Black & White Beauty

A beautiful image, I really love this one. It’s obvious that the photographer cared very much about his (or her) subject and was so focused on her pretty face that he didn’t pay attention to her feet. The pretty young woman had to look into the sun, and by the length of the shadow I’m guessing it was probably mid-afternoon, so it would have been fairly low and really right into her eyes. Yet she looks very calm and dignified, not overly smiling but just really pretty. I really like this photo.

The clients brief was to crop to 6×8″, which would have cut off a lot of the photos right side, as the subject obviously was meant to stay centered. Therefore I suggested to move the bushes & tree on the right side a bit more into the frame, to cover more of the fence without taking it out completely. The power pole was removed (why are they everywhere?). The shade on the legs took some time, especially as I had to partially recreate the shoe. Now, I am not a shoe person, and even if I was, that would probably not have helped with late 1930s fashion πŸ™‚  I hope I did it justice.

I took great care cloning the grass, tidying up the edge of the garden bed and particularly of the graded shade on the legs. Some minor cracking in the dye was visible once zooming in, especially on the dress, which I fixed using the cloning tool. I opted for a slight sepia tone, to give it some warmth, instead of pure black and white.

Another example why digital retouching does not deserve the bad reputation it has. By cleaning up the photo this way and getting it reprinted it is sure to get a special place in the family’s home, instead of being tucked away in an album. It now can help preserving the memory of a loved-one in a much more visible way, and it also provides a glimpse into a time long ago.



  1. angelinahue

    I like what you’ve done to refresh this aged photo. I was just doing the same to the digital scan of some aged and deteriorated negatives that were taken of my parents more than 30 years ago. While I wasn’t born then, it was really nice to imagine what it was like for them in the early days of their marriage through these moments.

    1. azpictured

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I know what you mean, apart from loving anything photo I have a great passion for history. Old photos are fascinating, often I have to do some research about the time and place to get some more insight. It is a great privilege to be able to work on them.

      1. angelinahue

        Do you restore photos as part of your job or is this more of a hobby? It’s great that you take the time to learn about the background of the image or the era when the photo was taken.

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