Disasters do not come with a prior warning. In the wake of recent temperature shifts and global warming, disasters are a commonplace. Floods hit and devastate many areas close to the sea every day. It is quite startling though to see the reactions of people who have just faced devastation. They mourn least about their refrigerator or other electronic gadgets. They get sad seeing their old photographs, scrapbooks or memorabilia being washed away by water. Though, it is quite weird to be thinking about restoring the soggy photographs, just after the water has receded, but it can be done. You do not have to run to a nearby photo editor or order for archival printing online soon after life returns to normalcy. You can keep these for a later date after you have failed in the DIY approach. To restore the photographs yourself, you have to follow the below given tips.
• You should understand that most of the negatives and photos can be air dried and cleaned using a systematic list of steps.
• Lift all the photos that are stuck in dirty water or mud. Remove all the photos that exist in the waterlogged albums. If there are some photographs that are stacked together, carefully separate them. While dealing with these wet photos be careful not to touch the wet emulsion on the photo’s surface.
• Rinse all the photos gently in a bucket or sink using clean and cold water. Never rub the photos in the cleaning process and keep on changing the water frequency too.
• If you have enough space, lay each of the photos on a clean blotting paper. Never lay them on a newspaper, as that would destroy your photos. The ink contained in printed paper will be transferred to the wet photos. Change the blotting paper after every couple of hours until the photo is absolutely dry. Do not however, keep the photos outside. Sunlight and wind will curl the photos.
• If you have a dearth of time, then such an elongated process might not be applicable for you. You can simply remove the mud and dirt from the photos and stack them carefully between the wax paper sheets. Seal them off in air tight plastic bags and let them freeze. This will mean, you can defrost the photos when there is spare time and get on with the restoration work.
• You should attend to the water damaged photos within a couple of days or they will catch mold. They may also stick together. In such instances it would be impossible to restore the photographs.
• While restoring the photographs always start with those that have no negatives and cannot be reproduced.
• If there are photos in the frames, they should be addressed when they are still very wet. Once the photo dries, it will stick to the glass and cannot be removed without causing damage to the photo emulsion. When removing the photo from the frame, expose the frame in running cold water and let the water stream separate the photo gently.
If the above mentioned process is too painful for you to execute then ordering for archival printing online is the only other alternative.