Ray Simone is an expert at restoring old, degrading photographic neighborhoods, sometimes pixel-by-pixel for up to 40 hours apiece, to high definition and quality. Ray’s methods only work on original negatives, which are easily found in garage sales and flea markets in the Big Apple, and he prefers photos from the 1920s or earlier. Ray does not like the way the city has changed since the period of some of his photographs, deeming it too sanitized and sterile, and lacking the variety and authenticity of earlier periods.
- Photographer Ray Simone started collecting photographs when he was 10. During the 90’s, he used to work for free.
- He collects the negatives he restores from antique stores and garage sales.
- He is cautious about buying negatives online because they are mostly fakes, or copy negatives. It’s easy to get ripped off online.
“Born-and-raised Manhattanite Ray Simone has a native knowledge of New York, as well as an intimate understanding of its past lives. When he’s not taking current photos of the city, he’s in his Williamsburg studio, restoring its past, negative by negative to shocking quality.”