Restore Old Photographs

     Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

Photographer Ranjit Madhavji shares tips on restoring and preserving old images and film

Photographs capture a moment in time. It could be a wedding or a fun family picnic. These moments are precious and losing them can cause immense heartache. In today's digital world, images can be duplicated and back-ups can be made in a matter of minutes but what about the old negatives and prints of your dear ones from a few decades ago? Storing them properly and restoring them eventually will make sure you can revisit your cherished moments even decades from now.

THE CULPRITS
Photographs and negatives are sensitive to light exposure. They are also extremely sensitive to moisture and temperature fluctuations, which can cause photos to fade and image quality to deteriorate. Here's an example: you may place a cherished family photograph on a wall but if there is seepage of moisture even nearby, it will damage the photograph.

RESTORING WHEN REQUIRED
Old photographs needs cleaning once in a while. These photographs need to be handled with care. Wear cotton gloves while working with old photos and negatives to avoid getting fingerprints or oil on them. Clean the prints and films with a cotton wool. Don't grind or rub; the goal is to lift the dust off by using enough pressure to adhere the dust to the fabric. If there are stains on the photographs, remove them with photograph emulsion cleaner and photo wipes, available at a photo studio.

STORAGE IS THE KEY
Archiving your material is relatively simple. You first need to classify the material into negatives, films and format- from 10/12 inches vintage ones to 4/3 and 2/3 inches-and prints. Once you have identified your materials, you can redistribute them into archival folders, boxes and enclosures. 1. Films and negatives must be wrapped in acid-free paper (commonly known as butter paper) and then stored in polythene bags. Keep them in a cool, dark and dry area. 2. Photographs should be stored flat and even, with acid-free paper in between each prints and finally be kept in a folder. Label the folder according to the occasion, for ease of use.

The octogenarian writer is the owner of Mumbai's iconic 84-year-old Hamilton Studio.

IT'S IN YOUR JEANS
Like men, all jeans are not made equal. Kevin Carrigan, global creative director, Calvin Klein Jeans sheds light upon how you can find the perfect pair that fits like a glove. Shopping for jeans doesn't have to be a traumatising experience. It's simple-there are four different fits: straight, boot, wide, and slim. Finding the right fit for you is dependent on your body type.

Straight Fit: This is an everyman's pair and sits perfectly on your sculpted lower half. If you are thin and muscular go for low-rise ones. Ensure that the style sits comfortably on your hips and leaves a few extra inches of legroom. Alternatively, if you are well-built and tall, go for mid-rise fits to maintain proper proportions.

Flare/Boot Cut: Flare-cut styles should sit just below your natural waist and should be slightly loose through the leg. They look best on broad-built men.

Relaxed Fit: These are laid-back slacks with maximum legroom as they are cut fuller from the waist all the way to the hem. This fit is the best option for a stocky man.

Slim Fit: Remember Mick Jagger gyrating in these calf-clenching numbers? Slip into them, if you are thin and small-built. It will give an illusion of body width.

TRAVELLING WITH KIDS
Rajiv Malhotra, head of marketing south-east Asia, Hotels.com, shares valuable tips on travelling with kids .

Sleep Well: Before Both you and your child should get enough sleep before going on holiday as the anticipation and excitement of the adventure can take its toll and tired children are often hard to console or reason with. If everyone is feeling rested and fresh, it should make the journey a little easier.

Travel Light: Kids are a handful themselves, they also need more stuff (especially for infants) while travelling. So cut-down on luggage as much as you can.

Keep them: Busy Besides the lack of sleep, it's often boredom that begets bad behaviour, so keep the little ones busy during travel time. Pack colouring books and toys in your carry-on bag or better yet, make the most of the in-flight entertainment or your smart phone if driving.

KICK THE BUTT WITH THESE FOODS
Dr Vijai K S Shukla, Chairperson, Omega 3 Council of India, gives tips on quitting smoking by adding the following nutrients in one's diet:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: It is commonly found in marine and plant oils. Studies assess that a four-week oral treatment supplemented by two grams of Omega-3 fatty acids every day improve the arterial health of cigarette smokers. The results showed that short-term treatment with the fish oil improves arterial stiffness and minimises damage to arterial elasticity.

Vitamin E: Cigarette smoke contributes to changes in dietary cholesterol and make it stick to the artery walls. The anti-oxidant properties of vitamin E help prevent cholesterol from changing in this harmful way. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, olives and oils made from these foods. Leafy greens like spinach also contain healthy amounts of vitamin E.

Green Tea: Green tea can boost your immune system by fighting free radicals. Smokers who drink up to six cups of green tea daily suffer 40 to 50 percent less damage from smoke toxins.

HOW TO PLACE 5.1 SPEAKERS CORRECTLY

SOUNDS LIKE YOU KNOW ABOUT SAMUEL MAVERICK
Samuel Augustus Maverick was a 19th-century Texan lawyer and land baron. His name is the source of the term 'maverick,' first cited in 1867, which means 'independently minded.'

To settle a debt of $1,200, a client gave Maverick 400 head of cattle. He decided to let his cattle roam free without a brand to indicate his ownership.

This bold move confused all the nearby ranchers who began to wonder, "Why would anyone let their cattle roam free without first being branded?" Not long after releasing his cattle, Maverick shrewdly announced that any cattle found without a brand in southern Texas were his cattle The word maverick became widely used throughout the West to describe any unbranded cattle roaming free in a world.
Speakers work together with the room or environment in which they're placed, so buying the right equipment is only half of the story. To get the best from them you need to position them correctly. Here's how you can get the optimum output from your 5.1 speakers.

CENTRE CHANNEL
The centre channel delivers at least 50 per cent of the sound on a soundtrack. It can either be placed on top of the screen, or if that is not possible on the ground and directed towards the audience.

LEFT AND RIGHT CHANNELS
They should be placed on either side of the TV screen and at least 8-12 feet apart. It is also advisable to angle them inward by about 20-30 degrees so the sound they project hits the viewer accurately.

SUBWOOFER
Apart from keeping it on the floor, there's no specific rule for placing the subwoofer since it sends sound in all directions. However, that rumbling bass feel may vary depending on the subwoofer's location and nearby furniture. The closer you place a speaker to a corner, wall or ceiling, the stronger the more sound you will have reflected around the room.

REAR CHANNELS
The general rule of thumb here is to match the distance to the viewer from the left and right channel speakers. Ideally these speakers should be 6-20 inches above ear level while you are seated.

ROOM ACOUSTICS
The shape of your room and its furnishings can make a big difference to the quality of the sound you get. For example, too many bare surfaces can cause sound waves to bounce-off and make what you're hearing sound slightly harsh. Carpeting and drapes will absorb echoes and a bit of bass. Sharp angled surfaces reflect sound more but also add faint echoes.

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