How to Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

Restore old photos in Photoshop and be happy yourself. Preserving memories with a nice click is one of the important responsibilities of a portrait photographer. Previously, photos were stored in printed form. Over time, printed images are damaged because of several reasons like mold, scratches, stains, torn, missing pieces, and many more.

Due to the advancement of technology and system, photos are now preserved in digital form. So, if any printed image gets damaged, it can easily be printed again. Since we love to recall memories, people were thinking about how to restore old photos in Photoshop.

At this point, Photoshop arrives as a blessing for so many. With different Photoshop tools and techniques, restoring a damaged photo becomes straightforward.

In this tutorial, I will share step by step process of how to restore old and damaged photos in Photoshop.

Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

Let’s read below to learn more.

Step by Step Process to Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

From experts to beginner photo editors, Photoshop is a blessing tool. You will hardly find an image that can’t be modified and adjusted by Photoshop.

Step 01: Damage Assessing to Restore Images

Damage Assessing to Restore Images

After you receive an image from a customer, scan it first. Open the image in Photoshop. The damage assessing process will let you make a plan to restore old photos. The thumb rule is, don’t start restoring an image from the targeted areas, start the editing process from global edits.

Firstly, I will make the overall tonal adjustment. If I adjust the crease, rips, and dust first, then these imperfections may come again when I modify the image’s tone and contrast.

Step 02: Adjusting the Levels and Curves For Photo Restoration

Adjusting the Levels and Curves For Photo Restoration

With Photoshop, you can do nearly everything following multiple techniques. When restoring old photos, adjustments of the levels and curves offer amazing results. It is because you can set and adjust the levels and the contrast respectively from within the level.

Adjust Levels and Curves to Restoration Photo

The below graph droppers will let you adjust the level without hassle, and thus, the image tone will be under control. After clicking the black dropper, you will find that the image’s overall appearance has improved a lot. When restoring this Photo, using the gray or white dropper is entirely unnecessary. Once the level adjustment is made by modifying the black point, the overall image contrast will be tweaked by creating a slight “S” curve. If the adjustment goes too far, don’t worry. The “Cancel” button will turn into a “Reset” button if you hold the “Option/Alt” key of any dialog box of Photoshop.

Step 03: Details Tackling in Photoshop

Details Tackling in Photoshop

After accomplishing the global adjustment, this image will require the adjustment of levels and curves only. Now let’s zoom in on the image so that the details can be addressed.

The image has a big tear in the top right corner; dealing with this will be tricky. However, as stated earlier, you can do nearly any modification or adjustment using Photoshop, so restoring this part will not be an issue at all. We will take assistance from Clone Stamp Tool. Press the shortcut key “S” on the keyboard. Remember to zoom in when using the Clone Stamp Tool; this will help you work in the damaged area with good visibility.

Restore Photos Using Clone Stamp Tool

Clone Stamp Tool will copy the nearby, similar pixel as a sample, and the damaged area will be fixed by it. Start fixing the damaged area from the edges, then go to the middle and finally go to the top. Changing the sample area is necessary to fix the damaged area precisely. Remember, tones and shading are unchangeable. Remember to keep a straight edge at the top of the edge. We will crop the straight line later.

Fix The Damaged Area Using Clone Stamp Tool

Then, we will do a tight zoom-in to deal with the small imperfections of the image. In Photoshop’s previous versions, the Clone Stamp Tool is the best bet for such type of job. But after the introduction of the spot healing brush, dust and scratch clean-up becomes more effortless. Spot Healing brush can identify the surrounding pixels and cover-up minor damages using that information efficiently. Make sure to zoom in when working with the Spot Healing brush; this way, repairing will be much more comfortable.

Repair The Damaged Area Using Clone Stamp Tool

Step 04: Get a Clean Edge by Cropping

Get a Clean Edge by Cropping

The zoom-in needs to be released once the damage adjustment is finished. Intently looking at the original photo’s scanned copy, you will find extraneous edges, it needs to be removed. With the help of the Marquee tool, you can do this conveniently. Also, you will be able to create a clean and fresh edge.

Step 05: Final Result 

How to Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

Hopefully, you recovered the image already.

Recovering an old damaged photo will always put a smile on your face. Yet, the people of this image are unknown to me, but they gave me a chance to make my livelihood. That is why spending time to restore a picture is worth the time.

You may read:

Use Refine Edge in Photoshop for Perfect Selections

Fix Grainy Photos In Photoshop

Change Image Background Color in Photoshop

FAQ on The Process to Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

Last Words on the Process to Restore Old Photos in Photoshop

Nothing is complicated or complex when you have in-depth knowledge of the subject. With practice, you also can be skilled and experienced in the photo restoration process. An adequately restored photograph will last long years after years.

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