Our services

Photograph Repair & Enhancement  

Retouching, restoration and enhancement

Our work in designing for print and interpretation or display panels often involves digital editing of photographs and images, so we are experienced in a wide range of image editing techniques.

We offer a range of services to help you get the best from your important pictures.

Photograph restoration and retouching
Where an important and unique photograph has suffered from the ravages of time, we can help to bring the picture back to life. For example, see the "repairs" below, made to an important photograph brought to us by a client...

Original damaged photograph before restoration Photograph after restoration


In another case, we were commissioned to remove a giant feather which had apparently appeared in a historic photograph of a Tavistock street! The feather had accidentally become part of the image when it had originally been printed, and we were able to digitally remove it, restoring this facsinating street scene:
Photograph before restoration - a feather accidentally  included in the origial print! Photograph after retouching by Grphic Words to remove  a fetaher accidentally included in the original print!

Adding a touch of colour...
A black and white image can often have more impact or relevance when colour is added. This is often the case on display and interpretation panels. Where we do add colour to an image, we strive to use shades and tints which reflect those colours and techniques used in the historical period in question.

For example, when adding colour to a black and white engraving, we would seek to replicate the effect of the addition of a colour wash and highlights which had been applied by hand...

Historic black and white etching of Tavistock  Abbey gatehouse, before adding colour wash Colour applied by Graphic Words to historic etching of Tavistock Abbey gatehouse
Black and white sketch of historic Tavistock scene, before addition of colour wash Colours applied to historic Tavistock scene by Graphic Words

In the following commission, an original small watercolour had disappeared over the course of the years, and only a black and white photograph of the picture remained in a book - Graphic Words was commissioned to recreate a water colour image from this:


Printed illustration of a lost watercolour before addition of colour by Graphic Words Colour restored to illustration of a lost watercolour painting, by Graphic Words of Tavistock

When working on a musuem display panel carrying information about Tavistock Abbey, we were able to take a black and white sketch of the long-lost abbey seal, and enhance and colour the image to add visual impact to the display:


Illustration of the seal of Tavistock Abbey - before colour added by Graphic Words The seal of Tavistock Abbey - image enhanced and coloured by Graphic Words

Nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs can be given a touch of colour, simulating the hand-tinting process used
at the time to retain period authenticity.


Historic photograph of Tavistock - black and white image before colour wash applied

Historic photograph of Tavistock town square, with hand tinting digitally applied by Graphic Words
Historic black and white photograph of Tavistock's fire engine - before colour added Historic photograph of Tavistock's fire engine, with colour washes and tinting digitally applied by Graphic Words
Photograph clipping
Cutting out a desired image from a photograph
can enhance its presentation qualities.
Removing the background helps to focus the eye
on the subject of a picture, creating a
stronger image for use in display panels,
or isolating an image for a particular use.
Photograph of statue of Sir Francis Drake - before clipping from background

Statue of Sir Francis Drake clipped by Graphic Words to remove background images


Composite photographs
Composite images can be very helpful for a variety of purposes. Graphic Words has experience of creating images for planning applications and funding bids. Inclusion of an image showing the intended outcome of a project can be a very effective addition to a verbal explanation.

In this example, a new sign board has been added to the existing photograph below left, to illustrate the visual impact of its installation.


Original photograph before feature added

Photograph with sign board added by Graphic Words

If you are interested in our photograph restoration and enhancement services, please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.


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Curious calf in a Devon field

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