|Man on left my great-grandfather Charles Thomas Desmarais,|
to his left his wife, Regina Demurs and one of the three children,
my grandfather Germaine Desmarais.
Hidden among the pages of one of those dreadful sticky-paged photo albums, lies a 100-year-old picture, an image which captures a moment in the lives of my great-grandfather, his wife and their son, my grandfather. However, the photo is frail, and has a limited number of days left in this world. I can place its age about 1906-1912 and most likely taken in Hull, Quebec. The backing of the photo has become one with these sticky pages, I suspect lying in wait in its current resting place for my discovery, these last 50 years or more. The removal of the photo will undoubtedly result in its end. The image sits on the paper-backing loosely, almost like a pillow of dust. I fear opening a window in its presence, a gentle breeze is likely to carry the image away in a blur of grey powder across my desk, the reflection of my ancestors lost forever.
I gently pulled back the corner of the photo with some tweezers; it is clear there is some writing on the back in red ink no less, almost daring me to rip it off like a Band-aid on some unsuspecting skin. I curve my desire. Although the family historian in me desperately wants to know the information hiding behind the photo, I know better. Any attempt to move this picture and it will be lost. I turn my thoughts to capturing the image before any more damage occurs. I take a photo of the photo and ponder how I should proceed.
Almost serendipitously, I receive an e-mail from Michael. Michael owns a photo restoration company and was eager to show me his work. Did I have a photo I would like restored?
I responded to Michael, “I have just the picture.”
I skipped over to his website Top Hat Photo Repair and looked in the gallery at his work. Impressed with what I saw, I decided to take Michael up on his offer. My first step was to upload a digital copy of the photograph to their website. I chose to scan the photo using my Flip-Pal mobile scanner, placing the setting at 600dpi. The Flip-Pal worked brilliantly because it provided the most gentle and forgiving environment for the delicate picture. I just laid the scanner on top of the picture. I didn’t have to move the picture or manipulate it in any way, not compromising its quality any further. In minutes, I had uploaded the picture with a couple mouse clicks to Top Hat Photo Repair. I received an email immediately confirming the arrival of my picture.
A few days later, my restored photo arrived in my inbox. When your photo comes back from Top Hat Photo Repair, it arrives as a proof with the companies watermark on it. Once you are happy with the results, you make your payment via PayPal and Michael will send you the finished product without the watermark. Michael will make any adjustments until you are happy, at no additional cost. Prices are reasonable, and you can select from several choices based on your particular needs.
The entire process was easy and seamless. I believe the finished product speaks for itself.
As way of disclosure, Michael did provide the product to me for free. However, he is willing to provide my readers with a fantastic offer. He will provide you with a 35% discount valid until the end of March. Just use the promo code: armchair
This beautiful picture is now destined for a frame on my ancestor’s wall of fame, thank you Michael and Top Hat Photo Repair for your gracious offer and the beautiful results.
Comfortable that I have done my part to make sure the image is preserved for the next 100 years, I can now turn my attention back to that fragile photo awaiting me in the album and the information written on the back. What does it say? Stay tuned for part 2.