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Frequently Asked Questions: Photograph Copying, Repair and Retouching

This frequently asked questions page provides answers to common questions asked by clients regarding the photograph copying, repair and retouching services.

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered below please contact me at [email protected] or via the contact page.


What digital imaging services are provided

The Photoshop digital imaging services provide digital restoration/repair, retouching and copying services for photographs, artwork and documents like maps or letters.

The repair service provides a lifeline to badly damaged photographs, retouching can alter and improve an image, and the copying service provides a simple print, slide or negative copying solution.

What happens to the original image supplied for copying, repair etc?

The original image is scanned to provide a digital copy that can be worked on in Photoshop. When it has been scanned the original plays no further part in the process. No work is carried out on the original image itself and it is not sent away to a lab. If necessary the image can be scanned while you wait so that you don’t have to leave it anywhere.

The original is badly damaged, faded etc, is a repair possible?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Even badly faded images can be brought back to life digitally. The only issue that needs to be considered when repairing an image concerns the faces of people within the photograph. If the damage goes across distinctive areas of the face such as eyes, lips, the nose etc then the process of repairing the image is much more complicated.

What is the cost?

The cost of working on a photograph depends on the amount of damage that needs repairing. Likewise, with the retouching service, the cost rises with the amount of retouching required. Copying prices are based on the size of the original. Prices are given on the relevant webpages.

Photograph copying is priced to size so that larger images are more expensive than smaller ones. If an image is larger than A2 then special large scanners are required to digitise the photograph. Another alternative would be to have a copy shot done with a digital camera.

Do I offer quotations?

Yes. The easiest way of finding out the cost is to let me take a look at the work. A photograph of the original made using a mobile phone would be OK.

What images can you copy?

Virtually any image can be copied. Previous clients have provided photographs, transparencies (slides) and negatives. Photographs have come in all shapes and sizes. Negative and transparency sizes can be of any size up to 5×4 inches. I can also copy small pictures, letters, maps, drawings and paintings up to A2. These items have copies provided as an image for display purposes.

Can panoramic and other large photographs be copied?

Yes. Large panoramic and wide width photographs can be copied. The time scale for completing the work is longer due to the extra technical issues encountered.

What about the copyright?

The copyright of the photograph is important and in most cases belongs to whoever took the photograph or created the drawing, painting etc. Copyright law limits the range of images you are permitted to copy – ownership of the photo is not the same thing as ownership of the copyright. If you are unsure then the advice is available if necessary. Often it is not possible to trace the copyright holder of some images i.e family studio photograph taken by a photographer due to the business ceasing trading or death of the individual.

How long does it take?

7 to 10 working days is the usual time frame. For simple copying, the turnaround is just under seven days. With complicated copying and repair jobs, it can take longer.

How are the original photographs returned?

All original photographs (complete with the new copies) are returned using the Royal Mail special delivery tracked postal service which guarantees next day delivery by 1 pm. A tracking code is emailed to you when the photographs are dispatched and the package has to be signed for.

Will the new copied photograph be an exact copy of the original?

Whilst every effort is made to make the copy photograph look like the original, an exact copy of the original cannot be always guaranteed. Several factors can cause variations to the new photograph. For example changes in the photographic paper can cause subtle changes in contrast, colour and tone. Kodak paper tends to be cooler in tone whereas Fuji photographic paper has warmer tones.

What type of paper does the new print come on?

The new image will be printed onto premium quality Fuji Pro photographic paper in a range of print finishes including glossy or lustre. Prints are usually supplied in the same finish as the original unless instructed otherwise.

A range of Giclee fine art papers by Permajet and Hahnemuhle are also available if the highest quality, archival digital inkjet prints are required.

Can photographs be supplied in custom sizes?

This may be possible but at extra cost. Prints are usually only supplied in a variety of standard and new sizes from the photo lab.

Can original photographs be blown up to a larger size?

Yes, though it does depend on a number of factors. A good guide is that a new print can be twice the size of the original i.e a standard 6×4 print could be potentially enlarged to 12×8. There is a tradeoff in quality as the size increases. Just as with printing in the darkroom, small problems are magnified as a print size increases so sharpness and clarity need to be excellent on the original for the enlargement to work well.

Can the image be supplied as a digital file?

Yes. The image can be supplied in a number of formats from jpeg to PNG. Files can be emailed, put onto CD/DVD disc or added to Dropbox for collection via a link. If you would prefer to send the prints/negatives via the post, they can be sent via recorded or next day delivery. Please contact us for more details using the contact page.

Can I send a digital file rather than a print for repair?

Yes. The digital image can be supplied on a memory card/stick, flash drive, optical media or e-mailed to me.

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