Tag Archives: Restoration

Additional Photos

Additional Photos

I received orders for additional photos to restore.  This is one area where most photographers don’t venture because it is a lot more than just clicking the shutter. Restoration takes advantage of my painting skills.

This client left a 2″ stack of photos.  Most of them will simply be digital copies of the photos.  The ones that he really has an emotional attachment to he wants hand colored.  So, I’ve got my work cut out for me.


One of my rentals needs a couple of screens replaced.  I tried to find metal grids instead of woven screens.  You’d think that would be something you would find at any hardware store.  Screen material is ridiculous.  It is fragile  and has been around longer than I have.

There’s a market for non-woven, sheet metal grids to replace woven screen material.

I went online and found some.  Unfortunately, it only comes in black.  I could probably paint it, but I’d worry about the holes filling in.

Woven screen it is going to be.

Screen Frames

Then there are the screen frames.  Those stupid plastic splines that have to be pressed in are a pain to deal with too.  Consumers arise and revolt against cheap aluminum screen frames and woven screen material.

Chevy Becomes Buick

Chevy Becomes Buick

I’m working on this photo restoration.  There’s two cars.  One looks like a Chevy to me — early 1950s.  The other… hard to tell.  This is how the Chevy becomes a Buick.

I pull up a picture of 1954 Chevys and I realize, the bumper and grill aren’t right.  Scratching my head, I’m telling myself, it looks like a GM product.  So, I tried Pontiac, but I knew the grill wasn’t right… I was just grasping at straws.

Then, I found it!  A Buick Futurama 88!!!  Yup.  In fact, a 1959.

Chevy Becomes Buick - copyright 2017 db walton

Chevy Becomes Buick

Working on It

I spent a good portion of time working on it.  This will be a good before after comparison when I’m done.  The car in the background looks like an early 50s/late 40s Chevrolet Deluxe with a split window.

While it is nearly impossible to find pictures of those two cars angled at the exact angle, I managed to find a pair that are close.  As a result, the cars will look the same… but at a different angle.

The most difficult part are going to be the faces.  The rest of the stuff, you know what it looks like, or should look like.  The heavy damage in the center of the woman’s face will be the toughest.



I used to laugh when I’d hear people at the phone company use the word “restoral” instead of “restoration”.  In fact, I still would.  I do photo restoration, not photo restoral.

Three old photos delivered to me by a client were in need of restoration.  If they could only talk.  Old pictures have a story to tell.  I guess that is why it is so important to preserve the images.

It is also important to preserve stories.  I wish I could convince my family of that.  My blog is proof that I’m convinced of that.

While most of the time I write about the present, I need to take time to write some old stories from childhood.  I recall my daughter Amber (mostly, some of the other girls asked too) asking, “Dad, will you tell me a story about when you were a boy?”

Well, here goes…

The Electric Fence

We lived on Teal Avenue north of Pocatello near the Green Triangle and adjacent to the Thunderbird Drive-in.  There were only three houses on the street, and they were building more.

I found the breaker box on the utility pole and somehow (how?  I’m not sure.  I was only about 5 or 6) understood that electricity was in that box.  And, I somehow knew if I connected a wire at the top of the fuse and at the bottom I would have ELECTRICITY.

So, I turned it off with the large lever on the side.  Poked one end of the wire in to the top of the fuse, and the other end in to the bottom of the fuse.

I then began to place long stakes about 4 feet apart and stringing the wire around each stake to create an “electric fence”.  It was an area about 30′ in diameter.  I then threw the switch in to the on position and POP.  Sparks everywhere.

I guess it was then I realized that  you can’t put 110v AC through a loop of wire and have an electric fence, but you could create a lot of orange, yellow and white sparks.

That was my first and last attempt at making an electric fence, but it wasn’t a failure.  I still maintained my interest in electricity and electronics.

copyright 2016 db walton

Me Around 1959 or So

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2016

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2016

This is just a reminder that Hill Cumorah Pageant 2016 is just around the corner.  They have put out the call for applications, but remember, housing is an issue in this area.  So, make your reservations EARLY.

We have changed our reservation policy at the Beckwith Mansion.  It is as follows:

Pageant participant pricing – If you accept our pageant participant pricing you will be required to pay-in-advance.  Because of this highly discounted pricing THERE ARE NO REFUNDS.  PERIOD.  NADA.  NONE.  This rate requires a two week stay.  Additional nights are at the Normal pricing as listed below.

Normal pricing – During pageant season we again require you to pay-in-advance, but if you cancel prior to July 1st, you will receive a refund of what you paid MINUS a 10% processing charge.  (During pageant, these rates are $100 to $130 per night per room.  A $10/night/room discount is given when paying with check or cash.)

Guarantee refund pricing – Again, you must pay-in-advance, but, if you cancel no later than 48-hours before your stay you will receive a refund of what you paid MINUS a 10% processing charge.  (During pageant, these rates are $150 to $195 per night per room.  No discounts.)

One of the services I offer is photo restoration and artwork duplication.  Today I had 14 such (very old) photos to duplicate and restore.    That’s a LOT.  However, I’ve come up with a business model that allows me to work quickly, and for clients who want to keep the cost down, I allow them to help in the duplication process.

When the project is done and the client has displayed these photos I’ll let you in on where you can go see them.


Last Chance Pictures

Last Chance Pictures

Today are the last chance pictures of the Priesthood Restoration Site.  I’ve got to get the pictures uploaded by tomorrow so they can use them.

Elizabethe and I left the house around 8am and headed down there.  We got there and met a brother from the missionary department who walked us down to the Joseph Smith House and left us to photograph it.  I spent a good hour and a half photographing the inside and then went to the Isaac Hale home and did the same.

Next stop was the new Visitors’ Center.  There I photographed the new displays, followed by the nice theater and chapel.  After that, it was a walk through the Priesthood Restoration Grove (love it in there).

I took about 300 frames, and both Elizabethe and I were getting hungry.

We met our friend Matt Baker at a local restaurant where we enjoyed a nice meal, and then it was on the road back home.

The site opens on August 29th, 2015.  It is worth the drive to Pennsylvania (from Palmyra) to see the new site.

Visitors from Pennsylvania

Visitors from Pennsylvania

We had visitors from Pennsylvania today at church.  It turns out many of them volunteered help at the Priesthood Restoration Site.   We talked about the site and I told them I was heading down there tomorrow to photograph the site one last time before it opens.

It is scheduled to open next Saturday, 8/19/2015.  Tomorrow Elizabethe and I will go down there and I will photograph it.

We had stake priesthood meeting tonight.  I was asked to play the organ.  After the meeting President Brighton gave a wonderful talk.  He didn’t beat around the bush but came right out and listed things we all should be doing.  I very much appreciated his candor and instruction.

After that, the missionaries came to dinner.   It was just them as Jennifer and Spencer and family are down in Pennsylvania looking at property.

Some how, the bottle of cayenne pepper got labeled Chili Powder.  As a result, the dish I made was VERY spice as cayenne is very hot and chili powder is not.

It was okay.  The sister missionaries liked it, and Elizabethe forced it down with lots of sour cream.  It was tasty, but even for me it was a bit spicy.


Get Some Work Done

Get Some Work Done

With family staying with us I decided it is time to get some work done.  I have restoration clients waiting on images and I’ve got to work on them.

When it comes to restoration  work, it requires attention to details.  It also requires some imagination at times.  For example, if a person’s hand is missing, you’ve got to imagine what that hand might have looked like.


copyright 2015 db walton

Restored Photograph

That’s part of what I do at my work.  My specialty is portraiture, and while I prefer to take your portrait, if you have something old, damaged, and in need of restoration, come see me.

While it kept me busy all day, I had other things to do on and off during the day.  By the time the day was done, so was I.  I was exhausted.

Day 2 at the PRS

Day 2 at the PRS

Day 2 at the PRS and we’re starting early.  6:45am to be exact.  My feet are still sore from walking over all those rocks. I’m wearing my work boots today.

What is the PRS?

The Priesthood Restoration Site.  Yes, the site where first John the Baptist came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey and restored the Aaronic Priesthood, and days later Peter, James and John appeared to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood. (Somewhere along the 28 mile stretch of road between Harmony and Colesville.  We don’t know exactly where.)

Jake, Curtis and I took a walk down to the river so I could photograph the baptismal site.  We talked about where that might have been.  We assumed it would have been on Joseph’s property, but flood lines on trees demonstrated the actual bank at that time could have been most anywhere within that swath of property.

copyright 2015 db walton

The Susquehanna River

We staged many of the rooms for photos.  Replicas of 1820s household tools and implements were staged to give it a lived-in look in preparation for the many tourist who will visit.  My job was to photograph it so people can get an idea of what is in store when they visit Harmony.

copyright 2015 db walton

Table Showing The Translation of the Plates

While these are all modern recreations, they detail of the work is amazing.  Hid beneath that cloth is the most amazing replica I have ever seen of the Golden Plates.  Joseph would have sat to the left, dictating to Oliver (who would have sat where the camera is) the Book of Mormon text.  These handwritten manuscripts were later used by John Gilbert to typeset the Book of Mormon.  This all took place in a relatively short period of time.

When not translating, the plates were stored under the bed in a wood “glass box” (a box that was used to ship glass panes for windows).

copyright 2015 db walton

Glass Box Under the Bed

It was another day of hard work by all.  I had to leave around 1pm to head back home.

On the way home, the sister missionaries asked if we could meet up with them for a discussion with one of our friends.  We met at Chill-n-Grill where we met some tourist from Texas.  Upon talking to them we learned he was from San Francisco, and then lived in Santa Rosa.  It turns out my cousins in Santa Rosa helped introduce him to the church.

What a small world it is.

Much More Rain

Much More Rain

We got much more rain today.  Again, with the leak in the roof we had to place pots and pans in the kitchen to catch the water.  We had quite the puddle on the floor when we got up this morning.

The rain came down most of the day.  At some times, it was pretty heavy and steady.  All day long you could hear the drips hitting the pots on the floor of the kitchen.

The frustrating part is it is hard to find a good roofing contractor here in Western New York.  You ask if they are insured, and you never hear from them again.  (Which is a good indication they are not insured.)  In some parts of the country, most anyone can slap a roof on a house and it will be fine.  Here, because of the threat of ice damming, roofing has to be done correctly so the water doesn’t back up and damage the roof.

My morning was spent working on some print restorations for a client.  We had 9 prints that needed to be photographed and then digitally retouched for reprinting.  These were very old prints from the late 1800s.  They were in pretty good shape with the exception of some mold spots.