St Mary’s High School

St Mary’s High School 1949

I like studying old school photos and this photo restoration I have done recently is no exception. It depicts pupils of St Mary’s High School 1949 near Oldham with their form teacher Mr Haddley.
I always find that many of the faces and characters are exactly the same as your own school photos regardless of the year. Scruffy and tidy ones, beaming happy ones, chubby and thin guys, tall guy, the list goes on and on. Every time I look at one I immediately think of my own time at school and being readied for that dreaded school photo. Posing wasn’t so bad, but your mother making sure you had clean underwear on too embarrassing.
The restoration was a little time consuming and I did my best not to lose any textures and it turned out quite good I think. For those that don’t know about textures, there’s many ways to restore a photo and my pet hate is people that restore one by ‘sketching in’ or ‘smoothing out’.  I prefer not to do this and would rather leave some small imperfections to help keep that original look.

You can see for yourself the issues with this photo. Torn, heavily creased, many inclusions, stains and poor definition in most of the photo.

St Mary's High School 1949

Here is the restored version with a little manipulation on the school background.

Photo restored version of St Mary's High School 1949

Finally a lightly coloured version of St Mary’s High School I made for the customer as a freebie. I like to offer that little bit more for a good customer by way of a present from me.

St Mary’s High School Oldham



Christmas eCard

Christmas eCard using After Effects.

This Christmas eCard is a great way to send your love and best wishes to friends or family that you may not be seeing over the Christmas period. Yes, a normal postal card is thoughtful but the delightful thing about my template is that you can add photos and also add a verbal special message at the end. A nice surprise in anyone’s books to receive such a lovely personal touch.
You can add 4 photos into the tunnel saving your best one for the end, then you can record a verbal message which will be heard clearly over the music. No more than 20 seconds is recommended which adds more impact being such a surprise for the recipient at the end.
Get in touch via the contact tab above or you can message me on my Facebook page here. It’s really easy to send the photos and for recording your message simply do it with your mobile. Most have a record facility and your computer does too. Just go to Start, Accessories, Sound recorder.
Enjoy the video and let me know what you think.


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More Montage ideas

Still building my Montage collection.

Montages can have many uses so I am building up a collection of ideas that will hopefully grow and grow. Almost every one of them are my own idea so should be pretty unique for people asking for this service.
The first one shown here has been saved as a png file so it can be used in plenty of situations. Mugs would be the best recipient as you can see by the second photo. I’ve already had a few enquiries so I am on the right track. Yes you can get these done yourself at a local store but you are restricted on the way you can present them. For instance you can have a montage made up but  it will be very uniform and not have the style I’ve made here.

montage wide   montage mug

This second example is just my imagination taking the liberty out of the word Montage. As far as I am concerned it will be posted as a montage as I can’t categorise it as anything else.

montage 2

Huge Photo Restoration

Huge Photo Restoration of a young man in 1942

As soon as I received this photo for restoring I knew it would be troublesome. This doesn’t deter me or make it a bad day, I love a challenge so it was a welcome mix to my usual photo enhancements which I find quite easy to do.
Huge Photo Restoration required on this 1942 photo of Leonard Williams Jeromes Studio Photo Aged 12Whenever I open a photo I decide immediately what the first steps should be and they are not always the same as every other photo. Different steps to take, different stages and always different methods to attack the problem. With this photo I think I used all the tools that are available from Photoshop including the addition of my Wacom. I like to mask off clothes and backgrounds as they can be a distraction and fill you with dismay if you’re not careful. Concentrating on the important parts where your effort is needed most is first priority for me.

As I have said many times, if the customer likes the finished product that’s all I need to satisfy me, money comes second place. This restoration would have cost around £75 at some supposed restoration experts, but not from me, I charged less than a quarter of that price.


Huge Photo Restoration required on this 1942 photoMy customer was given a private viewing page as I realised they would want to comment on the progress of their photo. I need to know sometimes if they are happy with things like, changing backgrounds, clothes, even arms and legs. If I enhance items like this the customer should see them before the final phase, you can then get some direction from them if it’s not fully agreeable.
Well it worked out in the end and I got a great review from them which you can see here on FreeIndex if you wish.

Restored and Colourised

Restored and Colourised Group of photos.

You can see here a set of photos sent into me for Photo Restoration, a bit of sharpening and Photo Colourising.
Doing this sort of work for money is likely to make you go bankrupt if your prices are too high, or too low in my case. Personally I don’t suffer from this as I enjoy doing these restorations as a hobby that pays for treats rather than rip my receding hair out in frustration. It makes a big difference and often allows me to give plenty of my time up to a seemingly difficult repair which also pleases the customer.
Have a look at this Group of photos Restored and Colourised. How many times do you go through your old family photos and not even consider how much more delight they will give you if restored and possibly colourised. Being in the business I am well aware of the difference but it is only when the public see my work that they suddenly think how nice it would be to have some of their own done. But then they have to consider the price as most restorers will charge £12 to £15 for each one of these examples. Worse still, you get no time with them trying to explain how you wish to display the colours. With me it’s all about you going away satisfied so if it takes all week to get it right, that’s how it will be done.

1960's Mum original photo   1960 Mum in Group of photos Restored and Colourised

1937 Photo of Nan needing restoration   1937 Nan in a Group of photos Restored and Colourised

1954 Nan and Grandad original B&W   1954 Nan and Grandad in the Group of photos Restored and Colourised