part of the process. It was actually like a form of light painting. But cloning? mmmmmm, I dont recall that trick back in the dark room days. maybe there was some sort of negative thing? And why would someone go through all that effort to fix a snapshot. These were not professional Rosenberg type images. Small family snap shots.

The photo I got digitized. The Horizon has been adjusted and the water on the lower left? What?

see the cloned water?

So when I noticed this. I recalled Bob sending me better resolution of the originals he had, had digitized. And BAM, there it is. “Someone” did a photoshop clone thing. Mmmmmmm, Nothing is ever at it seems these days. or iz it?

The sky and lots of dust. Also some of the exposure issues need to be cleaned up

What? Another boat speeding along the horizon next to the kids on the right. Dang!



The final product.

And to take it a step further? Why? No Idea

I used some program I have. Quick and a little fake, but interesting how it defines it better, could be a cool painting

Here is the other shot, no issues, Just darkroom Photoshop issues

Small exposure things can effect a phot in huge ways

10 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    I love the old photos but I can’t see all the other stuff you are talking about. I guess I need stronger cheaters!

  2. Mark in Ohio ( today in Florida)
    Mark in Ohio ( today in Florida) says:

    I love old photos. They just freeze time. It is great that we have the technology to sharpen and save these old photos. Those old darkroom guys had some tricks. ” Love is like a picture , it develops in the dark”. An ole darkroom saying.

  3. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Very cool how you manage to clean up old photos & make them look better, without losing any of the vintageness of them.

    If anyone is interested in a peek at my other hobby, Wittenauer Motorsports will be racing our 2009 MINI Cooper 1/2 S this weekend. With 89 cars entered, I will leave the driving to the young guys on our team. I’ll likely turn some laps during Fri practice, as it will be just Crew Chief & I there that day, to prep the car. Well-known broadcaster Bob Varsha will be among the commentators for the ChampCar Endurance Series 14 hrs of Road Atlanta. The race is from 8am to 10pm Sat Feb 4th. Livestream can be found on ChampCar’s YouTube channel
    Rumor is that we will be a camera car.

  4. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    Was on Long Island last weekend visiting my parents. Went through a box of old photos. Found this one of my Dad as a teenager bailing out his row boat. Priceless

  5. tom
    tom says:

    How in the hell you could spot that cloned water? It reminds me of one of those games where you try to find the slightest differences between two drawings .The only thing that I thought looked odd was the splashing of the water at the exhaust. Kinda reminds me of a sparkler burning. Speaking of Hopatcong I wonder how the water depth is doing?

Comments are closed.