Old images are always a gateway to the memories that you value but in course of time, it may fade or obliterate because of innumerable reasons. The good news is that now you have amazing options by which images can be repaired and restored.

Image restoration tips and tricks

Tips for photo restoration

Photoshop is a great tool that helps you restore old photos that have some value attached with them. It is obviously a challenging task, both artistically and technically. But a lot of companies offering image repair services exist who can bring back to you restored digital photos with perfection.

Below are 3 of those extraordinarily operative tips that an ideal service provider must stick to

  1. Follow a plan that is consistent

    Before starting to work, decide how you want your image to ultimately appear. Frame a structured plan according to that and you will surely get the desired outputs. Normally professionals scan the photo, create a Photoshop file and lock the repair that may change. Cleaning is the next step in which all issues such as blemishes, marks, lint, dust and debris are removed. It is followed by the repairing phase where fixing the bent corners, covering scratches, hiding holes, repairing tears and similar issues are dealt with.

  2. Clone stamp must be optimally used

    Most of the old photos that reach a professional company offering image restoration services are damaged and blemished. Mastering clone stamp tool eases your process of restoring them. Great outputs can be obtained in a really shorter time period if you can use this tool effectively. You may find it hard to spot the issues in a scanned image in its actual size. So, have a magnified view for it and then the problems appear clearly to you. While using clone stamp vary the brush size so as to exactly cover the area that you want to operate on. Assure that you correctly use the matching colour, texture and tone of the source area that you would like for your target area.

  3. Make the most of Masks

    If you are planning to make some adjustment to the whole photo, it can be perfectly done without any hitches. However if adjustments are to be made only for a selected portion, other parts of the image need to be masked and blocked from the changes that you intend to make. Mask tool is the best option for you to make this happen with faultlessness. This is really a powerful feature that can help you immensely when it comes to digital photo restoration. Most of the professional companies testify the same.

You can use Photoshop to restore old photos to their past glory. We have covered the steps that you should follow for an efficient photo restoration in Photoshop.

How to Restore Old Pictures in Photoshop

Retouching old photos in Photoshop is an art as well as a science, which you should master in order to generate high-quality outcomes. Here are the steps that you should follow to restore old photos Photoshop:

  1. Transform the old photo into its digitized version.

    Get the photo scanned in order to create its digital version. This can be done in three ways. First, you may use a common photo scanner. Second, you may use a digital camera to click a shot. Third, you may consider using a scanner app of your smartphone. You should make sure that you generate a high-quality click that can you can work on easily.

  2. Click open the file in Photoshop.

    Start by opening the digital version in Photoshop. Next, generate another image copy while retaining the original copy. Here are the steps to duplicate an image using Photoshop:

    • Go to the Layers panel and choose a layer.
    • Pull the layer to the ‘Create a New Layer’ option.
    • You may also select the ‘Duplicate Layer’ option on the Layers menu.
    • Name your layer and then select ‘OK’ when you select the ‘Duplicate Layer’ option.

    You will find the eye icon to the left portion of the original layer. Click on that icon. When you select this icon, the layer will not show up in the panel.

  3. Image Cropping, Straightening, and Rotating

    It is a good idea to ensure that the image that you would be working on is clean and appropriately oriented. If you find any white space, you may choose to crop it off.

    • Select the Crop icon that you can find in Photoshop’s workspace.
    • Create a new cropping portion or pull the crop box edges to the intended positions.
    • You can crop the image by pressing Enter if you are using Windows or select ‘Return’ if you are using Mc OS.
    • If you need to print an old image, you may keep the aspect ratios proportional by using the Crop menu.
    Steps to straighten a twisted image:
    • Select the Straighten icon after clicking on the Crop menu.
    • Pull a line along a vertical/horizontal element in the image.
    • Release the mouse allowing Photoshop to perform image rotation and cropping of uneven borders.
    • Click on Enter when you feel everything is okay. When you activate the Delete Cropped Pixels checkbox, the excess image portion will get eliminated.
    Rotating your image:

    You can rotate an image using Photoshop’s Image Rotation setting or the Edit menu’s Transform function.

    Steps to rotate an image using the Image Rotation option:

    • Go to the Taskbar and click on Image.
    • Click on ‘Image Rotation’.
    • Select your desired rotation.

    Steps for image rotation directly from the Edit menu:

    • Select an image by clicking.
    • Go to the Edit menu, then select Transform.
    • Choose desired rotation.
  4. Review to look for potential areas of correction.

    Look through the image carefully to find out if you need to make corrections or adjustments. The present status of your image will determine if you can implement desired changes.

  5. Make appropriate modifications to the image

    You can do this in two ways. One, by modifying the image’s color and two, by rectifying its damaged areas.

    Here’s how you can remove color casts:

    • Highlight the duplicated layer and then click on the adjustment layers icon.
    • Select Levels from the adjustment layer menu.
    • To modify your photo’s RGB levels, select the dedicated tab. You will see the RGB menu.
    • Check the color options, then pull the white and black sliders to the upward line of the histogram.
    • When you complete modifying the RGB levels, select the Layers panel for exit.
    • Highlight the duplicate the adjustment layers, then right click on the portion and select Merge Layers to join the two layers.
    Fixing the damaged spots

    You can fix unwanted spots, scratches, and marks using the Spot Healing Brush, the Clone Stamp, and the Patch Tool.

    How to use the Spot Healing Brush:
    • Select the Spot Healing Brush tool in the toolbox.
    • Select your preferred brush size from the options menu.
    • Make a selection from the Create Texture, Proximity Match, or Content-Aware Type options.
    • Select or exclude the Sample All Layers option if you wish to select data from all layers or a single active layer.
    • Select the spot that should be fixed, or use the click-and-drag feature of a larger portion.
    Steps to use the Patch Tool:
    • Click on the Patch Tool.
    • Select the sample section by dragging and clicking on the Destination option.
    • Adjust the selected portion by using the Shift-drag, Alt-drag/Option-drag combinations.
    • Select Transparent when you have to extract a transparent texture from the selected portion, or place the sample portion over the target portion by deselecting it.
    • Work on the Diffusion slider to modify it.
    • Put the pointer within the selected portion, then pull it into the sampled portion.
    Steps to use the Clone Stamp:
    • Go to the toolbox and select the Clone Stamp icon.
    • Select an appropriate brush size. Access the options bar to fix the brush’s flow, blending mode, and opacity.
    • Use the Sample options to promote pixel alignment and layer sampling.
    • Apply Alt+Click on a clean portion that needs to be cloned.
    • Pull the cursor over the damaged portion to get it painted with the cloned pixels from your sampling section.
  6. Decrease noise by applying a filter.

    • Select Filter from the taskbar.
    • Click on the ‘Convert to Smart Filters option’.
    • Return to the Filter tab, select Noise and then click on Dust & Scratches.
    • Use the pop-up window and then increase the Radius pixels and Threshold levels in small amounts gradually.
    • Then select OK.
    • Return to Filter, select Noise, and then click on Reduce Noise.
    • Modify the settings in the pop-up window while focusing on the Preview box to keep track of the impact of every modification.
  7. Save the restored image.

    When you feel satisfied with the result, eliminate the original layer. Next, follow the following steps to save the new image.

    • Go to the taskbar, then select File, and then click on Save As.
    • Select your desired image format from the Format menu.
    • Denote the location and filename.
    • Choose your desired saving option from the Save As option.
    • Select the Save button to store the new photo.

Always remember to keep saving the changes made. Some images may heavily resist restoration and the best thing to do in that case is to protect and restore whatever you can.
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