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Smart Techniques to Restore Your Old Photos

Smart Techniques to Restore Your Old Photos

Smart Techniques to Restore Your Old Photos
John Mcdermutt
September 5, 2023
Smart Techniques to Restore Your Old Photos

As a photographer, you may have come across clients who want you to help them restore an old or damaged photo.

Maybe they're of their grandparents when they were young, or of a special vacation they took. Whatever the reason, those old photos are important to your clients and you want to do everything you can to protect them.

Photo restoration is a popular editing technique used by many photographers and graphic designers to bring new life to old or damaged photos.

At Invensis, we take a number of ways to approach photo restoration, and the best method will vary depending on the specific photo and the extent of the damage.

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most common techniques that we use for restoring old photos, as well as some tips for getting the best results. With a little care and attention, your old photos can be enjoyed for many years to come.

How to Restore Your Old Photos?

It wasn’t possible to store photographs on memory cards and computers in earlier days. The regular point and shoot cameras came with negative film rolls. Once the entire roll was full, people had to take them to stores to get the film developed.

After that, the photos were printed and tucked into photo albums to store the captured memories. You must have seen how your parents keep those albums safe so that you can rejuvenate the past.

However, the printed photographs have a limited lifespan and cannot remain intact and new for years since the ink and photo paper in earlier days was not as good as they are now. If you lay your hands on any antique family album, you will notice how the pictures have deteriorated.

You will also find some photographs with tattered edges and faded ink. Moreover, some of them might also have stains and scratches on significant portions. And the best thing about old photographs is that you can restore them.

This article tells you about restoring your old photographs. Keep reading until the end to learn the correct techniques. But first, let us check why restoring old photographs is essential? Let’s get started.

Restoring Old Photographs - Why Should You Do Them?

Some photographs contain memories, while others contain critical historical moments. Even though we don’t realize this consistently, we’re always capturing something or the other that might interest the younger generations.

But it is not possible to keep everything intact. So you will need to cull some and keep the rest. But how would you know which ones to keep and which to discard? You can select some photographs which are valuable and contain raw memories.

While selecting the photographs, you might come across some tattered and stained photographs. Questions like these will pop in your head instantly:

  • Will you discard them? 
  • What if they have historical importance? 

So, it will be much better to use the simplest method of restoring them and preserving them digitally for years.

Ways to Restore Your Old Photographs

First of all, complete photo restoration can be highly time-consuming; nevertheless, it is essentially a rewarding experience. In this article, we will provide you an incredible walk-through of the techniques of restoring old photographs. Even if you’re a beginner, you can easily enhance images by following these steps.

But in case you are running out of time, you can leave it to pro editors like Invensis. We have a skilled and efficient team who can fix and restore vintage photographs and bring them back to life. So before we can begin, let us make you familiar with some tools on Photoshop CC.

Restore Your Old Photographs with Photoshop CC Tools

After opening the Photoshop software, you will find many tools collated in the toolbox window. Now, you should do the following:

  • Click on the icons
  • Activate them
  • Start using  them for editing your pictures

Remember that the toolbox window might differ according to the Photoshop version. Switching to the expert mode will reveal all the available tools for photo restoration. Some tools that you’ll be using for photo restoration are:

  • Smart Brush

This tool helps make particular hue and tonal adjustments to specific parts of your image. You can also use it to remove any significant damages and scratches.

  • Clone Stamp

It helps in painting your image by making use of another sample. You can use this to duplicate photo objects and remove marks and imperfections.

  • Burn

This tool helps darken specific areas of your image to bring out other significant details.

  • Spot Healing Brush

With this tool, you can easily remove spots and unwanted objects within the image. It is somewhat similar to the patch tool.

  • Elliptical Marquee

This tool helps make a circular selection on any desired area of your image.

Our photo editors and designers are pros at using state-of-the-art editing tools. We can provide you with guidance and support to ensure that your precious memories are preserved flawlessly.

Step-By-Step Guide to Restoring Old Photographs

Adobe Photoshop is undoubtedly the best software for restoring old photos by preserving the original image. You can enhance them digitally and share them over social networking platforms without causing any physical damage. You can even keep a printed version of your restored photographs.

Let us now check out the basic steps of restoring an old photograph:

Step 1: Scan Image

The first thing you need to do is collate all the photographs you want to restore. After that, you need to scan the images to edit the digital versions. If you don’t have a scanner at home, you can get your pictures scanned from a local service provider.

And if that is not possible, you can choose to take a picture with a high-definition camera. But try to get it scanned wherever possible as your photograph will have better quality.

Step 2: Prepare and Crop

After scanning all the old photos, you will have to store them on your computer. Then, you need to open the digital file on Adobe Photoshop to start with the restoration.

If required, you can:

  • Rotate the image before cropping.
  • Use the crop tool to cut the image to your desired size. 
  • Make sure that your image has a resolution of at least 300 dpi. This will give your photograph the exact width and length when you reprint the photo.

And if the resolution is lower, your photo will be of a smaller size and vice versa. So it is best to maintain the standard size so that you don’t have trouble while framing it.

Step 3: Formulate a New Layer

The original image file in Photoshop is known as the Background layer. We recommend not to start your editing on the background layer itself. Instead, you can create a layer and start your editing there. This will help you to make certain adjustments during the restoration procedure.

After editing, clicking on the eye icon will automatically hide the background.

Step 4: Repair Tears and Damages

If your photograph has any tears or tattered ends, you can quickly fix them. You can select individual pieces and paste them into separate layers using the lasso tool. And if there is any missing part, you can use the Clone Stamp tool to cover them.

Step 5: Eliminate Dust and Scratches

Old photographs usually have dust and scratches. Under the Noise section, you will find Dust and Scratches. By making manual adjustments, you can make your photo look clearer. You can also use a healing brush to correct the remaining flaws.

Step 6: Reduce Some Noise

If your image has intense grains, you can quickly reduce them with the noise reduction tool. But make sure you don’t overuse it and make your picture look unnatural.

Step 7: Amplify the Vibrancy and Tone

To restore the original color of your photograph, you can use simple color correction tools. These tools are usually automatic, so they adjust the color tone accordingly.

Step 8: Make Some Colour Correction

You might feel that the colour of your image is still not perfect and would like to enhance it further. By using manual selection tools, you can fix the image colour.

Step 9: Add Colour

If you have a black and white photograph, you might want to colour it. By uUsingrush with solid colour adjustment layers, quickly add colours.

Step 10: Apply a Vignette

If you wish to make the subject of your photo look brighter, you can add a vignette. This will allow you to highlight the subject in your image.

Step 11: Save the Changes

After you have made the necessary changes and are satisfied with your work, you need to save the changes. If you save it in jpg and png formats, it will merge the layers. So make sure you save it in PSD format to make additional edits further.

Why Choose Invensis for Digital Photo Restoration Services?

At Invensis, we digitally restore your old, torn, and damaged photos to their original form. Our professionals have expertise in retouching and restoring old images, no matter how bad their condition is. In addition, we have the efficiency of fixing any discolorations and damage to your precious photographs. Whether it is wedding photos, photos from an event, or even portraits, we have got you covered. 

We have the expertise to enhance the quality of your old photographs. Thus it allows you to save all your photographs digitally for years. So availing of our digital photo restoration services, you can get all your old photographs repaired.

To Conclude

Now that you are familiar with the techniques of restoring your photographs, start doing them today. You can keep the digital versions of your old pictures safe and flip through them whenever you wish to. So for photo restoration, you can either follow these steps or associate with Invensis for digital photo restoration services. Click here to check out the other services we have in-store.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. All my photo albums were drenched in last year’s flood. Can I get the damaged photos fixed and restored?

Yes, retaining your damped and wet photos is possible. It can be done by cropping out all the damaged areas and rebuilding the surrounding image.

2. Can heat-damaged and sun-damaged photos be restored?

Yes, they can be fixed and restored. We will re-apply color tones, make color corrections to look their best, correct the damaged areas and do some final retouching on the photos.

3. Can it be restored if I have an old picture on my phone?

Yes, there is a possibility of getting it restored. However, the results might not be as accurate as those from hard copy photographs. But we can still make some significant improvements.

4. How long does it take to restore photos?

The professionals of Invensis have the efficiency in delivering with a turnaround time of 24 hours quickly. But it might take longer if the photographs are highly damaged.

5. Is it possible to keep the digital versions of both original and restored photographs?

Yes, for sure! As they are your personal property, you can have whatever you like.



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