Digital Photo Restoration

The Basque Branch offers digital restoration of your family photos. Here are some of the things we can do for you:

  • repair tears or wrinkles, or remove scratches or blemishes.
  • colorize black and white photos
  • correct the color of faded photos
  • add or remove people from photos

Click on the thumbnails to see larger examples:

Restoration colorized black and white photo

insertion of personDigital Photo Restoration $25.00 per hour

Most restorations will not take more than one hour. In the case of extensive damage, difficult background removal or replacement of missing areas, you will be charged in 15 minute increments after the first hour. Results will vary depending on the quality of the original photograph(s).

Scanning family photos

Make sure there is no lint or dust on your photo or on the scanner bed.

Scan at a resolution of at least 300 dpi if you think you will print it at it's real size. If you may need to print it larger, scan at a higher resolution.

If you are just going to use your photo on the computer or Internet you can scan at 72 dpi, however, if in doubt about the future purpose, always go big. You can easily resize smaller, but you cannot make it larger without losing quality.

Scan in color, even if the photo is black and white.

Save photos in TIF format if you have the space. This format retains more information than a JPEG which uses compression to yield a much smaller file size.

Label photographs

Ask your older relatives to help you label the people who appear in old photos now before it's too late.

Avoid writing on the front or back of photos. If you place the photos in an acid-free album with mounting corners you can write the names below on the same page or a separate paper that you attach to the page. If you use glue, however, make sure it is acid-free so that it will not leach into adjacent photographs.

Also, start doing this with your own photos now. Future generations will appreciate it!

Read tips on how to label your digital photos by Ken Watson.

Store old photographs with care

photo albumIf you have priceless photographs in magnetic or "sticky" albums they are in danger.

The adhesive not only makes them difficult to remove, but also contains acids which over time damage the integrity of the paper and and the chemical components of the photo. Photos stored this way can change color or worse.

To learn how to safely remove photos from these albums, view this video from the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Once you have removed the photos, store them in an acid-free album or box in a cool, dry, dark place to preserve them for future generations.