Learn about photography and repair of old photos

GOOD AS NEW: At the caretaker’s cottage, Wombeyan Caves, 1899; a detail from one of the

restored photos in the BDHS collection.
GOOD AS NEW: At the caretaker’s cottage, Wombeyan Caves, 1899; a detail from one of the restored photos in the BDHS collection.

For many people, family albums and photo collections are precious for the memories they contain.

Over time, however, photos and slides may fade and become degraded.

The Berrima District Historical Society has first-hand experience of this. Last year it received a donation of 34 stereoscopic photographs taken at Wombeyan Caves in 1899.

The double-image photos were in very poor condition. A Canberra-based firm, Vivid Recollection, was commissioned to clean, repair and scan the images.

The transformation was amazing, way beyond expectations.

The Society is pleased to present James Walters of Vivid Recollection as the speaker at its monthly general meeting on March 23 at 2:00pm.

James will provide a brief history of photography and then speak about the conservation and repair of damaged or degraded photographs, and the digitisation of images.

Vivid Recollection uses digital technology to restore damaged slides, photos and a variety of old documents, including maps, charts and certificates.

James studied fine arts, is a highly experienced graphic designer and a keen amateur photographer. He set up Vivid, initially to bring faded family memories back to life.

After discovering a shoebox of forgotten family slides and negatives at his father’s sixtieth birthday, he taught himself how to restore the images digitally.

The enthusiastic response convinced him to help other families with boxes of old photos.

Vivid Recollection has now assisted a variety of clients including genealogists, war veterans, memorabilia collectors, hurricane survivors and thoughtful gift-givers.

At the March meeting, James will illustrate his brief history of photography with hard copies including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and early baryta photos. He will demonstrate patterns of deterioration for different kinds of photos and explain how to protect against natural hazards.

He will also speak about storage options, give a practical demonstration of scanning, and show some examples of ‘before and after’ image restorations.

Members of the history society and those interested are welcome to attend the talk, upstairs at the Historical Society’s Research Centre, Old Council Chambers building, Bowral Road,  Mittagong.

Details: 4872 2169.

  • Supplied by Philip Morton, Publicity Officer, BDH&FHS


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