Major Ranbir Singh is my Grandfather. He passed away in 1993. My father, Brigadier V P Singh, recently visited McLeodganj where my Grandfather had been posted for a few years and discovered his name in the archives of the army establishment currently manning the station. They asked my father to send them a photograph for inclusion in the archives and he was able to find one little passport photo from the 1940s in his large collection of images at home. This photograph is from when the Grandfather was serving in the British Indian Army. The photograph needed some minor restoration and enlargement.

The original image as I received it after high-resolution scanning on a regular HP Deskjet F380 printer.

Major Ranbir Singh 1940's portrait restoration and re-printing photography project. Photographer Naina Redhu

A close look at the 100% resolution.

Major Ranbir Singh 1940's portrait restoration and re-printing photography project. Photographer Naina Redhu

Major Ranbir Singh 1940's portrait restoration and re-printing photography project. Photographer Naina Redhu

Major Ranbir Singh 1940's portrait restoration and re-printing photography project. Photographer Naina Redhu

The final restored image ready for printing at @canvera

Major Ranbir Singh 1940's portrait restoration and re-printing photography project. Photographer Naina Redhu

One of my toughest assignments ever by far *grin* It’s the Grandfather after all! I also wanted to severely reprimand the gentleman who shot the original picture – he could have at least made an attempt to keep the face in sharp focus. Dolt.

2 comments

  1. Hello,
    I was going through your blogs and was quite impressed by your photographs and the variety of subjects. Browsing through your work, I came across this restoration project and was disappointed by the end result.
    Restoration is not the word I would use for this project since you have modified the original photograph to a large extend.
    According to the Oxford English dictionary restoration means:
    ” The action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition,
    The process of restoring a building, work of art, etc. to its original condition”
    By completely changing the insignia of the Jat regiment as it was when the picture was taken, it gives the impression that your grand father was serving the Indian Army after independence. The changing of the sepia tone to a gray scale denature the original photograph, which was a choice taken by a photographer like yourself!
    The original photograph with its sepia tone and the original British Raj Insignia has a historical value in itself which is removed in your “restoration”. This regiment under British rule has had distinguished records of services which is to be proud of.
    You being a renowned photographer and your work being published extensively should be aware of the steps to be taken in protecting our historical documents so as to leave an accurate record for the future generations.

    1. Dear Kiran, Thank you for your kind words and descriptive comments. I appreciate your concern but this is a personal project that was executed at the request of someone in my family for a very specific purpose. All alterations made to the image have been done at their request. The original image, as included in the blog story remains as is with no alterations. This was a digital-retouch that I might have gotten excited about and called a “restoration”.

Comments are closed.