Protecting and preserving old photographs.

-Photographs will fade in direct sunlight.

-Never laminate photographs. (This cannot be reversed).

-Do not put sticky tape on photographs.

-Never attempt to clean old photos by wiping with water. This will soften the emulsion and tear it.

-Use silica packets in boxes of photos to protect from moisture.

-Don’t put photos face to face as they may stick together.

-Generally, with photographs, the colder the storage, the longer the life.


Before attempting any “repairs” on an original photograph consider potential damage.

If in doubt, consult a conservator.

Colour print fading.

Photo restoation Melbourne
A faded wedding photograph, restored to its original colour.

It is worth noting that since the 1980’s technology for colour print stability has greatly improved.

With the advert of Digital photography and inkjet prints, it has reached a stage that colour prints should last a lifetime and longer if stored in cool, dry conditions.

Prior to this the chemical reactions in colour photographs cause fading within a few decades. A common effect is for photos to get a strong red cast. Often this is not to difficult to reproduce and fix.

The main proviso is loss of detail if the fading has gone too far.

Another reason for fading is incorrect processing at the time. Sometimes portraits made for instant portrait shopping centre or restaurants, were processed for speed rather than longevity and had less washing (removal of residual chemicals) than was required. Sometimes these images fade unevenly making restoration difficult.

The only way to guarantee non fading of traditional colour photographs is to keep them in cold storage. This is because heat is one of the reasons for fading. It is interesting to note that a photo will continue to fade even in total darkness, if exposed to heat.


James M. Reilly- Storage Guide for colour photographic materials.



Talk -“Researching, preserving and restoring photographs”.

I give regular talks on this interesting subject.

The next talk-

24th October 2019 at the Mornington Library.



Book -“Family History Photographs”.

Family History Photographs by Peter King.

Illustrated with examples, this is a handy guide to anyone wanting to understand their own family photographs.

-The historical background of photography.

-How to date photographs.

-Preservation of photographs.

-Scanning/ copying.


-Organising photographs.

-Photo restoration.

Cost $30.00 including postage.

Email or call 03 9885 9586


The Stonnington History Centre has an interesting exhibition coming up from the 15th of October- 10th November.

It is at the Stonnington Exhibition space 1257 High st. Malvern.







Historical Images

The State Library of Victoria has a large collection of historical images that can be downloaded from its website,


These are important as we are rapidly losing much of our architechtural heritage to modern development. Also they provide an important reference for how previous generations lived.










To discuss your photo restoration project, and for a free quote, call-

03 9885 9586 – 0409 175 604