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Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: rasmac
Date: January 18, 2018 09:26AM
greetings,

i had an old, family photo framed under glass, that was sitting on the fireplace mantle. we had a small roof leak and the photo got slightly wet.
the photo know looks "streaky" because part of the photo has adhered to the glass. i don't want to tear the photo.
does anyone have any recommendations on how to "unstick" the photo from the glass?

thanks

rasmac
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 18, 2018 09:40AM
I would personally take a high resolution ambient light photograph of it for photoshop repair before trying anything. Beyond that, I've got nothing. My attempts at art restoration have been pretty poor.
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 18, 2018 09:55AM
If you could reproduce the situation, I would experiment with applying a temperature differential to the glass (make one side hot / cold) to see if that could loosen the stuck parts.
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 18, 2018 10:32AM
If you have someone that actually does photo restoration I would check with them first before doing anything.
It might be that you would have to submerge the photo and glass in a distilled water bath till the glass comes off then hang the photo from a line with clothes pins or clips, till it dries. The original photo would have gone through several baths when it was printed so it should be able to be wet and dried again, but again, check with an expert first, as I don’t know the age or the type of paper or anything about the photo and this might ruin it.

Taking a good pic of the photo would be good insurance, in any case.

Found this. It might be helpful
[www.retouchpro.com]





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2018 10:34AM by rgG.
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: billb
Date: January 18, 2018 10:44AM
Take a picture of it or scan the image so you have some sort of copy and then maybe stick it in the freezer and see if it pops free.



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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: January 18, 2018 10:46AM
Cbelt's suggestion to immediately make a good, high res copy shot of the photo is

your first step..light it evenly..the photo is under glass so you'll need to take some black cloth (black velvet is the best)..hang it in front of the camera..center of cloth should line up with the lens

..cut a small hole in it so the lens can poke through and then tweak the lighting and shoot. (the black cloth will kill all the reflections in the glass..important)

After that?

Do not even think about soaking this stuck together package in water until you find out what kind of print this is..even then? this is extremely risky if the photo is really bonded to the glass..dont put it in the oven, don't put it in the microwave..Bill's suggestion about the freezer would most likely be benign in terms of completely ruining it...but..proceed carefully and get a 'good' copy shot done

IMO..if this is a very important picture you need to do a whole lot of research on what it actually is..the print.

I would google a lot and google for a sort of photo restoration site..For example, The Smithsonian has a question / answer forum.

How old is this print? what era?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2018 10:48AM by Kraniac.
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 18, 2018 10:52AM
That thread I posted has a lot of good info.
They seem to say not to apply heat as that is the worst thing.
They also say you need to know the age and type of photo you are dealing with, but they do say that if it is 1930 I later it might have to be floated off. They suggest possibly using photoflo added to the water, if you could even find photoflo now.
I am sure there are a lot of other good articles on this, with a good google search.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 18, 2018 12:28PM
Photoflo is still available - if you have a school nearby that teaches b/w photo, it may even have some you can get, you will only need a capful.



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Re: Old Photo Got Wet - Trying To Save It
Posted by: Winston
Date: January 18, 2018 04:40PM
rgG's suggestions make sense to me, as does taking the best photo of it "as is" as you can. If you've got a local museum or historical society available, they might have a photo conservation specialist on staff who you could talk to. Ditto a local university.

I'd not try cold or heat. If it's stuck to the glass cold may lead to condensation when you bring it back to room temperature, and heat would almost certainly damage the photo further.

Have you removed the photo from the frame? It's possible that the photo paper manufacturer's name is on the back of the photo, which could help guide what you do. Be careful handling the glass, as the edges are likely quite sharp. If you are going to get help from a conservator, might want to hold off on this until they can look at it.


Good luck.

- Winston



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