Boudoir Cards
Boudoir Cards  -  Vintage Postcards of the Belle Epoque

Postcard Restoration Procedures and Workflow

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On this page we show detailed information about our workflow for restoring vintage postcards.
At the time these postcards were printed as silver or bromide gelatine (albumen) prints, they were truely black & white. Many of the artist photos were more or less skillfully handcoloured. Other postcards were artificially toned, i.e. in sepia tone, or like a cyanotype (we see this mostly in postcards published by Léo de Pradet).
Aging during the last hundred years gave the black & white prints a more or less "sepia" toning. It would be quite easy, to restore them to their original black & white status, but we think it would take a lot of charm from these vintage postcards and would make them look pretty harsh and cold. So we decided, to keep the vintage "sepia-type" look.
Only in cases of very strong signs of aging or discolorization we adjusted the color and faded the intensity of the "sepia" tone. Concerning the tinted postcards we corrected the yellowness due to ageing if necessary.
Computer-Monitor calibration is performed with Datacolor Spider5 Pro®.

Step 1 (Scanning)

The postcards are scanned on a Canon CanoScan 9000F with Silverfast® Software. The scans are adjusted for greyscale-correction and slightly color-adjustment (mainly reduction of yellow).
The scan resolution is set to 600 ppi (pixel per inch).

Step 2 (Restoration)

The scans are further processed by the following workflow in Adobe Photoshop® CS5.
All the different restoration steps are performed on separate layers for a non-destructive restoration.

  • vertical or horizontal alignment and cutting the frame
  • working on flaws like spots, stains or tears with different repair tools on a separate retouching layer
  • further correction of greyscale-adjustment ("Shadow/Highlight")
  • greyscale adjustment with "Levels"
  • adjustment of contrast by "Curves"
  • adjustment of color-tone with "Hue/Saturation"
  • down-sizing to 500 pixel height or 600 pixel width respectively
  • sharpening with "Smart Sharpen" (approx. intensity 100%, radius 0,3 pixel, Gaussian Blur)
  • softening with "Surface Blur" at an intensity of approximately 25 % (radius 1 pixel, threshold 10)
  • save as JPEG-file for web with quality set to 80 %

Examples for Restoration of Postcards



Examples for Greyscale-, Contrast- and Color-Correction and Adjustments


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Vintage Postcards of the Belle Epoque
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