Tag Archives: family

Reminder: It’s Mother’s Day Soon!

Have you remembered it’s Mothers Day (UK) on Sunday 6th of March? Instead of giving your Mother an another bunch of over-priced flowers and large box of confectionery this year, why not completely surprise her by giving her a completely unique and extremely personal gift that will in turn get you major brownie points and prime place in her good books.

So here’s what you can do. But remember its a going to be a surprise so don’t tell anyone about it who can’t keep a secret ( in my family my Dad is the absolute worst!).

  • Step 1 – Like the younger incantation of yourself, go exploring through photo albums, shoe-boxes of random photos, and other nooks and crannies for the best image of your Mother you can find. Just pick a really good photo that means alot to her, i.e. your parents wedding day, holding you as a baby, or a great picture of your Mother as a child.
  • Step 2 – Send it to me here at ReClick Photo. In order to help you with your gift giving endeavours you must decide on what you wish to be done with your selected image. If your image has seen better days then I could restore it for you. If your image in in black and white, I could colour it for you. If you would like your mother to look her very best I can even retouch the image for you. What ever option you would like I am more than happy to help. For all methods of getting your image to me here at ReClick Photo, please visit my website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk. To ensure your image arrives to me quickly and safely please use my recommended method of scanning your image and send it via email to me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk. for a free no-obligation quote.
  • Step 3 – Once satisfied with the work completed and I have received payment, I will send your new image to you via email, where it is yours to do with as you wish! You could simply print of the image from your home printer or you could use one of the many companies out there to print it onto a wide range of things from a mug, to cushion. The choice is completely up to you!

Would you like to see an example of what I can do? I will show you as long as you keep it a secret, it’s for my Mother for Mothers day! Let’s take a look at the original image:

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Image before restoration and recolouring.

If I was to tell you how old this image, there is a slight chance that my Mother would hear about it, so for the sake of diplomacy I will describe it as being a few years old. As you can see, due to not being stored correctly it has suffered a little damage. So the first task is to rectify it.

After a little care and attention its time to bring this sepia image to life. In recolouring this image there is a few key areas that I believe need the most attention in order to successfully recolour an image.

  1. Skin – The most important area which need a lot of attention. Thinking that your skin is all one colour is wrong. Take a look at your own face in the mirror closely and you will see lots of variation in tone and texture. To replicate it digitally can be a little difficult but, when done correctly, it really makes your image. Just remember when you are ill you can usually tell by the colour of your skin, so getting the right colour is extremely important. My method of successful skin recolouring is to use a colour photo as a reference. It doesn’t have to be a photograph of the person you are retouching, it just has to be of someone with similar colouring. Like all good things, it take time and patience to complete.
  2. Eyes – Some would say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul, for me they are one of the most important areas of a persons face. Like the skin the best way to approach recolouring the eyes is to use a reference photo. Do not take anything for granted, because what you think is not always what is there. For example what we describe as ‘the whites of the eyes’ are not pure brilliant white. Why not take a little time to examine your own eyes and try and pick out all the different colours you see.
  3. Hair – Hair comes in all shapes, colours and textures, so to recolour someone’s hair can be tricky. Yes you have guessed it, use a reference photo!  To successfully recolour hair, you have to retain its texture and shine. Just think of those shampoo commercials we see on TV!

Would you like to see the finished result?

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Image after restoration and recolouring.

So what do you think? Do you think my Mother will like it? As you can see above, once you successfully recolour the skin, eyes, and hair, then the hardest part is done. Recolouring the rest of the image is a much easier task as the most important areas are done.

So how do I select the colours to use in the rest of the recolouring work? Well there is a few ways in approaching this. Firstly you can use ask those who were in the photo at the time. But failing that you can either use their favourite colours, or the last resort use artistic licence. Here at ReClick Photo I will only recolour your image to your own specifications, but don’t worry if you have no idea what to do then is just tell me to use my initiative. But please don’t worry, if you are not satisfied I will change anything you don’t like and no payment is required until you are completely happy with the finished result.

Now with the project complete lets take a look at before and after image comparison.

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Before and after image comparison.

I hope this blog post has given you food for thought for your Mother’s Day gift this year. But if you are reading this from outside the UK then why not give your mother a gift to let her know how much she means to you – you don’t need to have a special day to do that. So what ever your imaging needs are please let me help! All you have to do is send me an email to info@reclickphoto.co.uk with your chosen image and let me see what I can do for you.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.



In Need of a Splash of Colour

Our family archives of precious objects and old photographs are a treasure trove of memories from yesteryear. Today I would like to share another photo from our family albums with you so I can show you what I can do here at ReClick Photo to bring it to life. let’s take a look.

Retouching image editing photograph vintage old 1970s couple
The Photograph of My Gran and Grandpa before Recolouring.

Out of all the images we have, this is one of my favourites of my Gran and Grandpa. It really captures the spirit of them both, especially my grandpa. He is, and always has been a bit of a character. When looking at old photos of himself he usually points at himself and says “who’s that handsome chap, he looks a lot like Robert Mitchum.” In truth, I think he bears a strong resemblance to the British comic actor Terry Scott! This image was taken in the 1970’s at one of my Grandpas works parties held by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co, the locomotive builder and engineering workshop in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

Many times I find myself taking a picture and turning it into black and white because I feel that the image is best suited without any colour. Today, colour photography is the norm, so when it comes to recolouring images it is only usually older photographs that need to be done. In my opinion, not all images are suitable for effective recolouring. Please don’t misunderstand me, you can recolour any image you please, but for it to be truly effective some black and white images are better candidates than others. I have seen many attempts of recolouring, sadly not all favourable. It can be a lengthy process, but when completed successfully it can be well worth the time and effort put into it. When looking again at this image I felt that the expressions on both of their faces are really quite colourful, even in black in white! This image is, in my eyes, is a prime candidate for recolouring. Would you like to see the finished result before I explained how I achieved it?

Retouching image editing photograph vintage old 1970s couple
The Photograph of My Gran and Grandpa after Recolouring.

What do you think? Personally I think it really highlights the sense of fun that you can see on my Gran and Grandpas faces. So what steps did I have to take to achieve this result?

  1. When working with any image editing software, work like this is always carried out on a series of layers. The most important one in this project is the colour adjustment layer.
  2. To begin I cleaned up the original image by removing the dust, scratches, marks etc.
  3. I then selected an other image to use as a colour reference so I could recolour the skin tones effectively. Recolouring the skin is the most important aspect of recolouring an image with people in it , because if peoples skin doesn’t look right then no matter how hard you work at the image the rest of it will not look right.
  4. After retouching the skin, I move on to the hair, again drawing reference from the colour reference image.
  5. My attention then went to the clothing. In some case recolouring clothing can be quite simple, but as you can see in this case it was a laborious task. When clothes have a pattern each part of that pattern needs to be recoloured separately. As you can imagine to recolour this highly patterned skirt took time. Needless to say I did have to stop for a break and a cup of tea halfway through as I could feel my eyes going a little fuzzy! but I hope you agree, it was definitely worth the effort.
  6. Now the hardest part was over, the only thing left to do was the background. Sadly I didn’t know what the colour of the flooring or the wall was, so I decided to use colours that would complement the other elements of the image.
  7. To finish the image I applied a few adjustment such as brightness/contrast, vibrance, levels etc.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this recolouring project. If you have any treasured photographs that you would like to recoloured just like the image featured in this post please email me with your image to info@reclickphoto.co.uk for a free no obligation quote. recolouring old images can be a great gift idea for family and friends, so why not treat someone you know! Here at ReClick Photo I want to give you the image that your treasured memories truly deserve. For more information about ReClick Photo and the work that I do please visit the website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. If You haven’t entered our Halloween Prize give-away yet, please click here for information on how to enter!

Christmas ’83

I know what you are thinking, why am I showing Christmas themed pictures in the middle of July? There really is a method to my madness. Today I want to show you some examples of how we can restore old photos that have a colour cast on them.

So what is a colour cast? There are many reasons why a colour cast happens; but In terms of old photographs, especially those used in this post, it is when one or more of the colours used to print the photo has faded quicker than the others.

Looking through the family photo albums, I wanted to find some images that had been effected by this. In the photo album of Christmas 1983, I found two great examples.

My Dad sitting on my car
My Dad sitting on my car

The first image I found, features my Dad sitting on one of my Christmas presents from that year – a bright yellow Rolls Royce toy car. I was an extremely happy two year old that year! Looking back at all the photos from that era, everything seems to have been made in autumn inspired colours; brown carpets, brown furniture, people dressed from head to toe in brown. The sales in brown Corduroy must have been at an all time high!

My Dad playing on one of my christmas presents.
My Dad sitting on my car – restored

After fixing some of the blemishes and other damage on the photo, I started to adjust its colour and tonal levels. As with all older photographs, you will never have a crisp high-definition image at the end of the restoration process, but you will have a image that has character no modern image has.

Anyone who knows my Dad will agree that this image shows my Dads sense of humour off at its best, some things never change!

Christmas dinner clear up
Christmas dinner clear up

Now we will take a look at the other image from our archive. This was taken on the same day as the image above, Christmas Day 1983. As you can see it shows both my Mum and Gran making a start on the clear up after our Christmas Day Dinner. If you look at the clock on the wall it is around 3pm, The Queen’s Speech must have just finished on TV. Sadly washing the dishes back in 1983 would have been a much more laborious task than it is today, There was no sign of a dishwasher in our kitchen back then! Feature walls are not  only a recent invention: we had them in 1983, obviously in autumn colours of course!

Christmas dinner clear up - restored
Christmas dinner clear up – restored

Just as the image shown above I restored the damage on the photo, then adjusted the colour and tonal levels to correct the colour cast. Now you can see the wallpaper in all its glory – that certainly is a strong pattern!

Every image is special whether it is captured on film, painted on canvas, or retained within our memory. For me it is the images like the one of my Mum and Gran clearing up that I enjoy the most. They represent our lives in their true form. It captures our reality. Standing in front of a camera and sporting our best smile, does not give a true representation of who we are, or the lives we lead. But an image like this one does, it illustrates who we are in the context of where and how we exist in the world.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any images you would like restored that have been effected by a colour cast please contact me here at Reclick Photo. This type of restoration starts from as little as £5! You can contact me by emailing, with your image(s) attached to info@reclickphoto.co.uk or please visit our website http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for other options and more information.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy our other post: Retro: the past in our present.

Fairy-tale: the image as art

Today I’m going to showcase something completely different. Yes you were right, that was a quote from the great Monty Python! I’m a great believer in that your creativity is only limited by your imagination, so with this as my mantra I got started. Firstly I needed an image to work with.

Original image
Original image

After selecting a few images I liked, I decided to use this photo of my sister taken when we were on holiday in Germany a few years ago. The trip took us along the Fairy Tale Route in Germany visiting some of the locations which inspired some of the fairy-tales written by the Legendary Brothers Grimm. This picture was taken at Sababurg Castle, located in the Reinhardswald Forest, next to the small town of Sababurg in Northern Hessen, Germany.

After Grimm’s Fairytales were published in the 19th century, many people started to wonder where the famous brothers had drew their inspiration for their tales, as it was well known that both brothers wrote their stories taking inspiration from their own lives and surroundings. At the time Sababurg Castle was believed to be the source of inspiration of Grimm’s Sleeping beauty as it was reminiscent of the castle in the tale, and when looking at it you really can imagine the story may have happened there. Plus, it was known that the Brothers spent some time in this area of Germany.

Sababurg Castle
Sababurg Castle

With all this in mind, I knew I wanted to create a fairy-tale inspired image. Not in the sugar-coated Disney style, but more in a Brother’s Grimm fashion. After sketching out a few ideas on paper I knew what I was going to do, so now I needed some more images to achieve this. Knowing that I did not have the images I needed, my search ventured out in the the world of the stock photography website. As you can imagine there are many to choose from, but at the moment I like to use www.pixabay.com. Here the images are free, all in public domain, and can be used for commercial purposes. Here is a slideshow of the images I selected to use in my project:

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When you look at the finished image, sometimes it is not evident that some of these images have been used. This is because I did not use the whole image, only parts e.g. the doves wing, segments of the hair etc. Each section I used I adjusted the colour, brightness/contrast, and sometimes the exposure levels in order to blend it in with the original image. I also retouched my sisters skin and eyes, so that they would contrast strongly with the hair and background. Lets take a look at the finished project:

The finished image
The finished image

What do you think? I think its safe to say that there has been a major transformation! I wanted a truly atmospheric image which you could imagine illustrated within the pages of a fairy-tale book. I hope you agree with me that this is an example of the image as art; of how you can, with a some time and creativity, transform a holiday snap into a piece of art.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any images that you would like given the same treatment then please do not hesitate in contacting us. You can do so by sending us an email, with your image attached, to info@reclickphoto.co.uk. You can also visit our website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh @ ReClick Photo.

Our Industrial past.

Living in Ayrshire, in the South West of Scotland, we are surrounded by relics of our country’s industrial past. Amongst other industries, the coal mining industry was a major source of employment, which, in turn, was a great financial help to the local economy. In Ayrshire, like many other areas of Britain, there were generations of families who were all employed by the coal mining industry. Our family was no exception. On some occasions grandfather, father, and son we all working together alongside uncles, cousins, etc. This was not merely a man’s world, there were many roles for women within the facilities of a colliery also, canteen staff, office workers, cleaners etc. In fact, in times gone by, many woman were employed down coal mines in order to carry the coal in baskets up to the surface.

The Barony A Frame, Auchinleck.
The Barony A Frame, Auchinleck.

The photograph above was taken of the Barony A Frame, Auchinleck, Scotland. This impressive structure is what remains of the Barony Colliery which operated from 1907 until 1989. This pit was the first large scale modern pit in Ayrshire when it was modernised in the 1950’s.

As you can see this photograph was taken on a typical dreary November day. Here in Scotland we have the perfect word we use to describe such a day:

Dreich – wet, dull, gloomy, dismal, dreary, miserable or any combination of these.

When looking at the photograph again we thought that it was lacking some of the sense of atmosphere you feel when visiting the monument.

The Barony A Frame, Auchinleck enhanced.
The Barony A Frame, Auchinleck enhanced.

What do you think? With the addition of some texture to the background, and darkening the outer edges of the image we believe that this adds to the primary subject, the A Frame itself. We also took time to highlight and sharpen many edges and features of the A frame to draw attention to them. We believe that now this image refers back to the structures past as it echoes some of by-products of the industrialisation process, dust, smoke, pollution etc.

Comparison of both images.
Comparison of both images.

From the 1950’s onwards the British coal mining industry was in a rapid state of decline. Over the decades pit closures occured on a regular basis, it is believed that the number was excess of one hundred pits were closed in this time. In 1984, the Conservative government of the day headed by Margaret Thatcher, sanctioned the closure of a further 20 pits which inevitably led to the UK miners strike of 1984. After the miners were defeated further closures happened until the coal industry was privatised in the early 1990’s.

Sadly since the closure of the coal mines in various areas in the country,whole communities were left without of work, and the local economy was hard hit. Some communities have never recovered, and are still feeling the loss to this day.

One year after the Barony Colliery in Auchinleck closed, in 1990, the A Frame, the former winding engine houses, generating station and water treatment works, were given listed building status, as category B listed structures. The A Frame is the only remaining example of its type left standing in the UK.

The Barony A Frame trust was set up in 1997 by the local community, and with help from East Ayrshire Council, they began the process of restoring it. Receiving funding from various sources, including Historic Scotland, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, over £1 million was spent and it was official reopened by Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles official title while in Scotland) in January 2008.

Today the A Frame stands as monument to our industrial past. Surrounded by villages and miles of agricultural land, this structure is quite an iconic one. Instead of existing only as a piece of industrial machinery, it now sits in the landscape as a piece of sculpture, making all who see it think of our local county’s past and of those who worked in places like the Barony Colliery.

The location of the A Frame lies just 1.2 miles (2 km) west of the village of Auchinleck, East Ayrshire. If you are ever visiting the local area, we highly recommend visiting it asit  is certainly a sight to see. If you would like more information on the A Frame you can visit the Trusts website – http://www.baronyaframe.org/.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any images like those displayed above you would like given similar treatment, please contact us with your image at info@reclickphoto.co.uk or please visit our website http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

Snap shots of time: our treasured memories.

Most people have their own personal archive of treasured possessions whether they are photographs, heirlooms, or even children’s drawings. Although all the objects in our collections are treasured there is a few that are exceptionally precious. In this post I will share with you an extremely prized object from our family’s personal collection.

Photograph of Gran and Papa
Photograph of Gran and Papa c.1958

This is a photograph is of my Gran and Grandpa when they were dating taken around 1958. Believe it or not my Gran is only 19 and my Grandpa is 22 years old! This was a world without mobile phones, internet dating sites and speed dating. what is captured here is what a lot of couples did in the 1950’s in our home town of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. On Sunday afternoons couples would meet and walk, arms linked, up and down King Street, before going for tea, and depending on what was happening later, would go to the cinema to see was was showing on the big screen. Things are so much different now. This image captures a happy moment from my Gran and Grandpas past; before they were married, had a family, and before I, their oldest Grandson was born. This two dimensional object brings this moment from the past it into the future so we can experience that time with them. Now we are going to give this photograph the care it deserves.

Photograph of Gran and Papa restored
Photograph of Gran and Papa restored

As you can see all the scrapes and scores are all removed. This photograph was taken in an age before digital technology so we are never going to have a crisp clear high definition image no matter what we do to restore it. But to be honest, with this image we would not want that anyway. Old photographs have a charm and an atmosphere all of their own, and we believe this really should not be altered. The restoration process should deal only with damage that the photograph has suffered in the period of time it was taken till present day. We at Reclick Photo will do everything we can do to return your photograph back to almost its original condition.  Below is a comparison of the images before and after restoration:

Gran and Papa comparison
Before and after comparison

This project is extremely close to my family’s heart, as in December My Gran, featured in this photograph sadly passed away at the age of 76. All of our memories of her are extremely precious and they serve us all as reminders of the time we had with her. When a loved one has gone,our memories are all we have of them. Those we have lost, need not be forgotten, it is up to us to keep their memory alive.

If you have any treasured photographs that you would like restored like the image above, please contact us by sending the photograph to us at info@reclickphoto.co.uk or visit http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for other options and more information.

reclick poster

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.