Old photos restoration
Online photo restoration is one of the most difficult works that we do; only retouching of fashion and beauty photos is more complicated. Unfortunately, many old photos and children's photographs were made when there were only analog photography, and there was no possibility to immediately transfer the picture to digital format. As a result, many old photos were corrupted and damaged even before the scanners appeared; some of the photos have not been digitalized in time and the kids, armed with pencils and felt-tip pens, reached them earlier; or the photos were damaged when removing them out of the album.
Do not worry, you can still restore the old damaged photos - the "torn off" legs and hands could be put back, the cracks and stains can be removed from the photo. We have gathered stunning retouchers and a dedicated team that specializes only in online photo restoration, both old ones, printed on paper, and new, digital ones.
It looks like a miracle, when old and torn photos are restored and fixed, saving the memory for many decades. The photo is a memory of past years, which remains with you, which you are able to pass on to your children. The brightest moments of life, weddings, and the birth of a child - all this was usually filmed earlier on film cameras and the pictures were saved only in the analog form. Such old photos eventually began to break down. There are cracks and bends, which spoil the photo. Unfortunately, the memory, that can be passed on to your grandchildren through generations is destroyed. These can be the photos of your parents, birthdays, and photos of people who are no longer alive.
A great experience gained over the years of practice, teamwork and the opportunity to consult, exchange information on photo restoration techniques make it possible for us to restore and fix any photo. Thanks to the work of the retouchers, it is possible to give the old damaged photos the same look as it was earlier, restoring missing fragments and even retouching or removing unnecessary details in the photo.
How to restore a photo
Before starting the restoration of old pictures, they should be digitized. If the photo is printed, a simple scanner with a scan from 600 dpi is sufficient for this.
Do not use the camera or even a mobile phone to digitize old photos. Such images are distorted, and when zoomed, small objects become blurred.
If you need to digitize a slide or film, you should purchase a special scanner with the ability to scan slides or film. These are scanners with a slide module (slide adapter). Such scanners cost from $ 150 and thanks to the presence of a slide module, besides scanning photos, you can also scan both film and slides. Among the inexpensive models – you can choose the Epson scanners, which will be excellent for home using.
Four methods to digitize a photo:
1.The easiest way to digitize a photo is to use a mobile phone. It is highly discouraged to use it due to the strong distortion of perspective by the lens of the phone and the low separation capacity of the matrix. If you still decide on this method, we recommend using a special program for smartphones based on Android and iOS from Google; this program is distributed free of charge.
A distinctive feature of this program is the ability to digitize a snapshot from several angles, thereby reducing perspective distortion during scanning. Free online neural network is able to automatically remove glare. Despite the high "intelligence" of the "Photoscanner", developers recommend to digitize photos using the natural light and flat surface. But even such "smart" technologies do not allow qualitatively digitizing and subsequently processing the photos.
- For iOS devices - itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photoscan-scanner-by-google-photos/id1165525994?mt=8
- For devices running Android, Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.photos.scanner
2.Digitize a photo using a digital camera is a better way than using a camera in a mobile phone, but still the quality of the photo turns out worse than using a scanner. Do not expect good sharpness and the correct proportions of the sides.
In order to digitize photos in this way, you should fix the camera ideally on a tripod, if you have it, otherwise you can install the camera on any flat surface. At a distance of about 30 cm from the camera, set the picture to be digitized, and then restored. Using a table lamp, looking at the camera's display, aim the light so that the photo does not have glare and reflections. Select Macro mode and try to focus, be sure to turn off the flash. If the sharpness is not hovering, use the zoom or change the focal length (for SLR cameras).
3.The third way to digitize a photo is to use the scanner. Use the following settings:
- Resolution - it is recommended to use at least 600 dpi for further retouching and photo processing to reduce image distortion.
- Output format - tiff
- The color depth is at least 12, and preferably 24 bits or 48 bits (for complicated retouching)
- Contrast - slightly reduce the contrast when scanning, in the future it will be added during restoration and photo retouching.
- Color profile (mode) - RGB
These settings are universal, both for color and black and white photographs. As a result, you get an excellent picture quality, much better than using the first two methods. Try and compare.
4.You can use the photo laboratories services that print photos, usually they provide services for digitizing photos and know what equipment settings to use. The result of processing is generally the same as if you scan yourself, if you use the scanner settings presented above.
Old photos restoration service by Photza
We work, in order to restore old pictures and preserve memories, our retouchers are happy to repair your pictures online. Do you need to fix the face or fill the missing parts in the photo, correct the colors that have become fading, remove traces of water or a marker? Our team of professional retouchers can easily cope with these complex tasks. We offer the following services to restore old photos online.
Removal of scratches and recovery of missing fragments
This is a problem that is typical not only for old photographs, but also for new ones. Quite often it happens that the lens were clean before shooting, but in the process of work it got dust or hairs that were not visible when shooting; as a result they appeared on the photo.
In other cases, when the photo is old, it could have been torn for various reasons: children were playing with it, it was damaged when getting out of the album or just a slice of the photo was scattered (the paint was falling apart or some of the photo was damaged). It's great if you still have the severed part, in that case it can be scanned and pasted, but if you do not have it, do not be upset, our professional retouchers will help you.
To remove scratches or to add the missing item to the photo – these are the complicated tasks, especially if these fragments are large. You can try to perform this difficult task by yourself, but it's best to trust professionals with extensive experience in photo manipulation.
How to remove scratches and restore missing fragments in Photoshop by yourself
In case there are scratches or small spots on the photo and there are not too many of them, you can try to manipulate this procedure by yourself and restore old picture for free.
It should be borne in mind that this is a simple method that will help to remove simple shortcomings, so it is not worth to count on a complete restoring of old damaged photos using this method.
To do this, open the photo in Photoshop, create a duplicate layer and use Spot Healing Brush and Stamp tools to remove the defects. How to do this you can read in the article “Removal of stains”, it uses a similar technique that allows you to both clean the skin, and remove cracks or scratches on the photo.
Remove stains on the photo
There are cases when the photo gets moisture with water and other liquids; or the child try to retouch the photo, practicing the processing of photos with the tools that are available to him - pencils, markers, and pens. Although these tools are used in Photoshop, usually, the effect of their use by the child is slightly different.
The service of removing stains from a photo is similar to the previous one, and it is also relevant for both printed old and damaged photographs and for digital pictures when an unnecessary object or an unnecessary flare appeared in the frame.
How to remove stains on photos in Photoshop by yourself
If the stains on the photo are not significant or small, you can try to remove them by yourself. In case when the spot is small, the procedure does not take much time and can be performed by the beginners of Photoshop. You can do these using two tools, Spot Healing Brush and Stamp. In the “Removing of stains” article you can read detailed instructions on how to use these tools to remove stains from photos for free.
Coloring of black and white photographs (colorization)
Perhaps the biggest job when restoring old photos is their colorization. In most cases, it includes all the above steps – removing of scratches, restoration of missed parts of the photo and removing of stains from the image.
When the photo has already been restored, all the scratches have been removed, missing fragments have been added - the retoucher starts the process of colorization - turning the old black and white photo into a color one.
A simple way to make a black and white photo color in Photoshop
The described method is simple enough; anyone can learn it, but to achieve a qualitative result, and make the photo will look natural – this is a task that depends on the experience of coloring.
- First, open the photo you want to color in Photoshop.
- Create a duplicate layer - the command ctrl + J (⌘ + J) - this is a test layer, which shows an example of the coloring work.
- Select the object in the photo that you want to make color. Take the Brush tool of the desired color and size.
- Paint the area you want to color. If this is a portrait - try to paint the lips with a red brush of the appropriate size.
- In the layer overlay mode, change the mode to Color.
In this way you can colorize the entire image. For further work, you should select areas that you want to paint and transfer them to a new layer. To make the photo realistic you need to:
- experiment with the size of the brush for each object that you paint in the photo
- experiment with the color of the brush - try to change shades, choose more natural colors
- adjust the Opacity settings for each layer separately
- adjust the Fill parameters for each layer separately
This is the easiest and basic method, but you can also colorize the photo using the Layer Style. In this case, you will be able to change the color of each part in the photo simply by moving the slider. To do this, paint the layer with any color, set the Fill value to 0%. Now create a Layer style> Layer Style> Color Overlay to the layer. In the Blend mode mixing menu, choose the Color mode. And set the desired color in the box with the color.
There are many other ways to change a black-and-white image into a color one. In order to tell about all of them we will create another big and more extensive article, which will be available online. Now we offer you to try the latest technology for the making the photos colored. There is a new neural network on the Internet, which is able to perform automatic colorization of the photo. This is a free online service.
The result is quite specific, but interesting enough. This method is more suitable for entertainment than for work. We were a little bit surprised with the colors that we got J
General steps for restoration of old photographs by yourself
When finished with scratches, stains and colorin g the photo - go to the Levels menu (Ctrl + L) and adjust the tone of the photo using the sliders under the graph. You can experiment and edit the tone of each channel separately, or you can do this at once for every channel (RGB mode).
Printing finished photos
When restoring of faded photographs is finished, most likely you will want to have this photo not only in a digital form, but also to put it into an old photo album, into a family tree or present it to your family members.
In this case, if you have a photo printer and photo paper you can print the photos by yourself. It is worth considering that the colors on the monitor may differ from the colors of the printed photo (if the photo is color). There are two reasons for this:
- The photo that appears on the monitor is displayed with the wrong colors. This is possible due to the matrix of the monitor; almost all monitors show colors with distortion. The correct colors can be seen only on professional, calibrated monitors with the IPS matrix.
- The color settings for the printer are not correct. To ensure the accurate color reproduction, you need to select the correct settings for the paper that you use for printing and use the original ink and cartridges.
Print a photo in a photo lab. Photo labs use professional printers, which are configured to display colors correctly. As a result, the colors in the photo are the same as they should be. You can print a color photo and compare it with one that you see on your monitor to understand how much the monitor distorts the colors.
Recommendations for printing of the restored old photos
For printing of modern color photos and old black and white photos different paper is used. For modern color photographs, it is better to use glossy paper; this paper will emphasize the brightness and add contrast to the printed photo. However, this paper has the ability to create highlights, especially if the photo is put under the glass in a frame. Excessive brightness and contrast is unacceptable for black and white portraits. It is recommended to use matte paper for printing old black and white photographs.
Cost of processing
Professional restoration of old photos takes a lot of time; this job can be compared with the processing of beauty portraits, where you need to literally draw each pixel. But we understand how important for you it is to save the memory for many years, so we offer an excellent price for this service - $ 20 for a photo.
We are open to cooperation and appreciate our customers and would like to have a long-term and trusting relationship. Therefore, in the case of the orders of 10 and more photos, the price is negotiated separately.
Examples of photo restoration by Photza team
Old damaged photos that have been processed by the retouchers of the Photza photo recovery team. To see the original photo, hover over the photo.
For a visual demonstration of the process of restoring old damaged photos, we took a long video, and then accelerated it 32 times. As a result, several minutes show you how the magic of our retouchers makes the impossible.
If you would like to fix old photos online and order a similar service for yourself or your family - upload photos to your personal account, select the desired "Photo restoration" service, add your wishes or comments to the task and get your updated photos very soon.
Quality of the result
We work hard to please each client with the result of processing the photos that is why for our clients we provide free revisions. To send a photo for revision, please open the End-product tab in your account, tick the required photo, fill in the "comment" field, which should specify what you would like to fix and click the "order retouching" button.
If you have any questions or have any requests, please let us know in any convenient way for you: Skype, mail, using the feedback form.
Timelapse of photograph restore