The process of photo restoration start to finish, has many steps. All of those steps are covered on this blog but not all in one place. Let us take a look to get you started and on the right path to a good restoration.
Be prepared to do a bit of blog hopping as each topic has a few links to separate blog posts to guide you on your way.
The first step would be to acquire the software.
Currently, you can own Photoshop for less than £10 a month on an Adobe monthly plan. see Adobe (dot) com. What I haven’t done is to show you how to use Photoshop. This would no doubt involve another dedicated blog just for that. Apologies to those folks who don’t know-how. There are many short videos on the net showing the basics if you need a crash course.
Before we start a photo restoration we need to start with a good digital image. This is normally achieved by making a good scan. Scanning is nearly a science on its own and does need to be carried out correctly. Without the best possible image to start with our restoration won’t turn out the best. This 7 step guide to a better scan is a good place to start. Sometimes the image is too big for our scanner and it needs to be scanned in several pieces and stitched back together.
In extreme cases our photo may be so brittle or rolled up it may not be possible to make it flat for scanning. It is possible to flatten an image or unroll an image for restoration. This is a job of patience and skill and should be left to a conservator. There is a process of unrolling an old brittle and stiff photo you could try.
Once we have our great scan in colour, we can set about the restoration.
We first need to Identify what kind of photo it is. First off we should check is the photo an original? If it is not, it may have lost some mid-tones and make our restoration that much harder. If the photo has scratches that need to be mended make sure you restore the cracks in the photo the correct way. Damage can appear in so many forms and each one can be addressed with a dedicated technique.
If your photo has a particular kind of damage do search the photo restoration blog for the type appearing on your photo. Once you have found what you are looking for there may be several articles to help you. Photos can have missing pieces that need restoring or missing body parts, or be coloured faded. Images can have a flaky surface or have an orange light bleed or film fog that needs fixing, the list is almost endless.
Throughout the blog, you will find videos and articles and full-blown courses on photo restoration. If you are unsure of any techniques take your time to read carefully and if anything is not covered, put it in the comments and I’ll see if I can add the process in or write a new post to cover it.
Once you have finished watching and learning and restoring you’ll need a print.
My recommendation is a chemical print from a traditional photographic lab. Avoid instant print kiosks as the super-fast, instant prints technology, does not give you such a good image.
Have fun and if you are unable to get to grips with restoring your own photo please get in touch and email me your image. I can then assess your photo and if it is possible to restore, I’ll provide a quote.
If you want to find out about prices please see my blog post How much does a photo restoration cost?