Category Archives: Europe

Spray Me!

Possibly one of the sexiest images in my collection so far. The well-dressed people – suited men hugging in a group, woman walking tossing her luscious hair – pointed shoes all round, and the context of the park with its deep shadows and old walls. It’s Italy – Europe at its most exotic – in the 1950s. Of course the most exciting element is the exuberant spray of water.


I did all the usual restoration tricks but was then looking for some real drama, and so used an artistic filter to punch it out even more.


Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on April 15, 2013 in City Park, Europe, Fountain, Mysterious

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Romantic Italian Lake

From a collection of late 1950’s slides comes this gorgeous, romantic scene. Its formal, yet relaxed, and oh so beautiful. I love the group in the foreground – their smart-casual outfits and relaxed posture. The ornate chairs, glistening water, boating parties, large trees and monument are a fantasy of ‘genteel travel’ that still exists now.


This slide was in good condition having come from a well-cared-for collection; it had been in a glass frame for 50 years. It was a joy to correct the colour, bringing the greens out while maintaining warmth. I added contrast and definition, and made a better cropping.


Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on April 15, 2013 in City Park, Europe, Garden, Sightseeing

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Old Row

The date is 1966 and that’s all we know about this old row. I love the forecourt with its flowerpots, hunks of wood and washing line. Mom and kids perch on a doorstep; this is their everyday life. The buildings are dilapidated but ornate with their broken plaster, old clay brick, and richly colored, fading paint.


Those old walls fascinated me and I knew that restoration could bring them back to life.


Before and after. Click for big.


Gritty Florence

This image of a gritty Florence, with its dark, brooding sky and old walls, was taken in the late 1950s. I visited Florence in the nineties but was disappointed. It was unfriendly, big and dirty. I had a bad cold and spent the day alone at the hostel where I was staying (as there was a curfew for everyone else). In the end I got better and escaped to a wonderful villa in the hills just outside Florence. I didn’t miss the city much.


This was a dramatic rescue as the before and after pic shows. The sky needed to stay dark and to keep the drama; I increased the sun rays, for example. The buildings needed lightening and brightening. I used several filters and blending modes with masks to create the final, which I am absolutely in love with.


Before and after. Click for big.


Car Breakdown

Belgium or Holland, 1970’s. With a little speculation I can figure out what is happening in this scene. The 3 old people were driving past Der Vliegend Tapijt (The Flying Carpet) restaurant when their blue car broke down. Now it’s up on a jack and someone is fixing it but, oh dear, its going to be a long afternoon. A woman passing by has stopped for a little chat. I like the seventies styling of the restaurant window and the juxtaposition of the old-timers against this backdrop.

A large crop was needed to bring the subjects of interest into focus. Rich color, texture and sharpening did the rest of the job.

Before and after. Click for big.



Toddler Twins in a Park

Such a beautiful, compelling image from Italy in the late 1950s. These two twin girls, with their short black hair, matching outfits and bags are almost too much to believe, especially in that setting.

I increased the drama by deepening the darkness of the trees and brightening the foreground. I also removed the blurred boy on the left hand side. Yes, I’m sorry little boy but your sisters stole the show!

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Children, City Park, Europe, Fountain

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A Lavish Facade Somewhere in Italy

I came across a little stash of slides taken on a trip to Italy in the late 1950s. Here is the first of many treasures. The traveler was in Rome and Florence but I have been unable to confirm the location of this building. Somewhere in a small, rustic courtyard stands this lavish, almost silly facade. The moldings look like cake icing or candle wax but I think they represent grapes or leaves. If we could identify the mythical figures I’m sure it would help. Please do get in touch if you know where this is.

Straightening immediately gave the building more weight. I then reworked the color a little and sharpened it.

Before and after. Click for big.


Teacher Protest

My guess is that this is in Belgium or Holland in the 1970s. A rather polite looking teacher’s protest, whether school or university teachers I’m not sure. I haven’t had it translated yet and hope someone will see this and help me out!

A nicely composed shot, quickly snapped. The old slide was quite clean and needed little input from me. I corrected color and tone and sharpened it.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on February 12, 2013 in City square, Europe, People, Political

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London Airport Car Park

Car Park No. 1 at London Airport (now called Heathrow) in May 1959. British bubble cars are pretty cool. I also have a thing for bland urban spaces, between here and nowhere, cement and serene. What a lovely example this one is, and I literally pulled it out of a plastic shopping bag at random.

Before and after recoloring and tone corrections. Click for big.




Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Airport, Europe, Old cars

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Men on a Quay

Men wait on a harbour quay somewhere in 1963.

A radical straightening was needed, then recoloring and sharpening. I find that many seaside and harbor snapshots, with a lot of blue in them, turn quite magenta over time. Recoloring brings them back to life.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Boats, Europe, Harbour, Modes of transport

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Delphi Talking Tour

A tour party in Delphi, Greece, 1964. I like how the people are dressed. They’re mainly paying good attention to their guide, with only a few loungers on the side. This looks like the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. The site was trashed by ‘zealous Christians’ in 390 AD in an attempt to destroy ‘Paganism’. However there is still lots to see there and these ruined columns have stood for a century and half.

Important to straighten those columns. Then color corrections and a few more fixes – and I’m right there myself.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Europe, Museum, People, Ruins, Sightseeing

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Romantic Mykonos

So many holiday resorts have tried – and failed – to mimic this magic. Its a Mykonos sunset, in Greece 1964.

This was a delicious job getting the color just right.

Before and after. Click for big.


Greek Men of Stone

Photographed in 1964, these statues of Greek heroes stood in the museum at Delphi, in Greece, and probably still do. Their noses and penises have unfortunately been removed by vandals at some time in the past. I love the way the two women stand in their shadow, such lesser beings, despite being alive.

 This cleaned up beautifully after I removed the yellow indoor light and cleaned up some purplish mold. I love the sharpened texture of the stone in contrast to the smooth background and the two women.


Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Art objects, Europe, Museum, People, Statue

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Athens Florists

A row of florist shops in Athens, 1964. I like the way the men perch on the pavement and read their papers, it must have been quite companionable. I wonder what that big wreath with the palm leaves was for.

Brightening and recoloring was needed to make this look like a happy early morning scene

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in City street, Europe, Flowers

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Boating in the Gulf of Naples

These leisure and sailing boats are clustered in a small, traditional harbor on the Gulf of Naples, Italy in 1966. In the background is the ‘Transatlantico Ristorante’, which still exists, although it was undoubtedly more romantic in this era than the generic, whitewashed place it has turned into now.

Recoloring of this image was necessary to remove the purple and blue tints left by time. I hope I recaptured the warmth and romanceof the day.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Boats, Europe, Harbour, Hotel

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