Photo and Video Restoration

Bring Cherished Photos Back to Life

Sometimes pictures can be precious things, recalling memories or providing windows into the past. Sadly, time and unforeseen events can sometimes destroy those precious things. Even the most carefully preserved photographs or artwork can fade with time, be corrupted by acids or other chemicals, and sometimes even be torn to pieces. Something similar happens to valued movie or video footage such as 8mm or Super 8 film of VHS cassettes as they respond to the ravages of time.

Thanks to the combination of software programs such as Photoshop and a palette of plug-ins, plus the artistic skill of the operator, all is not necessarily lost. At Moab Printworks we can often restore those precious icons to glowing beauty.

For still pictures we start by making a digital copy of the damaged print using our high-resolution scanner or, in the case of larger originals, by photographing the work with a high-resolution digital camera. Then the real work begins.

Photoshop and other image editing programs offer many tools that can be used to bring back color and details that have faded, or that can be used to restore missing parts. It is not an easy task and requires time and patience. The results can be amazing.

The example here features an old photograph that has been horribly damaged, even to the extent that many parts of it are missing. In this case we used Photoshop’s clone, patch and healing brush tools extensively. Masking layers were created from which areas of the background that are missing could be cloned and inserted to replace missing areas.

In the case of the child in a yellow dress the toe of the right foot was missing, so Mark cloned the toe of the left foot, reversed it and fitted it in to replace the missing part. Cracks in the picture were restored using the healing brush and clone tool. Again, toning was used in layers to bring back natural skin and clothing colors. The result is probably better than the original ever was. In a final step, a new print can be made on a multi-color inkjet printer.

Photographers are sometimes accused of using Photoshop to create false images, but this example shows how it can be a power for good. It is not a magic wand and a restoration such as this example can take several hours to create. In the end, what may have seemed lost forever can be brought back to life again.

Movie and Video Restoration

Just as with still photos, we can bring back those old reels of movie film or VHS tapes (assuming the film or tape has not become too brittle to play back). We have machines to convert 8mm and Super 8 film and VHS cassettes to digital files. And that’s not all. We have sophisticated video editing software such as used in Hollywood productions to enhance the video, including up-rezzing the quality using artificial intelligence applications to equal 1080P HiDef or even 4K UltraHiDef standards. We can color correct them, stabilize the footage if it is shaky, and even add music and titles to turn your old footage into professional productions. 

Photo Restoration Pricing

We offer technical image restoration for still photos, as described above. We charge a minimum of $15 per image and up based on time required. Before performing your restoration we will prepare an estimate and bill at a flat rate, so there will be no surprises. We will make a proof print and provide one free 8×10 print of each restored image. Additional prints will be charged at our usual rates and can be made on various media and sizes.

Video and Film Restoration Pricing

To reproduce a digital file from 8mm or Super 8 film reels we charge $15.95 for the first 100 feet of film and 12 cents for each additional foot. For VHS video cassettes, we charge $15.95 for up to two hours of play time and from up to two original cassettes.

All digital files will be delivered on one DVD copy in a jewel case (each DVD can hold up to two hours of play time). Additional DVD disks are $3.50 or $5 for Blu-Rays. Standard service includes up-rezzing to higher quality at 1080p (HiDef) video. Up-rezzing to 4K (UltraHiDef) and even 8K is available. Special services including color correction, stabilizing, editing, titles or music will be quoted based on your exact needs.

Note that due to age and possible degradation of the originals, we cannot assure every reel or cassette can be reproduced and we are not responsible for any damage to the originals in attempting to copy them.