Skilled technician gives old photos new life
Updated : 2021-03-16
By ( chinadaily.com.cn )
Most people save digital photos in their mobile phones or computers, but some find charm in the old broken prints and hope to find a way to restore them.
Gong Pengyuan has lost count of all the old photos with scratches or other damage from his clients, but he always manages to return the originals along with repaired copies. They look new after his careful process.
Gong, 53, became a photographer at Zhenmei Photography Studio in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, in 1995 and started restoring old photo prints around 2005.
"Digital cameras became popular, but many customers visited our studio with their old paper photos, asking whether we could repair them," he said. "Some told me that they had visited several studios but failed to find one that could help."
To provide better service to his customers, Gong began to study the technology used in photo restoration. With his years of experience as a professional photographer, he could see the lighting positions and techniques of the original photographers.
When he restores a photo, he tries not to change the original. He wants to avoid affecting the owner's memory, which is bound with the image.
"I have restored all sorts of old photos — cracked, discolored and waterlogged," he said. "Most of them were taken decades ago, and some were nearly 100 years old."
Gong usually spends several hours to days restoring photos.
"To better reconstruct scenes or people of the past, I usually try to immerse myself in the old time," he said. "When my customers send me a photo, I know it's not just about their acknowledgement of my skills. They are trusting me with their sweet memories."
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