Christmas 2007
Tip #2

Photo Restoration...

Did you know
with today's technology it is possible to restore just about any old photo to its original condition without altering the original?

If you want to try it yourself- here's how it is done.

For an example, let's take an old faded and torn, color photograph, a color scanner and a computer with a Photoshop program (professional graphic software). Remember to save your work frequently! Occasionally computers have a way of freezing or crashing at the most inopportune time.

1) Scan the photo using a flatbed scanner. The photo should be carefully cleaned to remove dust and other unwanted artifacts and the scanner surface needs to be free of dust as well. This is especially crucial when "blowing up" or enlarging a scanned image because the imperfections (dust and scratches) are more noticeable when the image is larger.

2) Set the scale or size to 100% and the resolution to 300dpi (dots per inch). If the photo is going to be enlarged, the scale and dpi needs to set higher. (i.e. 200% at 600dpi).

3) Save the scanned image as a .psd (Photoshop file). I always recommend making a copy of your original scanned image as a back up.

4) Open with Photoshop, copy the layer (creates a copy which is useful for comparisons of the original and finished image) and adjust the color, brightness and contrast of the copied image or layer. Photoshop has an Auto level function (found under Image in the top menu) that automatically corrects the image and usually works quite well. For novices, this is an easy fix. But for the best results, most professionals use the adjustment layers which allows complete control and flexibility when making these changes.

5) Merge the copied layer and adjustment levels. (Creates a new layer).

6) Select the "Stamping Tool" (found in the tool bar) to fix the torn area. The function of this tool is to select and copy another area of the photo that is similar and paste it in place of the torn section. Depending on the severity of the damaged photo, this step requires skill and takes the most time.

7) Sharpen the layer using "Unsharpened Mask" (located under Filter in the top menu). This helps to improve the clarity of the image. A good place to start in this procedure is to use a default setting of; Amount 50%, Radius 1.0 and Threshold 0. 8). Export or "Save as" your final image as a Jpeg or Tiff and print.

When photo restoration is performed properly or by an experienced professional, the results are simply amazing.

Not sure you want to try it yourself? Click on the links below for online services that can help you restore and preserve your memories.

Here's more information on Insuring Your Memories and More on Photo Restoration

To see before and after samples of Restored Photos, click here

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