Watercolour

Watercolour in Old Township photos.

I have been painting with watercolours for many years but never thought to go digital. Everything I do is just a hobby to me like the photo restorations I do to earn a little extra money. I am the best in the country for restoring photos, the cheapest and most imaginative. So I have decided to add Watercolour to my services to offer people more scope for their photo requirements.
Watercolour on Old Photos isn’t an easy thing to do, there’s lots of manipulations required to prepare the photo. Lots of filtering and much needed imagination. Of course you can simulate watercolour with paint programmes within perhaps 5 mins, they look cheap and do not carry the effects very well. Personally I will be using an advanced drawing board inline with Photoshop and using home made digital brushes that allow you to paint exactly like you would on a physical canvas. Plenty of washes, lots of spills, details and ink sketching will all add to some great looking memories for your photos.
Watercolour your town sceneThis photo example shows the styles I will be applying, and as you can see, this will look better with buildings rather than a family group photo. Having said that, I will be happy to take on any commission and have a go at serving up what you want. The cost will as usual be pretty cheap, I have no overheads and my time is my own. This example is rather complex though I would guess on average a sum of just £30 would be in order. Ask for a quote, it costs nothing to do that and if you haven’t guessed already, the photo will not require any restorations as they would be hidden beneath the watercolour. You can contact me via the ‘Contact’ tab above or visit my Facebook site here.

Graffiti Wedding photo

Graffiti Wedding photo manipulation.

A customer asked:
“Just been looking at your website and wondered if you could help. I love all our wedding photos but want to try and create a really contemporary feel to one of them. I got the idea from   looking at some other examples of wedding photography in particular with graffiti behind in black and white or next to an old fashioned phone box etc”

So I browsed for Urban Wedding, Fantasy wedding, and Graffiti wedding to get some ideas to offer her as samples. However I did ask the lady if she was nuts 🙂 but once I got into looking around Google I discovered that this idea is quite popular. So it turns out that she was not nuts and indeed is a very beautiful young mum with a gorgeous baby and handsome husband. It’s a trendy thing to have done and I got carried away with my ideas for her. Photo Manipulations are great fun and in this case was something new for me to get my teeth into. She was amazed at how much time I allowed for discussing things with her but I think you will agree that the results were fantastic. The one I have done with the 3D hands freaked her out but otherwise she loved them all. Oh, and she likes old telephone boxes.
After the initial selections of the subjects this method is quite easy to fit people into any background you would require, so once you have the first one made the rest are very inexpensive.
Have a scroll down the page as there’s plenty of variety for you to look at.

 

 

Playing with colours

Photoshop Colourising.

Adding colour to old photographs can have an amazing effect, indeed removing colour from more modern pictures can have much the same result. Many photos used for advertising will use splash colours to get the viewers attention, they remove all the colours except the saleable item and your eye is immediately drawn to it.
The same can be done with your old B&W’s, add colour to the main subject and it becomes the very thing advertisers seek to offer and tempt you with.

B&W or Colour?

This photoshopped example below could be mistaken for an old picture, maybe around the 1940’s, that has had a splash of colour added to the main subject. It’s actually a modern day photo turned into B&W then colour added for impact. A little more photoshopping  was needed when I did this to remove some tell tail signs of its true age like for instance, a reflection in the door was of a modern collapsible chair. Which ever way you choose to look at it, the visual impact is quite impressive and the great thing is that this can be applied to many of your old or new photos.

Photoshop Colourising, removal or adding colour adds real impact to a photo.

Kings Own Terriers

Kings Own Terriers 1914.

What a fabulous photo sent into me for Restoration & Colourising. It’s of the Kings Own Terriers in 1914 where the lads stood on guard watching for German saboteurs trying to disrupt our rail services.
The photo of these young territorial soldiers of the 1st/4th Battalion Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment  was taken around August/September 1914 when the group were guarding the Great Western Railway in Kent before they were sent to the Western Front on May 3rd 1915. Some were gassed at Ypres in Belgium in 1917 but survived before returning home in 1919. Their average age was only 19 as they went away in 1914.
All these lads got home safely, much against the odds of that war. More information and photos on the 1st/4th Kings Own Terriers at the foot of this page.

1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (King's Own Terriers). Original photo.

 

This is the original which looks ok at first viewing, but when you get closer it is quite badly damaged.
You can view this on Wikimedia http://goo.gl/lTwPjk

 

 

This is the completed restoration which has been part colourised.
Partial colourising keeps it old and atmospheric so I left most of the trees and grass in B&W, but the little drops of colour do the trick.

Kings Own Terriers 1914 guarding the Great Western railway.

The 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (King’s Own Terriers) engagements during WW1:

4th Aug 1914 – Mobilised at Barrow in Furness.
Winter 1914-1915 – Stationed in Southern England, some guarding the Great Western railways.
3rd May 1915 – Arrived in France, Landed at Boulogne. Joined 154th Infantry Brigade.
15 June 1915 – Battle of Festubert
7 January 1916 – Joined 164th Infantry Brigade of 55th West Lancashire Division.
8 August 1916 – The Somme: Battle of Guillemont Attack on Trones Wood.
11 September 1916 – The Somme: Battle of Ginchy Attack on Delville Wood.
27 September 1916 – The Somme: Battle of Flers.
28 September 1916 – Attack near Mametz.
23 December 1916  – Raid on Cameroon Trench.
9 June 1917  – Raid on Ibex Trench.
31 July 1917 – 3rd Battle of Ypres: Battle of Pilckem Ridge Attack on Wieltje.
20 September 1917 – 3rd Battle of Ypres: Battle of the Menin Road Ridge.
November 1917 -Battle of Cambrai.
20 November 1917 – Attack near Guillemont Farm.
30 November 1917 – Repulse of Counter attack near Epéhy.
March and April 1918 – Retreat.
9 – 11 April 1918 – Battle of Estaires – First Defence of Givenchy.
26 April 1918 – Counter attack on Givenchy Craters.
24 August 1918 – Givenchy Craters.
October and November 1918 – Advance to Victory.
4 November 1918 – Battle of the Sambre – Advance on Ath.
12 December 1918 – Moved to Brussels.
April 1919 – Returned to England.

Some photos from the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum.

A company of the 4th Battalion, Kings Own Terriers Royal Lancaster Regiment outside their Headquarters at Ulverston Drill Hall, 1914Members of the 4th Battalion, Kings Own Terriers Royal Lancaster Regiment, Christmas 1914 at SevenoaksGroup of Territorial Force soldiers, believed to be 4th Battalion, Kings Own Terriers Royal Lancaster Regiment from visible shoulder titles.

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Ginormous photo restoration

Ginormous photo restoration, nope not an exaggeration. This restoration took me ages to complete but it had to be done. The lovely gentleman had recently lost his wife and wanted this particular photo of her restoring as best as possible. He was at my doorstep so I could hardly refuse him and on top of all that he had a deadline as he was returning to Ireland at the end of the month.
I kept most of the detail in the photo though I had to improvise in one or two areas. Sticking a car of that era into the top right of the picture was pretty tricky but then that’s why I have entitled this ginormous photo restoration.
I couldn’t lighten the darker areas as there was no information there. Sometimes I’ll clone stuff from another photo but in this instance there wasn’t enough time. The gentleman was truly overcome when he came round to collect it.

 

Ginormous photo restoration needed for this

Baggy trousers smartened and shirt tucked in.

Baggy trousers

Baggy trousers for the bride and perhaps the end of a long day for the groom. It’s amazing how the bride at most weddings can take the whole day with ease and yet their hero of the day flags quickly during the event (Doesn’t say much for us men does it). To be fair the groom will always struggle with aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews, the list goes on. Whereas the bride will shine throughout the day and be the sensible one once it comes to the end of the reception party.
So what’s this all got to do with those infamous baggy trousers? Well if you’ve never really noticed, or been to intoxicated to remember, somehow the grooms shirt always ends up hanging out at the rear. Look at your own wedding photos and you will definitely see several male members of the wedding party with their pants ready to drop and the shirt hanging out. I believe the only reason they don’t fall (Hey don’t be naughty) is constantly being at the bar getting drinks for people and naturally having a little tug at the waistband. Totally forgetting about what’s happening at the back where your shirt is now free flying. So the groom ends up walking around with that baggy trouser look, perhaps occasionally being tidied up by his new bride.
By the end of the night though, there it is, too late to be corrected and you’re taking that last dance for all to see. The photographer can hardly come across and tuck the shirt in for you, could start a marital breakup particularly if they are female and in this instance it was.

The end of baggy trousers and that shirt.

I was asked if I could at least tuck the shirt in to make the groom more presentable, tidying up the baggy trousers would be a bonus if it could be done. The obvious method with the photo below would be to clone in something from Google images but finding something I could work with proved very difficult. I needed the right angle, hopefully with shades and textures plus the style had to be reasonably similar. Problem was neither myself or the photographer could come up with anything usable as another issue would be the need for high resolution.
I decided on using the clone stamp, patch tool and a lot of ingenuity. After a lot of hard work I finally got the photographers approval, payment and a very big thank you.

Shirt out, baggy trousers.                                Shirt in, trousers smartened.

Baggy trousers and shirt hanging outBaggy trousers smartened and shirt tucked in.

 

 

cellulite problem removed but kept natural looking

Cellulite problem

I recently received a request from a professional wedding photographer regarding a cellulite problem. I’ve worked with this company on several occasions so I asked them to send the photos via WeTransfer to which I duly received them. Personally I did not see the cellulite problem as a spoiler for the photograph, but a natural look for me is not what ladies want to see these days.

Fantastic photo, great bit of fun and well balanced so I was very pleased to accept the challenge.

The work done in Brief:

I couldn’t remove the cellulite problem with the easy method as it made everything a little too soft. Masking didn’t work too well either so I chose the long road and made quite a lot of patching from as many good areas that I could find. I started to get a little carried away until I remembered it was to be kept natural looking and not like the retouched photos you see in magazines. So a nice balance was found keeping a few blemishes and bumps here and there. It’s worked out really pleasing and the photographer pleasantly astonished at my work.
Cellulite problem removed, now I can enjoy the view 🙂

 

cellulite problem in wedding photo

 

cellulite problem removed but kept natural looking

 

Saving photos – Silica Gel

Saving photos – Silica Gel

This is just another quick tip on preserving your precious old photographs, Saving photos – Silica Gel.  It may be an obvious idea now that you have read the opening title but how many of you have thought of doing this? It’s a well proven science that silica gel absorbs moisture and keeps everyday items from having their lives shortened by the dreaded damp. Most houses will suffer damp which will find its way into anything with differing temperatures, the attic for instance.

 

many uses for silica gelAll photos will deteriorate over time, mostly by the silver which starts to degenerate. Not much you can do about this unless you want to spend money on costly preserving techniques that historical archivists use. So plain and simply use silica gel to slow down the inevitable. You can purchase silica gel but why do that when almost everything you buy these days has small sachets thrown in to protect your new product from damp. Collect them and put the little buggers in your biscuit tins, photo boxes and album covers.

 

 

 

There’s a million uses for silica gel which is why you see so many of them. Listed below are some ideas you have probably never considered:

  1. Save your old photos – Old photos usually deteriorate with time, which is really sad because they are the sole reminders of our past and are quite dear to our hearts. Put a couple of silica gel bags in your box of old photos to save them from the dampness that can ruin them.
  2. Put them in your sports bag – Your bags main purpose is to absorb the extra moisture and protect your shoes. Bacteria mostly thrive in damp and moist environments so they can help you eliminate the dampness and germs from your sports bag. They can also eliminate the foul odour.
  3. Make your razors last longer – Don’t leave your razor around in the bath where it’s always wet. Put it in a plastic container with a silica bag inside. It will make it last longer.
  4. Save drowned phone – When your phone drops in water and gets all wet, instead of putting it in a jar of rice try the same with silica bags. Fill a jar with them and put your mobile in, it will be much more effective.
  5. Your makeup bag – Every women needs to have a bag or two of silica gel in her make up purse or bag. It will stop the powdery make up from curdling.
  6. Front windscreen – This one is brilliant. Instead of waiting for the air conditioning to do its job, which in older car models can take forever, put a bunch of these silica gel bags under your windshield from the inside immediately. You’ll see that tomorrow your windows won’t be foggy. It’s the fastest way to stop your windows from fogging up and you’ll save yourself the 10 extra minutes needed to clean them up.

Torn photo

Torn photo of a young girl.

So many photos are sent into me that have been torn apart or have even fallen apart with age. I love working on them as I get immediate satisfaction once I have put the pieces together and you know exactly what’s required to complete the restoration. I don’t ask a customer the reason why they are ripped as in most cases it’s either through temper or a simple accident. I’ve also had instances of mental disabilities where they have been torn out of frustration but fortunately these are not the norm’.
Never give your children access to photos when left alone in a room. It appears compulsory for a child to draw, stamp, chew, paint or poo on them, they love it 😀
Whatever the case was here with this torn photo of a child it was important to get the picture put right for the mother to relax and breathe out while some sanity was still with her. She didn’t have access to a scanner so I didn’t know what to expect until it arrived in the post. Luckily it was what I refer to as a clean rip and pretty simple to restore.
A torn photo can be devastating for people who think they are now lost forever but guys like me can give them back for future enjoyment.

Original pieces

young girl torn photo          young girl torn photo piece two

Restored photo

Torn photo of young girl restored

 

Sharen Ward, Soldier soldier.

The People Remember

The people remember those who fell in war.

I don’t think I have ever published a news item of any sort on this website, but when I watched a programme this morning called The people remember I was immediately touched by a song. I guess “Spring to action” crossed my mind so here I am writing about it.
Obviously this is not one of my Photoshop’s in any way, shape or form. It’s just my little bit in helping people remember those that fight and protect your country, any country.
This particular episode from the BBC’s The people remember caught me by surprise and brought tears to my eyes. You can view it here and skip to 39.35 though I am unsure how long this link will work.
It’s also on YouTube sung by the same 15 year old girl from the Duke of York’s military school choir but not quite as tear jerking. Get the tissues ready because if you care about anything, this song will definitely get you going.

Remember the fallen….

Soldier Soldier was written by Vida Ivatt, harmonised and orchestrated by Major David Cresswell (rtd) and sung by DOYRMS student Rachel Ward. It is about a young soldier who receives a letter from his girlfriend while serving in Flanders. Many of the students who attend the School have parents serving in the forces, including Rachel whose dad is in the army. All proceeds of the sale of the single is split between two charities; the ABF and Care for Casualties, the Rifles’ charity.

Words to song:

Did you read the letter to you from the girl across the sea?
Did she say come back home safely as you charged across the fields?
Soldier soldier, Soldier soldier, when you heard the whistle blow,
On the fields of fallen soldiers where the scarlet poppies grow.

Did she say to you don’t worry don’t despair we’ll meet again,
Did she say home-fires were burning you’ll be here with me again?
Oh Soldier soldier, Soldier soldier, can you feel the Autumn breeze?
Through the heat of rifles howling there on Flanders fields.

Soldier oh soldier, as the tears filled your eyes,
Through the dust that drained before you did you say your last goodbyes?
Goodbye Soldier soldier, goodbye to those you know,
Goodbye Soldier soldier, on the fields where poppies grow.

Did you hear the bugle calling? Did you hear it on the breeze?
Did you hear the thunder rolling as you fell onto your knees?
Oh Soldier soldier, Soldier soldier, as you lay there on those fields,
Amid the cries of fallen soldiers, there on Flanders fields.

Soldier oh soldier, as the light left your eyes,
Did you reach out to hold her, did you say your last goodbyes?
Goodbye now Soldier soldier, goodbye to those you know,
Goodbye Soldier soldier, on the fields where poppies grow.

Did you read the letter to you from the girl across the sea?
Before her words fell on ashes as they drifted on the breeze?
Oh Soldier soldier, Soldier soldier, as you lay there on those fields,
Where the silent poppies tender there on Flanders fields.
Goodbye Soldier soldier, out there on Flanders fields.

Amen to that.