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Gear you need to start retouch old photographs

Almost all of us have old pictures at home. They depict little us, our parents, our grandfathers and grandmothers, and some of us even retain photos of their great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers. Even in this case, when the family treated their photo archive extremely cautious and careful, some of the photos for various reasons are broken down. Therefore, unfortunately, the quality of many pictures is far from ideal, but it is explained by the incorrect storage of such photos. Our parents regularly reviewed photos, moved them from one album to another, and sometimes the pictures were in disorder at all in a carton. After this any photo will start to deteriorate. Cracks begin to appear, scratches, torn off corners; and color images in a long while at all discolored. Previously the photo masters made touch up old photos by hand, after the film developed, the retoucher with a special brush painted over the defects of the photos.

That's why some of the old photos already get into our photo albums in such a way as an inheritance from our deceased relatives. Some simply fade from time, becoming brittle and crumbly, cracking, being originally printed not in the best conditions, not on the best photographic materials. In regards to other photos, they can disappear at all.


As a rule, there are no photographic films and slides, which were once made the retro-shots that are getting easily torn. And there is nothing to re-print the photo. But some photos are not just dear to us as a memory; it is often the only photo in a large family, more precisely – in several families, living in different cities, sometimes countries.

Fortunately, in our progressive age, it is possible to restore and reproduce the old photo; useful information can be found in “Where to find restoring old photos in Photoshop services”.


Computer program Adobe Photoshop is ideal not only for editing pictures taken with a digital camera. It is able to improve and old photos made in the last century. They should be scanned beforehand, by digitizing them. After that, there is a huge amount of tools available for retouch old photos in Photoshop.

Gear you need to start retouch old photos


With the invention of scanners, it is possible to restore old photographs. But not everything is as simple as you think. Touching up old photos is a rather complicated process. Be prepared to spend at least one hour of your time processing one image (in advanced cases, the duration of the process increases even more). But first you need to get at least the initial skills of utilizing the program Adobe Photoshop. Exactly with its help that damaged images are restored most often. If you have never launched this graphics editor, then you are facing some difficulties. But if you do not have this time, you can always go to photo services or workshops where people with professional skills will quickly return the life of your photo. But in this case it is necessary to be prudent: before choosing a good service, get acquainted with its photo restoration samples and reviews, in order to understand whether you should trust or not own photos of such a workshop.


However, you must first scan the photo. To do this, any multifunctional device is used (a device that combines the functions of a printer, scanner, facsimile device, copier) or a separate scanner, a device that allows you to render paper documents into digital images. Suitable for this purpose is almost any modern scanner with an optical resolution of the scanning element of 1200 dpi (dots per inch) vertically and horizontally. In many cases, a good original picture for retouch old photos can be obtained at a lower resolution.

Scanning of photos, as well as non-formatted film to A3 format is done with professional scanners – Umax Powerlook III (2400dpi, 42bit, 3,7D) and Microtek 9800XL (2800dpi, 48bit, 3,7D).


If you happen to be lucky, and you found old photographic films in your archives, you can also develop and print photos and maybe you do not even need retouch old photographs, or very minimal actions.

Scanning cut film and film format up to 6x9 cm is done using a professional film scanner – Nikon 8000, dynamic range 4.2D, color depth 42 bit. 

The scanning technologies include:

  • Digital ICE mode – it removes dust, scratches and fingerprints on the scanned images;

  • Digital ROC mode – it restores the lost color, determining the color tone of each image;

  • Digital GEM mode – it aligns the grain of the image.

 When scanning, it is better to use Digital ICE technology, eliminating defects in the negative: scratches, dust, scuffs, etc. Automatic processing of your cadres will make them more saturated, bright, and sharp; remove the negative impact of shooting conditions.


In any case, the scan of the old photo should be made at the maximum resolution settings in color mode to avoid loss. Although the quality of the scanner in the case of damaged photographs is almost independent, but it's enough to scan at a resolution of 600 dpi. In the scan settings, you must select the RGB color mode. And it does not matter that you are going to digitize an old black and white photo. If you scan it in monochrome mode, then you immediately lose the ability to work with red, green and blue channels. And this, in turn, will not allow you to touch up old photos, because you will completely fail to get rid of the old yellowed spots, even if you use all the skills and tools in photo processing programs.


Here it should be noted that all scratches negatively affect the rendering of the picture into digital format. The illumination lamp leaves microscopic shadows from them, which are then clearly visible on the finished image. This problem can easily be solved by repeating the scan. The first time the picture should be placed parallel to the movement of the lamp, and the second time against. In the graphics editor you should then create two layers, on each of them you need to arrange the resulting images. By simple manipulations, the layers are united in one way or another, which will lead to the disappearance of the coarsest marks from scratches and dust.


For a better understanding, look at YouTube different tutorials from both amateurs and professionals (here's one of them “Damage photo repair-Old photo repair in Photoshop-Restore old photos-Old photo restoration Tutorial”), which shows in detail how to properly configure the scanners and other machines and restore the photo.

However, this is only the first step, all kinds of cracks, stains and scrapes in the photo after will remain. To remove them, it's easiest to use one of the built-in filters in Photoshop. After selecting this item, a special window will appear where you can adjust the degree of effect overlap. Of course, in order to improve the image, you should also create a mask on the new layer, on which you want to note the area of application of the effect. This will not brush those places in the picture, which are well preserved.


Retouch old photographs in case of extensive damage

If your old photos are damaged very much, then for their restoration you will have to apply in Adobe Photoshop many filters, masks and effects. For example, you cannot do without the “Clone Stamp Tool”, which is familiar to any professional photographer (with its help you regularly get rid of skin defects). It will also be useful tool “Healing Brush Tool”.


There are specialized applications and programs for retouch old photographs, such as AKVIS Retoucher, but often their tool set differs little from Photoshop tools, and they are not so intuitive. Photoshop photo retouch can be performed by almost any user who is at least a little familiar with this program and no matter on what computer or laptop the action is performed. In this case, an important role is played by sleight of hand and the ability to use the mouse pointing device or carry out actions on the tablet.

The main principle of retouch old photos in Photoshop is the preservation of the original image and intermediate results of the work on separate, successively added layers. Keeping newly created changes on a new layer, you can be sure that you can always go back to the digital original of the photo without retouching or to the step that completely suits you.


By the way, before the beginning of the process of touching up old photos, it is better to transform images into black and white mode. This one action will allow you to get rid of some artifacts. This is done, of course, with a copy of the layer, like everything else.

And the final stage of all these transformations is the printing of photographs. Print the photo on a phase change ink-jet printer using photo paper of the required format. You can also bring the finished results of retouch old photos in Photoshop on the flash memory card in a JPG format to any point where the photo is printed. Typically, when printing on a standard size of 10x15 cm, the quality of the edited photo is much higher than that of a photo without retouching.


Retouch old photos is quite a difficult practice, requiring perseverance and attention. But sometimes the photographer faces completely different tasks. In some cases, the clients want to age a photograph. This is also not the easiest work. Its complexity depends on what the photographer and the client want to achieve. Now a simple transformation of the picture into a vintage photo is done in a couple of minutes. But if the task is to get the effect of aged paper with numerous scratches, dents and cracks, then the process can take half an hour or even longer.

How to make the effect of old photos

The effect of old photos is achieved through the use of background layers with a variety of effects. Also on the image are applied all sorts of filters and styles. As for scratches, for their appearance it is necessary to impose appropriate textures or use special brushes.


Developers try to create for Photoshop a variety of plug-ins that automate some complex actions. One of the plug-ins directly concerns our topic, it's about Filter Force. This plug-in is designed to change photos in the most unusual way, it cannot just retouch old photos, but there are among its features and aging of the cadre. It is discolored, there are numerous scratches on the image, and its edges become darkly impenetrable. The drawback of the plug-in is its high cost. Only a 30-day period of use of this plug-in is available free of charge.

The secret of how to make a photo of the old


But how to make an old photo without Photoshop? After all, not everyone wants to understand the intricacies of this graphic editor. For such people, different online services have been created, which can, among other things, age a cadre. This is done in a couple of clicks. However, it should be remembered that it will not be possible to achieve special originality. The fact is that the online service uses a pre-prepared template. For example, you can make two pictures – they will be very similar to each other. But these services are ideal for use by beginners.

And if you want to refresh your photos, but without the help of retouch old photos in Photoshop, you have time and imagination, then take your children's photos and recreate all the moments of this photo only in adulthood. Now this trend is gaining momentum around the world, take a look at these people who have restored their children's photos “Before after childhood photos - recreate old photos professionally”. Reproduction of those joyful moments of childhood is very fun; it is a good gift to your family and a wonderful memory for yourself.


Curiously, the effect of old photos are now able to use and mobile applications. For example, it is able to do the utility Pixlr-o-matic, created for the Android operating system. The effect is superimposed quite simple, but even this one could only be dreamed of. Smartphones continue to evolve; in the future we are waiting for a huge number of more advanced programs on this topic. Perhaps, you will no longer need the services that touch up old photos; everything will be simplified so much that you can restore already rare photos of your ancestors.

Our restoration of photos is a complex of works on restoration of the damaged photo


Our online service provides various photo restoration services. One of the services is the restoration of old family photos. Retouch of old photographs is the restoration of their original form. Surely in your or your parent photo album there are old photos that in time could lose color, expressiveness, and crack or even tear. Often happens, that the photo is spoiled, in this case there is a necessity to restore a photo, safely to return a picture to a life from that is available. In the process of retouching of the photograph, cracks, scratches are eliminated, the lost details of the image are reconstructed and color correction is performed for fading photos.


Our service employs qualified, experienced designers; with the help of computer processing our masters will restore the old tarnished photos that will fix your family photo album with your unique photos.

The first steps to touching up old photos are:

- Perform high-quality photo scanning;

- Increase the size of the photo;

- Restoration of the original appearance of old photographs: removal of cracks, bruises, dust, scratches, fingerprints, water and ink spots, yellowness of photographs, fuzziness of the background;

- Restoration of faded old photos, editing of exposure, color correction, correction of shadow and light;

- Coloring, coloring of black and white photos, toning in sepia and other shades;

- Restoration of photos in the shortest possible time.


You will get acquainted with our photo restoration prices on the website, we have a transparent pricing policy without hidden surcharges.

In your power to please your relatives, save the most precious moments of life, greatly improve the quality of pictures of your loved ones and people close to you. In each family there are photos of several generations; many modern people can hardly remember their own genealogy at the mention of their ancestors. But our team will help you to save these images, which can be easily shown to family, friends, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



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