Austrian photographer Mario Unger has led an eclectic life, spending 33 years as a music teacher before pivoting his passion toward photography. Now, he has also developed an exceptional set of Photoshop skills and puts them to use restoring and colorizing old photographs.
The transition to photo restoration was quite natural for Unger. “I found an old photograph and thought, I have to learn how to make it look new again,” he tells My Modern Met. For practice, he began sourcing public domain photographs from the Library of Congress and set about honing his craft.
Unger is constantly challenging himself with difficult restorations that he finds online and through clients who send him beloved mementos to repair. The work can take anywhere from three to 40 hours depending on the image and the level of detail required.
Not only is Unger adept at piecing together the details of a photograph in ruins, but he often skillfully applies color. By transforming these black and white images of yesterday into color photographs, he bridges a gap between history and the present day.
When he’s not spending his time working on photo restorations, he’s working on his own photography. Whether that be macro photos of insects, surreal digital art, or stunning landscapes, his work truly proves that he’s a jack of all trades.