Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Schuenke Family Portrait

Disclaimer: I did not take the photo above.
But I've seen it my entire life. When I was a little boy it hung in my grandmother's house in Wisconsin. As a young man it hung in my mother's house in Galveston. I would guess the photo was taken between 1900 and 1910. And seeing as it's been through some rough times, I figured it would be a good idea to get it out of its frame and digitize it to preserve this Schuenke family portrait. I love looking at old photos. And this one is particularly interesting -- not too many smiles 100+ years ago. They are a pretty stoic bunch. My first thought was to put it on a flatbed scanner and make a really good high res scan. But the silver oxidation was bad enough that the light from the scanner created massive problems -- a retouching nightmare. My next idea was to photograph the print with a digital camera using a tripod in a dimly lit room -- no lights, no reflections. And that seemed to work pretty well. There were still some reflections and some silver residue here and there, but not nearly as bad as a traditional scan ... and pretty easy to clean up with Photoshop. Thought I'd share this on my blog. Interesting to see how photography and especially portrait photography has changed in the last 100 years.


  1. I like these old photos. Would have been nice to see the original, so we could tell how far you had to go in Photoshop to correct it.

  2. I also love old pictures. Photo's are full of story's. It's great to have a photo this old and be able to preserve.