Very often we hear people say, “A picture is worth a thousand words!” They have the ability to portray and depict vast amount of information in a small glance. Such precious pictures and photographs truly carry cherished memories for years to come. But with time, it inevitably gets damaged due to several reasons such as age, damage from exposure to water or excessive sunlight, poor means of storing photographs etc. But with the art of photo restoration, it has become possible to safeguard photographs which have even been torn or crumpled.
What is Photo Restoration?
Photo restoration involves the process of repairing and restoring photographs which are faded, discolored, scratched, and torn at the edges as well as pictures with blemishes and missing images. Apart from such restoration techniques, old black and white photographs can be converted into vibrant colorful pictures by using a delicate colorization process. Such techniques bring colour to old memories!
Examples of Photo Restoration
Removing Stains from Old Portraits
Most of the old portraits are subject to having stains or spots on them. With digital photo restoration techniques, it has become feasible to remove these damages and give these portraits a makeover. In order to remove the stains from this picture, the first step would be to scan it as RGB (Red, Green, Blue). By doing so, you can have access to the Channels that constitute the RGB. Choose a good channel, highlight it and then copy and paste it into a new layer. Make use of the Curves Adjustment Layer to desaturate the image and create a new layer. Make use of a soft brush with an opacity of about 30-60% and pick the good color to paint it on the stains and spots until they disappear. This will help to remove all the yellow spots in the picture and give more depth to the portrait.
Colorizing Black and White Photographs
All our old memories which are captured as black and white images can be brought to life by adding color and vibrancy to them. Once you scan the black and white picture, convert it from Gray Scale to RGB. This can be done by accessing the Image Menu on the screen. Click Image, Choose Mode and Select RGB. Then, a new layer is added on which all the editing will take place. It is beneficial to the change the Layer mode from Normal to Multiply so that all colors added will appear in the original photo when you are actually only working on the new layer. Then, the faces in the images will have to worked upon. A good result can be obtained by choosing the right tone from the skin color and also using a small brush (8 to 15). Then the color of the hair will have to be altered by creating a new layer for it. It is possible to change any color even after painting it by using the Hue/Saturation adjustment for all layers. Once, the skin and hair colors are done, the colors of clothes will have to be worked upon by following the similar directions in order to complete the colorization process.
Restoring Torn and Faded Photographs
This is a very common problem with old photos. As they are subject to dust, mishandling as well exposure to sun and other circumstances, they tend to get torn or scratched or even faded. Scratches can be removed by creating a new layer and by constantly altering the alignment. Then using the clone tool, patch tool and healing brush tool, the scratches can be removed. In order to get the best result, it is important to zoom in to the picture as well keep the brush size minimum. It helps to start working from the edges and then move into the center of the image. Once the scratches are removed, the spot healing brush can be used to open up the blocked shadows and lighten areas where it has darkened due to over exposure to sun. When using the spot healing brush, it is mandatory that it is bigger than the area to be modified in order to get good results from photo restoration.
Restored photographs can turn out to be great gift ideas as well. Restoring your parents wedding photographs as their wedding anniversary gift or restoring baby pictures for Mother’s Day will definitely be a personalized gift for your loved ones. Pictures are the best means of portraying all the different emotions related with a particular moment in time. Photographs capture cherished memories and when restored, enable us to re-live those glorious moments, bring back those good old times and a smile on everyone’s face!
Keerthana Karthik is a blogger and photography enthusiast. She loves writing photography and photo restoration blogs. She at present blogs for wowApic, a picture restoration services website that specializes in photo enhancement, editing, touch up, restoration, pop art gifts, personalized photo gifts and more.