Blog

All posts in Photo Restoration

4 Reasons to Recolour Old Photographs Today

4 Reasons to Recolour Old Photographs Today

Colour photographs didn’t become available until the early 1900s and wasn’t widespread until Kodachrome after the late 1930s — which leaves much of our photographic history in black and white. Recolouring old photographs can bring new levels of detail into historic images, whether that’s of family members or town events. But is recolouring photos really that simple? Here are four reasons to consider recolouring your old photos.

Recolouring is photo restoration.

Simply put, recolouring restores an old photograph. Before the recolouring process can even start, that image has to be repaired, fixing scratches and tears as well as correcting the fade that happens naturally over time. A photo must be restored before it can be recoloured.

Once a photo is recoloured today, you now have multiple copies of that image. An original, a restored copy, and a restored coloured copy. That in itself is a reason to recolour, since it’s much harder to loose three copies of an image than one. Once you have the digital file, you can also back the image up on a cloud platform for safekeeping, a great practice for any images that are special to you or your family.

Recolouring old photos is more accurate than you think.

The reason recolouring old photos isn’t an easy choice is that accuracy is questioned — once you recolour an image, isn’t in inaccurate? Is it possible to get the colours right when recolouring old photos? Those are all very valid concerns, but recolouring old photos is actually more accurate than you’d think.

First, recolour artists research. They get as much information as possible about the specific people, objects and other items in the image. When that information isn’t possible to get, research into the time period helps create more accurate recolouring. And even more importantly, recolouring artists understand how to read the light in the image, so even the time of day and weather feels accurate. Fun fact — before coloured film, painters would recolour black and white images.

Recolouring old photos brings out more details.

Details are often lost in the monochrome. When converted, greens and reds look similar, for example. When two differently coloured objects convert to the same shade in black and white, those smaller details are lost. Recoloured images create more contrast, making those details suddenly pop when they were lost in the shades of grey before.

Recolouring old photos isn’t meant to destroy the original image.

Most of all, recolouring images isn’t designed for you to toss out that original image — it’s designed to supplement that image. Recolouring old photos is an excellent way to restore old images, but that restoration allows you to have the intact image in both colour and black and white. You can have your cake and eat it too — or in this case, keep that original faded film and view that same photo in a new light with recolouring.

Recolouring old photographs brings out the details that are otherwise overlooked or forgotten. Recoloured, restored photos make excellent gifts and lifelong family keepsakes.

6 Tips For Getting Great Results When Scanning Old Photos

6 Tips For Getting Great Results When Scanning Old Photos

There’s no way around it, printed pictures fade overtime. Digitising old photos not only makes them easy to share, but it also prevents any more age damage, not to mention avoiding a physical disaster like a fire or a flood destroying memories by using a cloud backup service. But, scanning old photos isn’t as simple as putting photos in a scanner and pushing a button — at least, not if you want top notch results anyways. Here are six tips that will help you get better results when scanning old photos.

Clean the photo first.

Dust, dirt and even stray hair can degrade the quality of a photo. Before you scan, prep the photo by using a soft brush to clean the front — the same brush you’d use to clean a camera lens. Alternately, you can also try a microfiber cloth. While in many cases dust spots can be removed with software, the quickest method is to swipe the dust off before you scan. If a print is torn, align the edges as good as you can and tape the back before scanning. Major stains and tears will likely have to removed by a professional.

Don’t forget to clean the scanner too.

Yes, scanners will also collect dust as they sit. Clean the glass plate of the scanner with a microfiber cloth. If you can’t remove everything with the cloth, you can use a glass cleaner, but be very careful not to leave streaks — because those aren’t fun to remove either.

Set up the scanner for the best results.

While there are apps that will “scan” a photo using a smartphone camera, for the best results — and highest resolution — a scanner is still best. Make sure you’re set up for success though, by setting the scanner to the highest resolution possible inside the scanner options. Scanner software can also make the job easier — many scanners, if you scan multiple images at once, will crop them automatically.

Open the scans in a dedicated photo editor.

If you happen to be a Photoshop subscriber, great. If not, you’ll still want to edit your photos. If you don’t own Photoshop or an alternative like Corel PaintShop, you can access free online photo editors, such as Fotor. Alternately, many programs offer a one-month free trial to test. Start by cropping and straightening, if your scanner didn’t already do that for you.

Think color.

Film has characteristic colors that are now popular to emulate digitally, but you may want to consider some color and contrast adjustments on your scanned shots. If a photo has faded, you can add back some quality by increasing contrast and adjusting the exposure. You can also use color controls, like saturation and vibrance, to add some life back in the photo.

Correct with the heal or clone tool.

Chances are, some of your scanned photos can have damage or dust spots that couldn’t be removed ahead of time. Since it’s simplest, start by using the healing brush tool, available in most photo editors. If that doesn’t work, the clone tool can replace the damaged area with another spot from the same photo.

Old family memories shouldn’t be kept in a box — but doing more than just a simple scan will help keep those moments in-tact for generations to come.

How To Scan Old Photos: 5 Easy Tips to Digitize Images With the Best Quality

How To Scan Old Photos: 5 Easy Tips to Digitize Images With the Best Quality

Sharing photos from a few years ago is one thing, but sharing photos old enough to be shot with film takes #ThrowbackThursday to an entirely different level. Using a scanner to digitize images is a good way to create a backup of old memories. But, old photos are often marred with dust and scratches, and scanning them is no easy task. So what’s the best way to digitize images and get top quality from old photos? Here are five easy tips to help you get the most quality from a few old photos and a simple scanner.

Remove dust before scanning.

Dust can be removed in Photoshop — but the process is much simpler if you start with clean photos in the first place. Use a soft brush — like the ones that come in camera cleaning kits — or canned air to remove any debris from photos that have been sitting out for a long time before scanning.

Check your scanner resolution settings.

Make sure your scanner is set to scan images — some previous document settings may leave the quality low. For images, set the scanner between 200 and 300 dpi — anything more is to subtle a difference to notice. If you are looking to buy a scanner dedicated to the task, consider the resolution options — some also have batch mode for scanning several at once and some even have dust removal features.

Use the heal or clone tool to correct spots.

Follow the directions for your particular brand of scanner to scan each image. For damaged images, it’s best to open them inside a photo editor. Photoshop is a popular choice, but an expensive one and if you won’t be using it often, an option like the free GIMP might do the trick. Start by using the program’s spot healing tool — this samples the image and repairs spots (that you color over with your cursor) based on the surrounding areas. If the healing brush doesn’t work, use the clone brush which will exactly replicate another spot in the photo that you select by right clicking or holding down Control/Alt while clicking.

Easily fix scratches by stretching or overlapping the image.

Scratches can be fixed with the same cloning and healing tool, but it’s often easier to simply copy part of the image and lay it over the scratch. This method won’t work if the scratch is running down the middle of Great Grandma’s face, but works well for fixing background scratches. Use the rectangular selection tool to select all of the image on one side of the scratch.  Copy that selection, then move it over to cover the scratch, cropping off the repeated area on the edge. This only works for some scenarios, but is simpler than the clone and healing brush, particularly for scratches over the background.

Tweak the colors and contrast.

Old photos are often faded, but image editors can often easily fix the issue. Auto tone works in many scenarios, but in others, you can open up the contrast, levels or saturation options and adjust them manually — most image editors have this option.

Scanning old photos is time consuming — but being able to easily share and backup your old images is a task that’s often worth the time.

Faster Photo Restoration

Photo restoration service

Photo Direct’s photo restoration service has been keeping consumers satisfied since 2006. Today’s announcement of a new turnaround time of 3 to 5 days on all photo restoration jobs will keep your customers even happier.
Read more →

Need an extra pair of hands with your photo restoration service ?

before after combine_2If you’re too busy to attend to your photo restoration workload this Festive Season you can – for no upfront cost – get yourself a totally reliable and top quality, extra pair of hands simply by opening an account with us today.
All you need to get started is internet access. You couldn’t get yourself an extra pair of hands more quickly or less expensively than that!
Read more →

Check what’s new in Photo Restoration

If you haven’t logged onto your Photo Restoration account for a while now’s the time to do it. The custom-developed system lets you easily download and print professional Point of Sale materials, place orders and upload original images for more than 20 different services. Photo Restoration is a year round money-spinner so be sure to constantly advertise the various services available.

If have an account but have forgotten your login details simply email Susan. If you don’t have an account don’t delay it’s free to open one!

pw screenshopt