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Enlarged in permanent carbon...

I've often commented, to those who'll listen, that one of the interesting differences between europeans and the US (or any immigrant culture) is they way it treats its ancestors. They are much more tied up in the where and the culture, than the who and the what. We know the where, its the same damn place for the most part.

However this doesn't mean I'm not interested in the past.

When my gran died she left behind, amongst other things, a lot of old photos. These photos date form somewhere in the 1820's to up to 1920 or so. Its fascinating to me, because I don't really know much about my family in that respect. Like many people I know, we don't really pay that much attention to the past.

Our damn country is riddled with the stuff.

Anyhow, these photos are not only a fascinating glimpse of people I'm related to, but history, photographic records, and typographic curiosities. Hot damn... my inner geek cried.

Anyhow, I decided to archive all these photos, for they have seen better days. I'm scanning them all at 300dpi and saving them as 24bit PNG's (lossless, but still small(ish) files). This way they'll always be around. However, not only that.. but I'm restoring them as I go along, one original copy, one restored copy.

The first I finished earlier today, its of E.G. Gregg, my... great-grand-uncle if I remember correctly. Who looks quite a bit like me (though not so much in this photo), here's a comparison image for you, much smaller than the size I'm working with:

E.G. Gregg, circa 1900 or later
In this image he's probably about my age, standing in the pub he used to work at. He obviously liked the dandy look, and I can appreciate that. If I had the money I would wear that outfit. I am in love with the coat as it is...

Its wierd to think that this man was born about 100 years before me, give or take one or two years. He probably had seen motorcars at this stage, but they'd have hardly been common. Computers? Not even thought about, certainly not in any way more than simple adding machines.

And yet here he is, being cleaned up for the digital age.

I decided to keep its sepia tone, as I like the warmth that sepia has. However, as you can see I removed the scratches, much of the dirt, and basically made it more visible and crisp. There are limits to what you can do though with a photo this age and quality. What do you think?

I'll post some more as I go on, they fascinate me in many varied ways. I'll also talk more about my family history.

Comments

( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
redthought
7th Apr, 2004 19:47 (UTC)
Oh my God... you are fantastic at restoring photos! *ooohhs* He looks quite a bit like my grandfather (murphy) did... something about the cheekbones and eye structure.
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:12 (UTC)
Really? interesting... and I'm glad you liked the result. Always good to get feedback :)
rethought
7th Apr, 2004 19:55 (UTC)
We need to feel we have a past...I think that's the difference. :)

That's awesome that you're fixing up the pictures. Hope to hear more about them as you go along...
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:11 (UTC)
Well yeah, its an interesting dependance, thats all :)

And you will, don't worry! Cute icon btw ;)
icyblue
7th Apr, 2004 20:05 (UTC)
Wow, that's an incredible picture. He IS a handsome man, indeed. And definitely well-dressed.
aprilia27
7th Apr, 2004 20:33 (UTC)
I think you did a wonderful job with this photo. I also agree that it is fortunate when you are able to explore your past this way. My own grandmother has many pictures of various family members who passed away before I was born, and yet whenever I look at their pictures I feel close to them in a way... very intrigued by the lives they led.
I hope your other photos turn out as nicely as this one did!
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:09 (UTC)
thank you :)

Yeah, I wanted to archive them so that they are good in another hundred years.
lousy_timing
7th Apr, 2004 21:06 (UTC)
Laugh if you will
I thought there was a resemblance the moment I saw the photo. It's the eyes, of course, given that I have seen your face in only one other photo. Specifically, it's the brow, I think.

You did an excellent job restoring the photo. I often marvel at how many shades there actually are in black & white photos, especially the sepia toned ones.

Hope to see more as you continue your work!
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:08 (UTC)
Re: Laugh if you will
Yeah, the eyes and stuff for sure. General face shape.. a bit.

Thanks, and I shall be posting up more as I do them! :)
elmofromok
7th Apr, 2004 21:52 (UTC)
very nice job on the photo. I have not spent any time restoring old photos but I have thought about trying to do it. Of course it helps that you have some really cool old photos to work with. I do not really have any from my family.
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:05 (UTC)
Thanks :) I only got my hands on these today, I didn't know about them previously.. so you never know, you might have some lying around.
miriammiriam
7th Apr, 2004 22:29 (UTC)
fine and dandy
he does look a lot like you do, it seems that hotness runs in your family... RAWR! it's the eyes mostly i think...hmmm...i dunno...since, afterall...i havent SEEN you AT ALL in what seems like FOREVER so it's hard to say. ;)
HINT.
HINT.
HINT.
HINT.
HINT.
HINT.
HINT.
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:03 (UTC)
Re: fine and dandy
subtle
Re: fine and dandy - miriammiriam - 8th Apr, 2004 11:12 (UTC) - Expand
spacinspazz
7th Apr, 2004 22:57 (UTC)
My MY!
My My! how busy you have been. This work is fenominal! about how long did it take you? and What programs did you use to produce some very nice finished works?

Allthough i can not comment on what you look like compared to him, but If you do resemble this stunning man, than you, my friend, are well off in the world :D

Have a Spazztaztic day! heh.. (sorry, couldn't resist)
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:03 (UTC)
Re: My MY!
lol, thanks!

Well I use Adobe PhotoShop for this, and it probabaly took me *thinks* about 4 hours to get it mostly done. I pottered about with some things (like reconstructing the floor and walls in the corners) for about an hour or two, but that was in the background whileI was doing other stuff.. so yeah, about 4 or so hours I guess.
Re: My MY! - spacinspazz - 8th Apr, 2004 21:23 (UTC) - Expand
galateadia
7th Apr, 2004 23:02 (UTC)
you did a wonderful job!
i too have archived a few of mine, and family members old pictures, but i am only minimally proficient at restoration.
say, how would you feel about trying to restore a picture that was ripped in half? i have the two pieces scanned and ready to go. ;)
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 05:00 (UTC)
Sure! I'll give it a go! e-mail them to me or poke me on IM and send them to me there :)

Always up for a challenge :D
(no subject) - galateadia - 8th Apr, 2004 09:27 (UTC) - Expand
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darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 07:40 (UTC)
Re: good genes, good skills
I've thought about it :)

Just to get my hands on that outfit! ;)

The pub is still around that that photo was taken at, so.. its a posibility.
(Deleted comment)
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 07:39 (UTC)
thanks hon :) How goes with you?
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moriarty6
8th Apr, 2004 06:47 (UTC)
Great job. I can see the family resemblance, too.

And I would wear that outfit. Dandy, indeed!
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 07:34 (UTC)
Oh I say old chap!
WE should both get one and wear it around town, stutting our stuff!

And you have a pipe too!

Re: Oh I say old chap! - spacinspazz - 8th Apr, 2004 21:27 (UTC) - Expand
x_mrs_molko_x
8th Apr, 2004 13:09 (UTC)
The other Granny has LOADS of photos from the past. You've probably seen them?
darkcryst
8th Apr, 2004 16:37 (UTC)
Only a few actually. Never really seen many.
mind_opened
8th Apr, 2004 22:01 (UTC)
Wow, are those early electric light switches above his head?? What a totally cool pic, thanks for sharing! I'm just dying to read the bottle labels! Guess its a little geeky but I love stuff like that.
darkcryst
9th Apr, 2004 04:50 (UTC)
I think they are yes! Some kind of switch anyhow.

Sadly, due to the quality of photos at the time, there is no way to read the labels, there's only the suggestion of text on them.
twilight4ever
23rd Apr, 2004 06:41 (UTC)
wow - he is gorgeous! (i know you don't know me but i i'm bored at work and browsing journals and i am fascinated by your great ability to restore these old photos) i also love the sepia tones...
darkcryst
23rd Apr, 2004 06:55 (UTC)
Hey new friends are always welcome!

Thank you. I have a big ass batch of them I'm working on (the backs are facinating too - the lithographs they use to advertise the studio are beatuiful examples of their type).

I'm currently working on one of the same man pictured here (my great-grandfather) when he was a sergent in the Army. Lot worse condition that this one, though now actual missing pieces.

I love sepia too, its got a warmth that black and white lacks. Plus its how they were, I'm archiving them, not modernising them :)

Interesting username btw - one of my ongoing projects is a long epic sci-fi fantasy called Twilight: Prophecy. So bonus points for that ;)
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( 52 comments — Leave a comment )