What’s the best way to restore old or damaged photos? News stories that interview victims of weather or natural events almost always mention lost or damaged photos. Photos showcase important events in our lives and are often thought of among the most valuable items anyone can lose or have damaged. For paper photos, the older they are, the more likely they are to deteriorate, fade, and tear. Be sure to scan paper photos and backup your digital photo albums.
If you have damaged paper or digital photos, photo restoration repairs, corrects, and enhances photographs so they look like new (or better). Advances in technology make keeping your photographic memories alive much easier.
Modern Photo Restoration
Today, digital processing and photo editing software makes restoring old photographs much easier. For paper photo restoration, the photo is scanned and then both digital photos (like those in a smartphone) or paper photo scanned results are altered on the computer using photo editing software such as Photoshop. Photo restoration does not seek to alter the original image. Instead, your photo is digitally altered to create the image anew. Then, you can print it through any photo-printing shop or online service.
Photo restoration usually involves the following processes:
- Adjusting the photo’s tone and contrast
- Repairing damaged or torn photographs
- Correcting fading and other coloring issues
- Enlarging and enhancing photos
You can either use photo restoration software to attempt to restore the photos yourself, or various businesses offer professional photo restoration services for a fee. Always keep a copy of your photo before sending to a company or service.
Whether you are attempting to restore the photo yourself or bringing it to a business, you should scan paper photographs at a high resolution, usually 300 dots per inch (DPI) or higher depending on the capability of the scanner (click here to learn how to find the resolution of digital photos). Many businesses offer scanning, photo editing and digital alteration in a single package.
Photo restoration software should also be able to enlarge photographs so you can print them as posters, banners or even wall murals. If you enlarge your small photo without photo enlargement software, then the enlarged photo may turn out grainy and difficult to see. Part of the photo-restoration process includes bringing out the detail in the photo, removing irregular colorations, and removing grainy textures. Photo enlargement can assist with these processes. Once the photo has been enhanced, it is much better candidate for display.