Restoring Film Images, Digitally

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There was actually a time when cameras used film, as the digital age is still relatively new. However, if you have any old film photographs that are in poor condition, you can repair them and bring them back to life by using digital technology.

Digital-Restoring

Use a flatbed scanner

If you want to repair an old image, you should use a flatbed scanner. You’ll need to use a quality scan when transferring the photo to a computer. This means that if your scanner isn’t capable of scanning images at high quality then you may want to use the services of a professional scanning outlet.

Save in TIFF format

When scanning the photos you should disable the sharpening and color settings and save the scanned image as a 16-bit TIFF file. This will keep all of the information needed on the file and it will be a large file because of this.

Use separate layers

The best way to restore a photo on an editing program is to use a separate layer for each editing operation. If you do this you can repeat a step without having to restart from the beginning. Be aware of the fact that it might take a few hours to restore a single photo, depending on how faded or damaged it is. You’ll need to be patient and go through the process step by step.

Editing tools and the features required

The editing tools you’ll need also depend on the condition of the photo. The program’s clone tool will allow you to copy a small portion of the image and paste it somewhere else on the photo. This is ideal for filling in cracks or empty spots. You just have to find a spot in the photo that matches the damaged portion and then fill it in.

Some of the other editing tools you may need to learn how to use include saturation, contrast, curves, levels, and sharpening. The sharpening process should come at the end and it can be used to sharpen the whole image at the same time, affecting the contrast.

Also remember

Make sure that you don’t merge or flatten the layers until you’ve completed the restoration job. If you need a single layer file, you can make a copy and flatten it. It’s advisable to keep all the layers because when you keep all the layers, you can always go back to redo a specific part of the restoration.

Posted in: Digital Imaging

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