A Lesson In Working With Vintage Photos

The vintage LAJ photo above is a real gem although it become more of a “project” than I thought going in. What makes it unique is it’s the only image I’m aware of that shows the northerly side of the engine house. I’ve always liked it so when it appeared on ebay I immediately snagged it. As a spoiler alert I’m not the greatest at reading directions. The package arrives promptly and I rip it open. What…the…heck is this? I’d never seen such a thing. Some digging revealed that it wasn’t the color slide I expected but rather what is called an “120mm color print negative”. I’d never heard of such a thing. Of course all of this was very clearly laid out in the ebay post. What now? What I’m going to do with it? I called Dominion Camera. “No problem, just bring it by”. I have to say they did an amazing job with the scan. Neat and tidy on a CD.

The second issue, and I knew this going in, was the image was backlit, a little washed out, and oddly colored. An afternoon on the net reading up on image restoration with a photo editor and, voila, major improvement. I was surprised how much I was able to clean it up. A lot of this is trial and error but the suggestions to color correct, employ the haze removal tool, fiddle with contrast and shadows all worked.

Here’s the before and after.

Finally, to the ruthless savage that crushed my soul and outbid me at the last millisecond, for the other image I wanted…..well….. respect given. It’s a cruel world out there!