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How to Restore your Old-Worn out Photographs using Proper Tools?

Last updated: January 4th, 2014

Old photographs have so many memories attached to them. They instantly transport you to a bygone era, making you nostalgic and contemplative. It is, thus, always exciting to suddenly discover a forgotten old picture or two in the attic. However, one common problem associated with such photos is their poor quality or condition. They are usually full of scratches and creases, which make preservation a tricky affair.

Photo Editing Tools
Photo Editing Tools

But, thankfully, there are many photo editing services in the market, which are primarily concerned with restoring old and damaged photographs and making them clearer and better. However, if you do not want to pay for it, you can opt for any picture-editing software which does the same thing albeit free of cost. Let us first have a look at the usual features you can expect to get in any standard image editing software:

Layers: With it, elements in your digital picture can be stacked on top of each other. None of the elements is dependent on any other element. The manner of manipulation of the layered elements can be determined by the application.

Filters: Thanks to filters, special effects can be applied to a layer or element of a chosen image. It should be mentioned in this context that filters can be of many types and different software apps offer different types of filters. “Plug-in” filters are also sold by many third-party software companies for various picture-editing apps. Some of the most common filters, which can be found in any picture-editing program, are sharpening, noise, pixelation, image distortion, painterly effects, and blurring filters.

Selection tools: This is inclusive of tools that enable you to select elements on an individual layer or within your photo. Some of the things you can expect to find here are a magic wand, a rectangle, a lasso, a pen tool, and an oval. As far as the number and names of tools are concerned, it depends on the chosen software.

Contrast and brightness: Old photos could be dark and dull. However, you can enhance their appearance by adjusting the slightness or darkness with the help of contrast and brightness. It also allows you to alter the relationship of dark and bright areas by decreasing or increasing the difference between them.

Color adjustments: It allows you to adjust the colors (blue, green, red, or all at once) of the layers or elements of your photos. One common feature of this tool is “sliders” for blue, green, red, yellow, magenta and cyan.

With the help of these features, you can bring an old photograph back to life again. There is no need to hire photo editing services for the purpose. For instance, if elimination of dust marks, creases and scratches is your motto, this is what you need to do:

  • Select the appropriate cloning tool.
  • Take your cursor to the area near the spot, crease or scratch so that a sample of the surrounding place can be taken. This is important because this sample has to be used for covering up the spot, crease or scratch so that it easily blends in.
  • The next step involves pressing the Alt key and clicking on the sample area.
  • Select a brush size from the Brushes Palette, that is similar to the scratch in width.
  • The cloning tool now has to be placed over the scratch.
  • The process should be repeated for each of the problem areas you have until you are totally satisfied.

Again, if you are interested in color correction, this is how it should be done:

  • The feature of color adjustment in your software has to be selected first, such as Auto Levels or Instant Fix command. Certain software programs come with the facility of allowing you to preview the adjustment or change before any alteration is accepted.
  • Continue to adjust the color till you are 100% satisfied.

Thus, restoring an old photograph is not a Herculean task. You can easily avoid hiring any photo editing services to do the job. All you need is a little knowledge and some practice. Make sure to save the original photograph before you make any changes to it, so that if there is any mistake, you can always revert to the original one.

About Author: This guest post is penned by Aditi Datta. She is a Professional blogger and an adept photo editor. She has provided a handful number of tips and guidelines on restoring old photos and photo editing tips through her researched works on professional photo editing services. She also works for a Professional and Leading Photo Editing Company in India.

Vaibhav S
Myself, Vaibhav S is a Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechnoGiants, working Software Professional, and an avid lover of Software's and Web Services. I love computers and also love to write and share about Tech-related Stuff, Computers etc with others.
http://technogiants.net/

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