Photographs have been my "thing" since long before I was old enough to own a camera. I'd spend countless hours with my grandmother when I was very young, her showing me images of my family long passed, and telling all the stories they represented. I have similar conversations with my mother in current times. They are tales far better than any fiction novel I have ever read.
As a photographer, some of my favorite work is restoring old photographs.
Passed through generations images get tattered, torn, and of course faded. And while still attractive in that old antique way, many leave much to be desired as far as something we'd like to hang on the walls of our homes. And as with my own old family photos, I found that many of my favorite images were not only beat up pretty badly, they were very small prints.
This snapshot of my mother and grandmother is 63 years old, circa 1949. It was only 3x4 inches in size. It was scratched/cracked in several places, contained water spots, and was very faded. It actually came out a box of water damaged items in an old building (The Barn Tavern) belonging to my grandfather. Repairing this image took several hours of work and it was worth every minute. It ended up making a nice 8x10 for my wall and if kept in a good frame it will outlive me. Hopefully one of my children will cherish it as much as I do. (See the before and after by clicking here)
The next image is a portrait of my grandmother and her brother Alford, circa 1930. During this time period it was fashionable to have black and white portraits painted over to add color as with this one.
The original image was very faded and had a few scratches. It came out nicely with a little editing and enhancing and didn't take long at all to restore. I spent about an hour on it and was very pleased with the results.
Then there is is this image I found of George White and my Uncle Harry (another of my grandmother's brothers), circa 1930.
This image was a very small, black and white snapshot, that was in very poor condition. It was scratched and faded beyond what I thought was manageable. It took several hours and some tedious steps but I was ever so happy with the results. During the enhancement process it began to take on an old tin type tone, almost mimicking color, which I thought added a nice touch to the image. It too made a good looking 8"x10" print. (See the before and after by clicking here)
George lived to be over a 100 years old and was a story teller in his own right. He "ran" with my uncles and grandfather and I can remember being totally fascinated by the tales he told of their younger and wilder years. They were quite a bunch.
Being friends with George's grandson John, I knew John's mother would get a kick out of seeing such an old shot. I emailed them a copy and I am betting it's now hanging on their wall as well, or at the very least, tucked safely in Judy's scrapbook.
John told me his mother was super tickled to see it and it had brought back so many memories for her. It made me feel good to know that it had made her smile and reminisce.
I keep saying that one of these days I am going to write the story of my family, as we are a colorful bunch. I'd like to sit my mother down one day very soon, along with her cousin Judy, and record all the accounts of our history they can muster up. I think it would make a best seller to be honest, although I am not so sure everyone within it's pages would approve of it all being put into an organized and recorded account.
Back in the day we were coal miners, moonshiners, bar owners, veterans of every war, prison workers, field hands, various other business owners, and a wild little list of characters in between.
*Note: If you have any old images of my family, or the many close friends who I grew up thinking were relatives, I would love to see them. I'd also love to hear the stories behind them as well. You can email me at email@example.com
Even professionals have a life outside their work and I don't mind sharing some of mine with you. Although photography is a passion of mine, I have many different interests.
So here you'll find a little business, a little personal, and a little bit of everything in between.
Some of the photos in this blog are taken with a cell phone, so try not to be too hard on the quality of some of the images. Most of my professional work will be marked with my signature watermark.
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