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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used

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  #1  
Old 08-09-2023, 12:11 AM
ichieh ichieh is offline
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Default Photo Restoration question

Hi All,
I have this question. This is my Ruth photo. As you can see, it is missing the upper left corner, and even though the missing part is not anywhere close to his face, it is still a bit of eye sore for me. So here are my questions.

1. Should I leave it as it, or find a restorer to fill in the missing part? Or ask a restorer to crop the photo?

2. As far as value is concerned, is it better to leave it as it, or have it restored?

3. Any photo restorers that you can recommend? What's the cost for something like this?
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2023, 05:02 AM
EddieP EddieP is offline
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Wow! Really nice photograph. This was used for his W519 Card.

Restoring old photos helps preserve them and people outside of sports memorabilia will pay a premium for a restored photo. BUT I don’t think this holds true in the sports collecting market. My preference is to have a photo restored. I’m sure others will feel strongly against this.

If you do decide to restore the photo , I would seek out a Photo Art Gallery and ask them who they recommend. Sometimes these Galleries have an on-site restorer AND the restorer will give you the better advice whether to crop or fill-in the missing piece.

Last edited by EddieP; 08-09-2023 at 05:18 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2023, 07:08 AM
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50/50 to me. I would always rather have something not restored. That said, photos are for display and aren't like cards, where there are sets etc....So, I would be more inclined to get this to look better, while disclosing the restoration. Good luck, great photo!
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2023, 07:59 AM
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Being a photographer for 40 years and having framing equipment, adding a piece of corner doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I would put a French mat around it, cropping the missing image out of site. It would display beautifully. Frame it up with uv glass, hang it and enjoy. Better than laying in plastic, with an attached artificial corner. A single mat could be cut into an arch, with a single piece of acid free tape, the picture would be preserved and observed.
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Old 08-09-2023, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foto1 View Post
Being a photographer for 40 years and having framing equipment, adding a piece of corner doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I would put a French mat around it, cropping the missing image out of site. It would display beautifully. Frame it up with uv glass, hang it and enjoy. Better than laying in plastic, with an attached artificial corner. A single mat could be cut into an arch, with a single piece of acid free tape, the picture would be preserved and observed.
Heartily agree with this. Do not restore or add to this important photo.

There are so many attractive framing/matting ideas that could make it look spectacular. An oval-cut mat would work very well. I would make the oval cut as large as possible, while avoiding the missing portion of the photo by about a millimeter. Then pick a great frame, and enjoy your all-original piece.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2023, 01:53 PM
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Beautiful as is!
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2023, 02:25 PM
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If it could be restored and you would like the look of it better with the missing piece, but would rather keep the original as is, I would think that it would also be possible to create the missing part separately and then display it behind the original.

Maintains the original as is but yet enhances its display appearance. Probably just end up looking like it has a crease between the original and newly created piece.

If it was mine I might scan the original, then add the missing part with photoshop and then align the original on top for display.
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Old 08-09-2023, 03:53 PM
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but since it is already encapsulated in a PSA holder, I would need to
crack it open before I can matt or frame it. If I ever want to sell it, wouldnt it
better to keep the photo in a PSA holder?
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2023, 04:04 PM
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Can you show the back?
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Old 08-09-2023, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foto1 View Post
Being a photographer for 40 years and having framing equipment, adding a piece of corner doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I would put a French mat around it, cropping the missing image out of site. It would display beautifully. Frame it up with uv glass, hang it and enjoy. Better than laying in plastic, with an attached artificial corner. A single mat could be cut into an arch, with a single piece of acid free tape, the picture would be preserved and observed.
+1
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  #11  
Old 08-09-2023, 05:17 PM
ichieh ichieh is offline
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here you go
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2023, 05:19 PM
ichieh ichieh is offline
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this is the back of the photo
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2023, 06:02 PM
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The Slug in the back is all you need as proof it is a Type 1 photo.
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Old 08-09-2023, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichieh View Post
but since it is already encapsulated in a PSA holder, I would need to
crack it open before I can matt or frame it. If I ever want to sell it, wouldnt it
better to keep the photo in a PSA holder?
Nope. Keep it in the slab. You can still easily mat and frame as long as the frame has enough depth to it. I have framed many slabbed autographs along with photos of the corresponding player. It's actually very easy to do and looks great.
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Old 08-09-2023, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieP View Post
The Slug in the back is all you need as proof it is a Type 1 photo.
There are some wire photos with attached slugs. It's quite rare but I've seen it. Easy to spot them though as it says right on the slip. And the quality isn't great as you'd expect.
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Last edited by Lucas00; 08-09-2023 at 07:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-10-2023, 01:46 AM
ichieh ichieh is offline
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I am surprised that most of the responses were against restoring this photo. Is it really sacrilegious to make the picture looks better?
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2023, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas00 View Post
There are some wire photos with attached slugs. It's quite rare but I've seen it. Easy to spot them though as it says right on the slip. And the quality isn't great as you'd expect.
A wire photo by definition is what PSA/BGS call a Type 3 photo.
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  #18  
Old 08-10-2023, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichieh View Post
I am surprised that most of the responses were against restoring this photo. Is it really sacrilegious to make the picture looks better?
Not only does it make it look better but restoring also cleans it, mends it etc. Restoring slows the degradation process of photos and will make your photo last longer. Your 103 year old photo has 103 years worth of acids, molds, bacteria, moisture, dirt and grime which as we speak now is slowly destroying your photo. Restoring photos will preserve it for future generations.


This thinking is a carry over from card collecting which is a carry over from collecting game-used memoribilia. I get it. But photos??? Serious collectors of photos and art don’t think that way. If a photo/painting can be fixed the artist will get it fixed. A well known scam in the art world is to cover a photo/painting’s defect/damage with a frame. The major reasons why a Gallery/Seller will not restore an Art piece are: 1) the seller is cheap or 2) restoration will cause more damage to the piece.Art collecting 101 is to remove the piece from the frame, examine it for any defects/damage AND demand the seller fix the damage OR drastically reduce the price. The thinking here is the exact opposite, If you had a family heirloom photograph that got damaged wouldn’t you try to get it fixed? How many people here will drive around in soot covered cars or dirty and ripped clothing? Even game-used jerseys get washed before being sold to the public.

I could write more stuff on this. But rant over.

Last edited by EddieP; 08-10-2023 at 02:32 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-10-2023, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieP View Post
A wire photo by definition is what PSA/BGS call a Type 3 photo.
I do not go by those 'types' however, this is a press photo that is highly unlikely a wire photo. All wire photos are, by definition press photos. Not all press photos are wire photos. A wire photo in many cases has the caption imbedded in the photo. Press photos that have original period caption sheets attached, even when it is completely attached to the back rather than folded over the front, are usually not wire photos. The recipient of the photo, in theory, could create or print the caption sheet and attached it to the photo, but that is not common.

The one issue that no one has mentioned is that some previous owner had this framed. You can see remnants of linen mounting tape along the edges. That bothers me more than the missing corner. If I were to do anything with this photo I would remove that first

I would suspect that if you "restore" the photo by adding to it it is no longer a 'type 1' photo, but merely authentic. Another alternative is to have a hi-res scan (1200 dpi or larger) and someone with advanced photoshop skills can fill in the corner by cloning the background from the upper right side and flipping it. You could then make a nice print.

Like one other poster, I have also been a photographer for over 40 years. I have been a photography collector almost as long. I have photos in all different conditions; missing corners, creases, tears and other issues. At most I will clean the front of the photo with PEC-12 or Isopropyl alcohol and repair any rips or tears with archival document repair tape, which is essentially tissue paper, from the back. If I was concerned about the acidity of the caption sheet I would use newspaper deacidification spray sold by one of the archival supply companies like University Products or Archival Methods.

Some of my own photography is is this thread:

https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=280592
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  #20  
Old 08-10-2023, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
I do not go by those 'types' however, this is a press photo that is highly unlikely a wire photo. All wire photos are, by definition press photos. Not all press photos are wire photos. A wire photo in many cases has the caption imbedded in the photo. Press photos that have original period caption sheets attached, even when it is completely attached to the back rather than folded over the front, are usually not wire photos. The recipient of the photo, in theory, could create or print the caption sheet and attached it to the photo, but that is not common.

The one issue that no one has mentioned is that some previous owner had this framed. You can see remnants of linen mounting tape along the edges. That bothers me more than the missing corner. If I were to do anything with this photo I would remove that first

I would suspect that if you "restore" the photo by adding to it it is no longer a 'type 1' photo, but merely authentic. Another alternative is to have a hi-res scan (1200 dpi or larger) and someone with advanced photoshop skills can fill in the corner by cloning the background from the upper right side and flipping it. You could then make a nice print.

Like one other poster, I have also been a photographer for over 40 years. I have been a photography collector almost as long. I have photos in all different conditions; missing corners, creases, tears and other issues. At most I will clean the front of the photo with PEC-12 or Isopropyl alcohol and repair any rips or tears with archival document repair tape, which is essentially tissue paper, from the back. If I was concerned about the acidity of the caption sheet I would use newspaper deacidification spray sold by one of the archival supply companies like University Products or Archival Methods.

Some of my own photography is is this thread:

https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=280592
We’re not talking about the Ruth photo. A wire photo was a type of press photo in which the original photo ( AKA vintage Original or Type 1) was transmitted over a “wire” ( similar to fax machines) to various newspapers across the country. Thus “wire” photos ( or Vintage Copies) are copies of the original. The quality of the picture is similar to fax machine or Xerox copy. In PSA/ BGS terminology they are “ Type 3” .

Wire photos tend to have the captions typed under the white border of the photo.

So no, cleaning, restoring etc will not affect the “ Type” of the photo.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“At most I will clean the front of the photo with PEC-12 or Isopropyl alcohol and repair any rips or tears with archival document repair tape, which is essentially tissue paper, from the back. If I was concerned about the acidity of the caption sheet I would use newspaper deacidification spray sold by one of the archival supply companies like University Products or Archival Methods.”

So how’s this any different from what a Card Cleaning Company would do?

Last edited by EddieP; 08-10-2023 at 03:59 AM.
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2023, 11:00 AM
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Very interesting and informative thread. If I were the OP I'd be torn as to how to proceed but would probably opt for restoration because I think the final outcome would be worlds more aesthetic.

A somewhat related tale . . . Back around fifteen years or so a group of Horner cabinets of Boston players was up at auction. There was a Speaker purchased by a member here which was pristine and a delight to behold. Also for sale was a timeworn photo of Smoky Joe Wood with a healthy dogbite in the northeast corner. Being the sort of fellow who tends toward obsessive-compulsiveness I chose to lay off this otherwise beautiful portrait of one of my favorite deadballers. I regretted my decision for years so I did the next best thing: I commissioned Graig Kreindler to paint it. I was jazzed when the cab showed up again at auction. This time I went scorched earth mode and won it. In the interim I have gotten quite used to to the dogbite and will leave any restoration magic to the next owner.
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2023, 11:25 AM
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One thing to consider is that PSA will usually not encapsulate photos with restoration. If you break it out and have restoration done to it, they will honor the fact that it is a Type 1 but will likely not put it back in a slab. Not sure why, but that is my understanding. I have a 1916 Ruth photo that is clearly authentic but restored much in the way yours would be if you had the work done, and they will not even give it a Type 1 letter because the image had gelatin added to the surface after the restoration work was done. Even with before and after pictures and an analysis of the paper by a lab, they will not do it. I even asked if they could put "restored" on the letter and they said no. Just something to consider.
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Last edited by prewarsports; 08-10-2023 at 11:26 AM.
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2023, 12:07 PM
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Ok, I did this with some random online site in a couple of minutes so don't laugh too hard at my non-skills but here's a (very) rough idea of what it could look like matted

png (1).jpg
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Old 08-10-2023, 12:29 PM
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that's perfect. Do I need to take it out of the PSA holder?
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Old 08-10-2023, 12:49 PM
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I think the missing corner and back make it what it's worth. If you matte just his face it looks like every other $5 xerox copy to me.
Of course I know people enjoy that, but I personally wouldn't touch it.
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Old 08-10-2023, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieP View Post
We’re not talking about the Ruth photo. A wire photo was a type of press photo in which the original photo ( AKA vintage Original or Type 1) was transmitted over a “wire” ( similar to fax machines) to various newspapers across the country. Thus “wire” photos ( or Vintage Copies) are copies of the original. The quality of the picture is similar to fax machine or Xerox copy. In PSA/ BGS terminology they are “ Type 3” .

Wire photos tend to have the captions typed under the white border of the photo.

So no, cleaning, restoring etc will not affect the “ Type” of the photo.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“At most I will clean the front of the photo with PEC-12 or Isopropyl alcohol and repair any rips or tears with archival document repair tape, which is essentially tissue paper, from the back. If I was concerned about the acidity of the caption sheet I would use newspaper deacidification spray sold by one of the archival supply companies like University Products or Archival Methods.”

So how’s this any different from what a Card Cleaning Company would do?
NSS! After stating that I collect photos and have for over 35 years you try photosplaining? I clearly state the usual difference between regular press photos and wire photos. A wire photo in many cases has the caption imbedded in the photo. Press photos that have original period caption sheets attached, even when it is completely attached to the back rather than folded over the front, are usually not wire photos.

If you think that using PEC-12 or Isopropyl alcohol on the front of a glossy photo is similar to what a card cleaning company does you do not understand photographs. Using them is similar to washing a car. It has no affect on the emulsion (image) as it is removing what is on top of the gloss not altering it at all. A silver halide print on glossy paper can be altered during the darkroom process using sepia tone or dye toner. I have a lot of darkroom experience and have printed fibre and glossy paper. About the only time you would use anything on top of a glossy print is when you use spotting dye to cover up scratches on the negative that cannot be removed during the printing. Much easier these days with scanning and adobe photoshop.

As for archival repair tape. Why not? If the corner of a photo is about to fall off or there is a tear it helps preserve it. Unless you are going for a full restoration the creases the breaks in the emulsion will still be visible,
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Last edited by Michael B; 08-10-2023 at 09:09 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-12-2023, 09:25 AM
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My vote is to leave the original undisturbed. Make a beautiful hi-res scan then have someone proficient in photoshop add the missing portion. You should then be able to create an extremely high quality print for display.


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Old 08-12-2023, 01:34 PM
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My vote is to leave the original undisturbed. Make a beautiful hi-res scan then have someone proficient in photoshop add the missing portion. You should then be able to create an extremely high quality print for display.


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For display purposes, it is very simple for anyone even moderately proficient in the use of Photoshop to scan and "Restore" an old image to near-original pristine appearance or better, and blow it up to make any size print desired for framing and hanging it on your wall. And an internet search will turn up many sources that can perform photo restoration. I have done that work myself to many older photos with good results, and I am what no one would call a master of Photoshop. But of course such an image is a reproduction and would have no collector value, purely decorative. Otherwise, I personally would leave it as-is and in the slab in order to preserve its value.
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Old 08-12-2023, 09:13 PM
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So imperfection is worth more than restored perfection? It is very counter intuitive.
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  #30  
Old 08-12-2023, 09:40 PM
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Default to restore, or not to restore....

A few years back, a friend got an estimate of $8,000.00 for the restoration of three Conlon photos. I don't remember the people he approached.

Paul Messier in Appleton, Wisconsin, does restoration and authentication.

Integrated Paper Services, IPS, also deals in the above.

These guys aren't foxing around.

I can understand repairing a photo with a nasty tear or missing emulsion, but rebuilding a missing corner of a photo is asking a lot.

Some people like the water-color/ink added to a photo by a newspaper art department decades ago. I've known collectors who would trim the jagged edges off of a Conlon to make it look cleaner. It's all a matter of taste.

This is a great Ruth photo as is.
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