Our world may be in color but is often captured best in black and white. A skilled photographer can really make the most of this format, especially in trying to show interesting perspectives. In the absence of distracting colors, light and shadow come into play more vividly in a black and white photograph. Faces and features stand out more and there’s a certain sense of mystery that comes from not knowing all the color details.
There are many famous photos that were shot in black and white. In color, the results might have been less striking. If Dorothea Lange’s portrait of a Depression era woman with her children (below) had been a color photograph, it probably wouldn’t be as hard-hitting. Black and white is very effective here – starkly highlighting the lines on her face, the grime on her baby’s, as well as the frayed and torn clothing. As a portrait of hardship and suffering, few images can match this powerful black and white photograph.
We all have old black and whites in our family photo collection that we treasure. With age, however, a lot of them become faded or discolored. Worse, many develop unsightly scratches, creases, and rips. Sometimes the damage is so extensive that we assume the photo can’t be saved. But that’s not true. With professional photo restoration, it is possible to rebuild even the most battered photographs.
Below are a few wonderful examples of expert photo restoration on black and white photos:
With skilled photo restoration, the dark clothing as well as the strong facial features of the subject stand out against a neutral background. The faded effect is gone and certain details – e.g. the sheen of the pipe – pop more in the restored photo. There is still a special throwback quality to the photo but it is now beautifully cleaned up and frameable.
The distracting blemishes in the picture – scratches, creases and faded spots – have been magically erased in the restored photo. We can now focus on the couple and wonder about their lives and circumstances in this priceless shot from the past.
This cute capture of two siblings was marred by a huge missing chunk at the top as well as scratches that ran down the middle of the photo. Restoration helped to fill in a crucial part of the backdrop (the car’s body) and make the image whole again, literally speaking. Another expertly restored photo. Another precious memory saved.
The two photographs above had a number of age-related issues, including scratches, creases, rips and spots. After a few hours of meticulous restoration, they emerged looking like new and with their smiling subjects as the main focus.
Clearly, there’s no reason to give up on damaged photos, black and white or color. All it takes is a little photo restoration TLC and knowhow for these memories to be rebuilt and salvaged for the future.