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How to Restore Old Photos Using Adobe Photoshop

You may have old photos in your possession that are torn, faded, or otherwise damaged. If you want to preserve these memories for future generations, then you need to learn how to restore them using Adobe Photoshop. In this article I will show how to fix a faded photo in photoshop and how easy it is when you know how!

Scan Your Old Images

If you have the original photo in physical form, you can scan it into your computer. If you don’t have the physical photo anymore, then you can find a high-resolution digital image of it online and use that instead.

Ideal Resolution

The ideal resolution for working on photos in Adobe Photoshop is 300 pixels per inch. If your image is scanned or downloaded at a lower resolution than this, you can always increase the size of the image without losing any quality. However, it’s important to note that increasing the size of an image will also increase the file size, so make sure you have enough storage space available on your computer before starting to work on your photo.

Use A Color Scanner

If you have a color scanner, use it to scan your photos. This will give you the best results, as black and white scanners can often produce poor-quality images.

Use TIFF Format

When you are scanning your photos, make sure that the file format is set to TIFF. This will ensure that no compression occurs during the transfer process and that all of the original image data remains intact.

Repair Damage In Your Old Images

Now that you have your scanned image open in Adobe Photoshop, it’s time to start repairing any damage that may be present.

Remove Dust And Dirt

Use the Clone Stamp tool to remove any dust or dirt from your photo. This tool allows you to clone pixels from one area of an image and paint them over another area. so simply select a clean area of the photo to use as your source, then click and drag over the dust or dirt particles to erase them.

Fix Faded Colors

One of the most common problems with old photos is that the colors have faded over time. You can use the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to fix this problem. With this adjustment layer selected, move the Saturation slider all the way to the left, then slowly drag it back to the right until you achieve a good color balance.

Remove Lines And Streaks

If there are any lines or streaks in your photo that shouldn’t be there (such as creases from being folded), use the Clone Stamp tool to remove them. This is how you do it: select an area of clean space next to where the line appears and clone over it so that when you release your mouse button, no line remains visible anymore.

Using Several Different Photoshop Tools

Alongside the tools outlined previously, here are the main tools you should be leveraging in Adobe Photoshop as you restore your old images:

  1. The Clone Stamp tool is perfect for repairing damage such as dust, dirt, and fading colors.
  2. Healing Brush Tool: If there are any blemishes or unwanted objects in your photo, the Healing Brush tool can help to remove them quickly and easily.
  3. Spot Healing Brush Tool: This is a more specific version of the Healing Brush tool that is designed for removing small spots and imperfections from an image.
  4. Crop Tool: Use the Crop tool to straighten crooked photos or to trim away excess areas that you don’t want included in your final image.
  5. Paint Bucket Tool: The Paint Bucket tool can be used to fill in large areas of uniform color very quickly and.
  6. Pencil Tool: The Pencil tool is useful for touching up small areas of your photo.
  7. Eraser Tool: The Eraser tool can be used to remove pixels from an image, or you could use it in combination with the Brush and Pen tools to create custom shapes that are applied over parts of your old photos.

Restore Accurate Color

Often, when you are restoring an old photo, the colors in the image will be slightly off. You can use the Levels adjustment layer to fix this problem. With this adjustment layer selected, move the black and white input levels sliders until you have achieved a good color balance.

Auto Color Correction

If the colors in your photo are still off, you can use Photoshop’s Auto Color Correction tool to automatically correct them for you. With this feature enabled, simply click on an area of good color and Photoshop will adjust all other areas accordingly.

Color Balance

Another way to correct the colors in your photo is by using Photoshop’s Color Balance tool. This allows you to select a color from an image and then adjust how much of that color appears throughout the entire picture.

Increase The Saturation Of Colors

If there are any specific areas in your old photos where you want more saturation, use this technique: create a new “Hue/Saturation” adjustment layer above all other layers in your document, then move its Hue slider towards whatever hue value corresponds with how saturated you want each area of the photo to be (for example, +30 for very vibrant).

Make Any Additional Edits Necessary

After you have applied all of the techniques outlined in this article, make any additional edits necessary to your image.

Save Your Old Photos Once You Are Finished With Them

Once all of the repairs have been completed on your scanned image and it looks how you want it too, go ahead and save your restored old photos for future generations! It’s important that once you’re finished with them that you back them up, just in case something happens to the computer they’re stored on.