PHOTO EDITING

photo editing

Specialist Egyptology-, archaeology- and heritage-related photo editing

Having beautiful, high-quality photos in your book or on your website or blog can make you stand out in today’s saturated retail outlets and social media channels.

To get your photos that stand-out look, they need work doing on them after they come out of the camera. But, photo editing can be time-consuming, as well as frustrating if you don’t have appropriate software or editing skills.

If you have photos you want to use in a printed publication – a book, a magazine or a journal – or for using online, I can edit them and get them ready to go for you so you can focus on your writing, editing, research or that day out with the kids you’ve been meaning to do for months.

GET IN TOUCH

ARTEFACTS

Photos of artefacts from digs or museum collections

Architecture and sites

Photos of tombs, temples and other ancient sites

Documentary

Behind-the-scenes photos from your dig, the museum or an event

If your photos are:

  • not looking quite right because the camera misjudged the light, or the settings weren’t quite right
  • in RAW format and need to be processed
  • scanned from negatives or prints and need editing or the colour correcting
  • looking pretty decent but just need a little extra to get them looking just-so
  • in colour, but you want some of those classy black and white shots
  • artefacts with backgrounds that need to be removed

… then I’m here to help.

From across the heritage board, I can work with photos of artefacts, of ancient sites and documentary photos of your archaeological dig, event or conference, and behind-the-scenes photos from the museum galleries and stores.

Black-and-white conversion (hover/tap to see after editing)

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Background removal

Sometimes you don’t need or want full editing. All you need is the artefact(s) you’ve photographed on a plain, clean background. Perhaps you were visiting a museum for research and didn’t have access to a full photographic studio or were limited with the time you had. Perhaps you had to take quick snaps from a table in the corner of a storeroom with your mobile phone.

Or maybe you just don’t have the correct equipment or Photoshop skills to get yourself where you want to be.

Although you’ve managed to get the photographs you need, they don’t look great with all that other stuff around them, and you’ll be needing them for your book or journal article – perhaps laying them out as plates – or you want to use them in social media posts. That’s where you can make use of my background-removal service.

From just £3.00 per photo, I’ll cut the background away from the object, replace it with a plain white or transparent background and then crop down to trim away the excess blank space.

You’ll end up with photos that are optimised for laying out on the page or adding into your social media posts and website.

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(hover/tap to see the 'after' photo)

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(hover/tap to see the papyrus after repair)

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Specialist papyri work

As well as general photo editing, I work with fragmented papyri in Photoshop to try to repair them digitally by bringing pieces back together. If you’re unable to have your papyri restored by a specialist conservator, then this is a great option for both print and digital publishing.

I’ve written a blog post, Repairing papyri in Photoshop, which outlines the process. If you have papyrus you need work doing on, you can email me using the button below or the contact form at the top of this page.

PRICING

Photo editing

5 hours

Five hours of editing time on your photos
£ 150
00
  • Improve tone, contrast and exposure
  • Remove colour casts
  • Remove backgrounds from around artefacts
  • Straighten wonky composition and crop to improve framing
  • Reduce or add noise/grain
  • Add border elements such as a vignette or edge
  • Convert colour to black and white
  • Add information such as accession number and provenance to file metadata

15 hours

Fifteen hours of editing time on your photos
£ 450
00
  • Improve tone, contrast and exposure
  • Remove colour casts
  • Remove backgrounds from around artefacts
  • Straighten wonky composition and crop to improve framing
  • Reduce or add noise/grain
  • Add border elements such as a vignette or edge
  • Convert colour to black and white
  • Add information such as accession number and provenance to file metadata
Save £50

30 hours

Thirty hours of editing time on your photos
£ 800
00
  • Improve tone, contrast and exposure
  • Remove colour casts
  • Remove backgrounds from around artefacts
  • Straighten wonky composition and crop to improve framing
  • Reduce or add noise/grain
  • Add border elements such as a vignette or edge
  • Convert colour to black and white
  • Add information such as accession number and provenance to file metadata
Save £100

If the time you bought isn’t enough, I can either stop when the time is up, you can top-up with another set of hours, or I can finish the work at my standard rate of £30.00 per hour.

If you have a large project, we can negotiate an overall fee. However, if the scope of the work is much greater than originally anticipated, we can either streamline what work needs to be done or renegotiate the fee.

Project work will require a deposit of 30% of the estimated project fee before I start. I can provide a no-obligation estimate free of charge.

Background removal

Apart from complex work, background removal is priced per photo. Photos with several artefacts in them cost more for the simple fact that they’ll take me longer to do.

  • Photos with 1-2 objects £3.00 per photo
  • Photos with 3-5 objects £7.00 per photo
  • Photos with 6-10 objects £15.00 per photo

Photos with more than 10 objects, or containing objects that are complex to cut out (such as papyrus with ragged edges), are priced at £30 per hour.

My background removal service is designed to be quick and straightforward. If you need more than just background removal, you’ll need the full editing service.

All work will require a deposit of 30% of the estimated project fee before I start. I can provide a no-obligation estimate free of charge.

Some subtle work on contrast, tone and detail (hover/tap to see after editing)

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(hover/tap to see the 'after' photo )

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You can send me your photos as JPG, RAW, Photoshop or TIFF. I prefer to work with RAW files or TIFFs rather than JPG if you have them, because they’re more flexible when it comes to processing capabilities. However, I can work with whatever you’ve got.

Many email packages limit the size of attachments you can send and receive to around 10 MB. The best way to get your photos to me is to either use a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or send me a link to a shared folder in Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive. Alternatively, you can send me a CD-ROM or pen drive. If you’re not sure how to use online folders or file-transfer sites, just let me know and I can run through it with you.

No. I’m not a portrait retoucher; there are a lot of skilled people out there who can do that kind of work for you. I also don’t do things like change skies for more dramatic/pretty ones, take elements out of photos (such as people or buildings) or add in clouds, sun bursts or other decorative elements. Apart from background removal and adding a frame border (if requested), I just work with what’s there.

No. Although copyright laws vary from country to country, I don’t gain any rights to your photos unless you legally sign them over to me. I wouldn’t ever try to claim rights to your photos. On occasion, I might ask if I can share a photo on social media or in a blog post or gallery on this website as a way of sharing what I’m doing with my followers, but I will only do so with your express permission, and photos will always be credited to you, with links to your website and/or social media profiles, if you wish.

Yes, of course! If you’ve been on holiday, especially if you spent your holiday visiting heritage sites, museums and galleries, I can edit your photos for you. Or if you’ve been to see an exhibition at a museum or gallery, throw them my way.

It’s up to you how you want your photos returned. I can save them in the same format you sent them (or PNG for transparent backgrounds), or I can create multiple versions, such as a TIFF and a JPG, for you. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you send me JPGs, then JPG or PNG’s how I’ll return them, as you won’t gain any image quality by ‘upscaling’ the file format to a TIFF or Photoshop file. You’ll just end up with much larger sized-files without any improvement to the photo itself. We can discuss file formats in more detail when you contact me.

It really depends on how many photos you need edited, what you need doing to them and what else I have on at the time. It’s something we’ll talk about when you get in touch. If you have an urgent job, please do ask, but there may be a surcharge for going to the top of the list.

Please don’t send me your only copy of your photos. Always have your photos stored in at least two different places, such as on a hard drive and in cloud storage. Send me a copy. I will then keep the files you send me and create new versions of the edited photos, in case I need to go back to square one with any of the photos. Once I’ve sent the edited photos back to you and you’re happy with them, I’ll delete the original, unedited files you sent me and archive the edited photos for six months before deleting them.

I can do some editing on old photos in the same way I would with new. I can also crop them down to remove rough edges and clean up things like dust spots. I don’t currently restore damaged or torn parts of photos, or add colour to black and white images. However, this is a service I hope to make available in the future.

It depends. Some things can be sorted out, some can’t. I can only work with what’s already there. If your camera has focussed in the wrong place or you moved the camera as you took the photo, making your subject blurry, there’s not much I can do. Photoshop has some capabilities for sharpening, but it only goes so far and can quickly look garish and harsh. I can brighten dark photos, but the darker they are, the more grain or ‘noise’ you’ll get in the photo. And some details may just not be recoverable from the shadows. I can improve composition and straighten wonky photos for you. I can’t (unfortunately!) get rid of glass reflections, no matter how hard I try. I can reduce the glare a little, but once they’re there, they’re there. If you have some problem photos, drop me a line and I’ll see if they’re something I can work with.

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

As part of my research at the British Museum into the small finds recovered by Flinders Petrie from the site of Tell Nabasha in 1888, I needed to photograph roughly 300 objects for publication. While I took the photos myself, they were rather rough and also impacted by the lighting conditions in the Study Room (not the greatest). As such, I contacted Julia and asked her to edit the object photographs, remove their background and replace it with a white background so they could be more easily grouped in plates. Julia worked very quickly and the results are absolutely excellent. She set up a dedicated cloud drive for the images which meant I could essentially get to the images in real time as they were being edited and build up the plates. It was an excellent experience and some beautiful results!

Dr Nicky Nielsen, Lecturer in Egyptology, University of Manchester

In the toolbox

I work primarily with Adobe Photoshop CC – the industry-leading photo-editing software – and Adobe’s file management software, Bridge, to add metadata. I can also work with Lightroom when needed.

I use monitor calibration software to keep my monitor’s display of colours consistent and accurate.

When working with JPGs, I use a piece of software called JPEGMini to minimise file sizes. JPEGMini compresses JPGs without having an impact on the image quality. The smaller file sizes you end up with save on hard-drive space and, for images used online, help your website run faster.

READY TO TALK?

If you have photos you need editing for a project and you’d like to find out if we’d work well together, please send me an email to start a no-obligation chat by clicking on the contact button. I promise I won’t then use your details to spam the hell out of you.

Need more than just photo editing?

I also do artefact photography and book layout/typesetting. To find out more, please click on one of the buttons below.