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6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
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Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Before and After

Before and After

The photos you see here on Shorpy are not just resized versions of the images found in the Library of Congress archives -- they are extracted from the LOC's full-resolution reference tiffs: a process that generally takes anywhere from half an hour to several hours per monochrome image, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done to bring detail out of the shadows, suppress overexposed highlights, and remove blemishes caused by dust, scratches and mold. Color images require correction for color cast as well. The before-and-after composite above shows the condition of some of these old glass negatives a century after they were exposed, and how they look after a day at the digital restoration spa. This one is from 1908. View full size. Below is the 36 mb archival tiff resized to 512 px wide. The restored version is here.

Below is another before-and-after example. Restored version.

Below: Another monochrome example. Click to enlarge.

A more extreme example below. Click here to enlarge. Compare the full-size Shorpy image to the closest match on the LOC site.

Below: Underexposed, strong blue color cast.

Below: A final monochrome example. Negative by Ansel Adams. Click to enlarge.

Glass plate negatives

You do a fantastic job of restoring these photos. I think the glass plate negatives look much better after you restore them than the photos taken on film. I can't believe how good they look. It is like stepping back in time.

Outstanding!

Great photo-fixing, guys, this really makes the whole difference!

Thanks!

Thank you for the work that you do. I'm sure that you get satisfaction from your hobby without regard to the wider web, but I for one have learned a great deal at Shorpy over the past few years. And speaking as a Washingtonian, I find your geographical bias quite pleasing.

Huzzah for Dave, huzzah for Shorpy!

v.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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