Photo Restoration- Definition, How To Guide, Apps and Resources

This entry was posted on August 31, 2022 by Shilpi Roy.

In the days of the yore, a photograph was a celebration and taking it was a mammoth's task, with the vast camera, big lenses, and the issuing paraphernalia. Later it became a way to mark a joyous occasion, often birthdays, anniversaries, and parties, where professionals were paid to freeze our memories in time. Today though, anything and everything is a click away, even a perfect picture (though it might just need more than one click). But the memories of the past are now stored in the age-old albums, where the dust and decay, but most importantly time, fade the colors of the memory landscape. As these problems surfaced, so did the solutions in the form of a not-so-new phenomenon of photograph restoration.

WHAT IS PHOTO RESTORATION?

What is photo restoration ?, Photo restoration simply means that your old photograph is digitalized, and the damaged part is repaired or restored old photos using the software. A physical copy of the old photograph is scanned, and sophisticated techniques are used to fix up the color photo restoration, torn edges, fading, and tears. You can even add the pictures or remove people from the picture if you want. It gives the photograph a modern quality along with preserving its timeless feel. Photo restoration requires skill, even with the use of different applications that have emerged in the market nowadays. You need to know what you are doing while you change the nature of your photo. Let's have a look at what you can and can't do while picturing restoration.

 restoring old photos Image Source: Google(Quality Cameras)

How Do You Digitally Photo Restoration?

With the unlimited variety of photo editing applications available online, it's very confusing to settle on one. Along with that, any person who is inexperienced in the field of photography is likely to have a hard time getting to know the correct measures for everything. Let's begin with a few pointers on how to do this Photo Restoration. It involves the following steps:-

1) SCANNING :


The actual photograph is scanned first. You need it to use the right resolution, color depth, and file type. It is advisable to scan the photo in color picture mode even if it is black and white. It will be easier to fix it if you do so. Also, it helps if you have the negatives of the old photographs. You also must be careful about choosing good Photo Restoration Software to ensure that you get a good quality image to work with. If you don't have scanning software that comes along with the scanner, Vuescan and Silverfast are good options to work with. Be careful to archive a copy of the original scanned photograph before you begin your Picture Restoration task.

2) FADING :


The ink used while printing photographs earlier tends to fade out as time passes. That is why color fading is one of the most common problems faced by an old photo editor. Subtly changing and adjusting the contrast of the picture helps in overcoming the barrier easily. Changes made in the opacity and luminosity proves to be beneficial for any old Photograph Restorers. You can create duplicate layers of the same photograph and adjust them according to your needs.

 how to restore old photos Image Source: Google (damagedphotorepair.com)

3) COLOR CASTS :


The white balance dropper tool is the best way to neutralize color casts in the least amount of time. But this works on a specific selected area of Restoring Old Picture. Automated color correction removes the color casts in the whole picture. But it adjusts contrasts along with color balance. Hence, be careful. Manual correction is also possible where you adjust the color balance of restoration photo.

 photographic restoration Image Source: Google (Youtube)

4) CLONING AND HEALING BRUSH :


Cloning means that a small part of the original scanned photo is copied and pasted over a damaged photo part, essentially duplicating the copied part. This gets harder as the picture gets older. The healing brush is more or less the same, but instead, it replaces the texture and preserves the actual color and luminosity of the Restoration Images.

These are some of the most common problems faced by Photo Restoration. As the picture ages, it becomes hard to Repairing old Pictures, even with the use of highly developed photo restoration software. You can see that even the best photo restoration software cannot fix a picture that is too damaged. But the advanced technology has been able to minimize the harm. Following are some of the best Repairing Photo software available today.

1) Adobe Photoshop

restoring old photos

It's the most important and the most widely used photo restoration software on the market. It costs quite high, but its unique features and ample editing tools are certainly a treat for any photograph restorer. Photo Restoration involves many small tasks depending upon the damaged photo caused to it, and Photoshop addresses most of those needs. The cloning stamp tool is a specialty of the Photoshop Restoration. It is used to copy pixels from one area and remove the damaged photo in the old picture. Professionals also use it for editing pictures. A whole set of photo refinishing tools are available on hand in Photoshop. It has a user-friendly interface, too, which makes it easier to work with. It supports all file formats and is certainly the most popular. But the beginners who don't know head or tail of photo restoration and retouching might best stay away from this app. It's not easy to use for beginners. It is also updated quite regularly, which gives it an edge over all the other photo restoration software.

2) GIMP Photo Restoration Software

how to restore old photos

GNU Image Manipulation Program, popularly known as GIMP is a free Photo Restoration Software. It is a formidable rival to Photoshop with its wide range of tools. The usual editing tools are present in this app, but the Photoshop Restoration Plug-Ins can also be used. It is free of cost and has a user-friendly interface, though it is recommended for experienced users. It is installed without any problems and works well even on the low-power system. It is able to read almost all file formats, and it has an open-source code. You can view as well as modify everything in this app online. Developer support is provided too. The features and tools are amazing, on par with its competitor. But the mobile version has limited functionality, which is a problem easily solved using the paid version. All its superb features are for free on the desktop version.

3) Retouch Pilot

photographic restoration

It is another Photo Restoration Software to fix old photos, but it is more specifically designed for users of digital camera users to enhance any image. It has some quick and basic photo restoration tools. It can remove small technical errors in an image or scratches, stains, hair, and dust particles. It has an extremely user-friendly interface, and its features are organized in a tool palette located on the sides. The workspace sometimes feels cramped, more for vertical pictures, but it is a minor complaint. You have small tutorials designed to clarify the functions for a first-timer. Some functions, like scratch removal, stamp, and patch, are excellent. It also provides a preview of the changes made. The tools are nice, but they are pretty basic for any photo restoration app. Overall, This Photo Restoration Software good for beginners.

4) AKVIS Retoucher

photos restoration software

It is a convenient app used to retouch old photographs, bringing them closer to their original state. It has a graphical interface and an organized layout, which gives you a perfect overview of your restoration photo. It helps in removing dust, scratches, tears, and any other undesirable elements in your photo and helps you add missing parts too. It can remove the date stamp and enlarge the canvas of the photo by filling image patterns in empty areas. It's one of the easiest software to work with and certainly one of the most efficient, too. The price is one-time, and you can use a 10-day trial version too. It is usable as a separate program as well as plug-in foe any other photo editor. It's good at restoring old picture and worth paying for its high price.

5) PhotoScape

restore photograph

This is a product developed by a Korean Company, MOOII Tech. It aims at making the work of photo restoration and retouching easy. It is aimed at color correction rather than digital photo restoration, but it works well. It has an understandable interface. It has top-grade optimization and some really good tools like image-viewer and a screen-capture tool. The filters and effects to are quite good. It is a good choice for beginners and arguably best photo restoration software for faded colors. And the most important, it is FREE!

6) Sketchway

restored photography

This Software uses content filling algorithms for repairing old photographs. These analyze the old picture and reproduce background similar to the original behind the cropped object. It has simple functionality and a user-friendly interface. It can improve brightness along with contrast, adjust sharpness, and remove undesirable objects as well as scratches. It is possible to use it all these functions automatically or adjust each one manually. It's ideal for brightening color and removing unnecessary things. Thus it has some basic, limited photo restoration tools and cannot work too deeply. It is free software too. It cannot compare to its paid counterparts, but it works well.

7) Inpaint Photo Restoration Software

photograph restoration

It is basically designed to remove unwanted elements from any image. Anything, absolutely anything, can be removed from any damage photos - be it people, objects, or animals. It's very effective while removing eye or skin blemishes, too. Logos, signs, date stamps, even watermarks, can be removed. It has another interesting feature called Guideline, where you can draw lines to mark edges of the background and contours so that the software knows where they are. It has a user-friendly interface, and it's great for simple photo restoration tasks. But it is paid software and has a limited number of tools. It costs less in comparison to other Software, and you can also have a free trial. It's a good starting for any beginner in the field of repairing old pictures.

8) Fotor

restoration photos

This one is not specifically designed as photo restoration software, but it has got some tools to fix old damaged photos. It's most noticeable quality is that it is able to support almost all graphic file formats and can even process RAW images. It is certainly not able to compete with Photoshop or GIMP, both of which have a wide array of tools and Plug-ins, but it's great for color correction, white balance adjustment, and somewhat similar tasks in order to fix faded colors and shades. Some added features like cropping, blurring, vignette adding, adjusting sharpness, rotation, adding text red-eye removal are a bonus. It is a safe middle ground between high-end, professional photo restoration software and complex photo editors. Even those who don't have any experience can work with this software, but you must remember that most high-end tools are available in the paid version. The free one is good for basic stuff only.

9) Fotophire Photo Restoration Software

restore old picture

It is a paid Software that has some pretty amazing tools for photo restoration. These include Cutter, Editor, and Eraser. As we know by the name, the Eraser is used to clear the images of unnecessary objects and people from the image. The blemishes, scratches, dust stains an also be removed. The Clone and Crop tools are used for copying part of the original image onto another part or for cropping the image. Along with such tools for photo restoration, Fotophire can also enhance images, add vintage effects, and change the background. With the Fotophire Slideshow Maker, you can create a slideshow of the old photos. It has a lot of great tools, but it's not the best one out there. It is paid software, too, in which you get three programs in a single kit. It is a good one for the amateurs, but the professionals would not find it very satisfying.

10) Corel Paintshop Pro

restoring photos

Corel Paintshop has got some pretty advanced functions in the photo restoration department. It has a user-friendly interface, and it's very easy to manage. Despite this, amateur photo restoration is likely to get a tad bit confused. It provides great resources for anyone to work with old damaged photos. It has tabs with functionally grouped image editing tools, which makes it easy to navigate. The latest update has a one-click picture correction function, which saves a lot of time and effort. Amazing accuracy is possible with HDR or Lens correction tools. The price is quite a bit, but the software that you receive lives up to it. It you are not sure, you can try the 30-day free trial version.
These are some of the leading Photo Restoration Software to restore old photos. But most of them are not easy to use for a novice. You can find various tutorials to edit and restore photographs online. YouTube has a whole set of different channels showing how to restore the damaged photo. So let's now have a look at the top tutorials which might help you restore old photos and retouch an old photograph.

1) Premier Gal

fixing old photo

It is a YouTube channel that has a number of different tutorials regarding the editing of videos and pictures. It also has a video that shows you how to fix Old Damaged Photos using the Adobe Photoshop software. The techniques used include the cloning tool, patch tool, and tool used for cropping the image. The tutorial is short and in most parts very basic but is extremely beneficial for someone who is just starting to work on restoring old photographs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfTTDIjiM4&t=297s

2) Blue Lightning TV Photoshop

photo restoration and retouching

It is another YouTube Channel where you can get a tutorial about fixing and retouching your old torn photos. Detailed instructions are provided through a voiceover. This, too, is a channel that focuses on the area of the photo and video editing, but their photo restoration video is really good to start with. It also uses the Adobe Photoshop software which is pretty standard and uses the patch tool, healing brush tools, and clone tool effectively.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w00EPTRmlHk&t=72s

3) SimpleHow2z

photo restoration online

This is a YouTube channel that simply shows 'How to' videos regarding anything and everything. The old photo restoration video on this channel is really helpful. Again, Adobe Photoshop is used. But the tools used have a wider range than the previous ones, and it shows how to fix the torn edges of old torn photos, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhI4vNNVyo8&t=29s

4) Terry white

restore old photo

This here is a channel on YouTube that shows the functioning of many Adobe software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe InDesign, and of course, Adobe Photoshop. This tutorial was a live video that runs for nearly 2 hours. But the instructions are good and the depth of the use of the software to repair the old torn photos is really quite a lot. It shows the whole range of tools that you have at your disposal for photo restoration in adobe Photoshop.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvmXmLMWd4Q&t=27s

5) Photography Tuts+

restore old photos online

This here is a website, sub-branch of Envato Tuts+ that deals with photography in general. It has a lot of tutorials about capturing and editing pictures and finer workings of the camera, though it does have a number of other tutorials too. The instructions are in the form of a long blog. The one given here is one of the many articles on the subject of how to retouch, repair, recover, and restoring old photographs. Images are added wherever required in order to clarify the steps. Adobe Photoshop is the software used. The use of spot healing brush, clone tool, patch tool, and a number of other features of Photoshop is written in a detailed manner along with accurate instructions. Any beginner might find this a really useful tutorial to work with an old photograph. There is a small recap given at the end, which summarizes the whole article. Any other functions missed out in this article like color corrections are covered in the series. All in all, this is a great written tutorial for any beginner who wishes to start working on restoring old photographs.
https://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/old-picture-new-life-adobe-photoshop-photo-restoration-and-retouching-basics--cms-22757

6) Cambridge in color

restore old photos photoshop

Here is another website focused on the workings of a digital camera. It has tremendous information about photographs and blogs to educate about different types of photography, camera, and lenses, their uses, and the benefits of each one. The website also has an article on photo restoration, fairly detailed, and very much informative. Here you begin with scanning as the first step of restoration where instructions about the use of specific software, resolution, and file type are given in the beginning in order to ensure that you have a great image to work with. The article then covers the standard Photoshop tools like healing brush, clone tool, patch tool. It also helps you adjust the opacity and lightness scales according to the requirement of editing. The images of each task instruction are provided along with the before and after images of the changes made. This helps you understand what exactly to expect when you carry out the given instruction and whether or not you want to use the specific tool. Te links to other articles that might prove to be helpful are given in the article, too. On the whole, it is a pretty decent tutorial which gives valuable instructions.
https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-photo-restoration.htm

7) Adorama

how to restore old photos in photoshop

It is a website that deals with audio, video, photo technology, and accessories required for all of these. Articles about the different gear used while capturing pictures and shooting videos are found on this website. This includes a camera, memory cards, laptop bags, cables, tripods, etc. the website is very useful for their photo restoration article too. It is detailed and has step-by-step instructions about old torn photos. The only disadvantage is that images that show how the actual instructions work out are not added. This complicates the understanding of the reader; it is compensated by in-depth instructions for the specific task. There are links to other useful articles as well as a video of Photo restoration, which explains the process. It can also be found on their YouTube channel Adorama TV.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Pksdbj37CdE00kmE7Z1dw

8) Udemy

old photo restoration near me

Udemy is an online tutorial website which has a course for designing, business, IT & Software, personal development, marketing, and photography. They have a very useful Photo restoration training course conducted by Andy Anderson over 55 sessions of 5 hours each. The medium of instruction is English, and the course covers the restoration of old torn photos using Adobe Photoshop. It is designed for someone who is familiar with the working of Adobe Photoshop and wants to learn photo restoration specifically. It begins by setting up your workspace and goes on to explain simple things like re-eye removal and colorization. Later on, you can learn to reassemble old torn pictures, remove scratches and dust stains, correct the color, exposure, contrast, and how to repair photos or remove details. Adding the finishing touches and also how to vignette the photograph is also taught in this course. It also teaches you how to work with levels and curves. It is a highly useful course if you are planning on doing a restoration of old photographs as a profession. It has a staggering review from all those who have completed the course. The course is paid one, but it is not very pricey and definitely worth the investment.
https://urlzs.com/AL495

9) Lynda.com

restoration of old photos

This is a website associated with LinkedIn Learning where you can do online courses regarding various software, video, and picture editing, writing, and various other business, technology, and creative skills that help to adapt to the changing needs of professional world or add to your personal sets of skills. It has personal, government, and corporate memberships for those who wish to learn these skills. Their photo restoration course is a series of small tutorials, each focusing on one aspect of the whole process. Neil Rhodes, who is a professional photo restoration shows how to work with these damage photos, what precaution to take, and what changes to be made to enhance the photograph. Adobe Photoshop is the standard software used, and the videos last from 50 seconds to 5 minutes. This is a paid course to be done online through you can save these videos offline for further use. It has been organized into five stages, which include evaluation and planning, correcting the stains and fades, restoring the physical damage, completing photo restoration and conclusion. There are about 15 videos taking about 35-40 minutes in all. It is a really well-planned course and a very useful skill to have.
https://www.lynda.com/learning-paths/Photography/become-a-photo-restoration-specialist

10) Skillshare

old picture restoration

Skillshare has courses for many aspects- drawing, painting, singing, photography, videography, wiring, hand lettering, and whatnot. It also has software, technology, and business-related tutorials which may help you in standing up on your own feet. The photo restoration course is a series of videos explaining the working of Adobe Photoshop and how to use them for restoration. It is titled Photo Restoration- Rejuvenating Family Treasures and is taught by Gregory Young. It has about 8 videos lasting for 45 minutes, each covering a different aspect of photo restoration. It even has assignments for testing your skills, which you can get 'checked.' The premium paid version of the website is required to watch these videos. The website gives you ample knowledge about photo restoration which is a great skill to have under your belt.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Skillshare

These tutorials are certainly useful for anyone who wishes to restore and edit the damage photos. But not everyone has the willingness to do so or time to learn to do this long and sometimes tiresome work. That is when we enter for your service. We provide excellent photo restoration facilities, but instead of digitally editing and repairing your damaged photos, we convert them into paintings. They turn into these amazing art pieces which sustain that old vintage charm and yet look brand new as yesterday. Do have a look at our gallery where we have a display of the pictures we have made into artworks that cherish your memories. Get a photo restored from Mavenart and make your old photographs look old and new at the time.

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