I recently unearthed this image, tucked away and rolled so tightly it seemed reluctant to unfurl. This, however, is precisely why it’s a prime candidate for panorama school photo restoration.

An old rolled school panorama

An old rolled school panorama

This week, a fascinating project landed on my workbench: an old-school photo from Grosvenor High School in Shaftesbury. As any photo restorer knows, photos that have been rolled up for extended periods can develop a stubborn “memory” and encouraging them to unroll is tricky. Thankfully, this particular one wasn’t too stiff and cooperated with the scanning process.

However, the image presented another challenge: it had sustained cracks in several places. To capture the details without introducing unwanted shadows, I carefully pressed the photo down on the scanner bed while ensuring optimal lighting.


To scan the whole image I had to make more than one scan. You can read in the post how to scan images larger than your scanner.

Notice how the raised sections of the image below catch the scanning light. This occurs because the scanner picks up the silver particles within the photograph— they act like tiny mirrors, reflecting the light back at the sensor. The areas on the opposite side of these raised sections appear slightly darker, creating subtle shadows. This can be avoided bt scanning your image at a right angle to the scanning light..

Rises and dips in the photo reflect the scanning light

Dips and rises in the photo reflect the scanning light

This project involved restoring a cherished photograph that had seen its fair share of wear and tear. Several issues needed attention:

Missing details: A significant chunk of the rug and grass was missing, requiring replacement.
Cracks: The image had cracked, leaving behind troughs and rises that needed repair.
Water damage: Two areas displayed peculiar russet-colored blotches, likely due to water damage.
General wear: The entire image needed a thorough cleaning to remove blemishes and enhance its overall appearance.
Here’s how I tackled this restoration:

  • Background creation: I started by creating a clean white background to provide a fresh canvas for the restored image.
  • Separation and layering: The text and the image were meticulously separated and placed on individual layers for easier manipulation during the restoration process.
  • Black and white conversion: To achieve greater control over tones and details, I converted the image to black and white. This step also allowed for a more dramatic restoration effect.
  • Crack repair: Each crack was meticulously addressed, ensuring seamless restoration and preserving the image’s natural flow.
  • Faded area correction: Faded areas, including the excessively bright sections, were carefully restored to regain their original vibrancy.
  • Mark and dust removal: All remaining marks and dust particles were meticulously removed, bringing back the image’s clarity.
  • Missing area reconstruction: Finally, the missing area in the rug and grass was meticulously reconstructed using information from surrounding areas, ensuring a natural and cohesive final product.

Through this detailed process, the photo was brought back to life, allowing its cherished memories to shine through once again.

Restoration of panorama school photos.. Grosvenor High School, Shaftesbury.

An old photo of Grosvenor High School, Shaftesbury, restored.

You can see a much larger image by clicking on the image below.

An old photo of Grosvenor High School, Shaftesbury, restore.

For large photo click small image.

As images go this was in quite good condition. Those with more cracks and more damage to facial features would have taken much longer. When complete the final image took 3 hours.

Restoration of panorama school photos with multiple damage issues and pieces missing
Article Name
Restoration of panorama school photos with multiple damage issues and pieces missing
Restoration of panorama school photos present many restoration challenges with many different types of damage. Fixing them requires multiple scans, some skilled work and a fair bit of time
Neil Rhodes