A unique feature that stems from digital retouching is our ability to restore mildly damaged or worn photographs. After scanning your original print, our digital artists do their best to bring the magic back to your photograph. Nothing is done to alter your original print - no worry about harming a piece of family history! All creative artwork is done digitally. As mentioned before, you are charged for the artwork, and in this instance, for the scan, only once, no matter what number of prints you need. This service benefits many. Even if full restoration in not needed, you may have prints scanned simply because the film is no longer available. (Copyrighted material may not be reproduced without a written release. Large prints requiring more than one scan will be charged accordingly.)
Most often, your customer comes to you to be photographed and orders from those images. If they choose to reorder weeks or even months later, the chances are good that you will still have the negative or digital file from which to place their order. Using the neg or digital file is always the best method when it comes to having any print made, but there are times when that is not a possibility. In those situations, CCL is happy to offer our customers the service of print scanning. If no neg or digital file is available, we can use your original print to create a new digital file. Usually needed for older images that a customer would like restored or simply reprinted, print scanning is a suitable form of reproduction for any image. The process is usually fairly simple and, even if not, the results are worth the effort.
Your original print is scanned to create an appropriate image for the finished product requested. We do not recommend increasing the size more than 150% (one standard print size larger than your original), especially on older prints. As with any rule, there are always exceptions - please feel free to ask what may be possible.
Once scanned, the image will likely need some level of digital artwork, even if we are simply making a reprint. The scanner will precisely reproduce the image, along with any flaws or dust that happens to be in the way! For this reason, any print scanned will need to be "spotted" to create a clean image from which to print. The charge for clean-up is minimal but does vary, finished print size being the largest factor.
For prints needing more than simple clean-up, possibly complete restoration, we suggest you contact the lab for an estimate. There are many things taken into consideration when estimating the cost of restoring a print. The size of the original print and its condition are our first guides. If the scanner cannot capture the entire image at once, two scans will be combined to complete the work as needed. If the print is good condition, it may not need much attention. Any cracks, water spots, fingerprints, etc. will be very evident and will require more time to create an image suitable for printing. Obviously, the greater the damage or wear, the more artwork needed. Older prints in good condition may require work that, before scanning, does not appear necessary. The silver content in some prints has a highly reflective quality that often adversely effects the outcome of the scan. This unbecoming effect is not evident until scanning is complete and can increase the amount of work needed. Any texture on the print, perhaps from the original printing process, may or may not appear in the scan. For that and many other reasons, keep in mind that an estimate is not exact! Any additional retouching determined necessary after the scan will be discussed and approved by you before the artwork is completed. Typically, estimates are given considering all possibilities, usually resulting in lesser charges more often than greater. You may choose to keep the image in its original color or, as with all other images, change it to black and white or sepia. Changing the image in this manner often disguises minor color flaws which makes the print easier to correct and decreases the need for excessive artwork, slightly minimizing your cost. The choice is up to you and should depend on what your customer is looking for in their final print.
Your image, now a new digital file, is ready to print. Your original remains just that, untouched, nothing has been altered on that print! This is very important for your customer to know as it may reassure them to know that no harm will come to a family heirloom or one-of-a-kind print. Any 'mistakes' are made on the digital image and easily corrected. Though we prefer to keep the original for comparison, you may return the original to your customer if they are hesitant about letting it out of their hands for too long. Once completed, we strongly recommend having the digital image put on a CD for safe keeping, either with you or your customer.
We will make every effort to match your reproduction to its original. Digital retouching has very few boundaries, but it does have limits. If there is a significant amount of damage to the entire print, our art department will be happy to discuss the anticipated outcome with you and let you know how closely your recreation can be matched. Your satisfaction and your customer’s delight are our goals and we will do our best to accommodate both!