Digital photo restoration can turn an old, faded family portrait into a photo of modern quality. It can also convert a new photo to a vintage one. Such processes can be done efficiently with right tools, practice, and experience.
There are many ways in which a photo can degrade. It includes combination of physical damage like scratches and stains, as well as effects of time like fading and colorcasts (usually yellowish). These flaws, however, can be covered by right tools, and the picture can be made look like a fresh one.
Fading effects on a photograph can be covered by contrasts, levels, curves, and black level tools, where colorcasts can be changed with the help of color balance, white balance, and other color tools. Healing brush, clone stamp, and other editing tools can be used to clear localized damage.
Fading is the most common form of degrading of a photo, which makes a dark picture gloomy, and a bright picture dull. The main tool used for treating fading effects on a photograph is Photoshop level tool.
By changing the contrast in a duplicate layer, you can fine tune the effects later in the opacity slider. Adjustment layer can reduce the file size, reduce the chance of posterization, and allow easy and quick readjustments.
Old photographs are difficult to restore, especially when they develop a colorcast. However, white balance color tool can be used to rectify it. Use the tool in regions having light neutral gray, not tinted by light bouncing off close colored objects, and receiving most of the light from a primary light source.
Old photos may not always have a uniform colorcast. This is because of the type of photographic paper used or the way of storing the photo. These non-uniform colorcasts require targeted adjustments, and thus may complicate the correction process.
Old photos may have plenty of rips or tears, stains, crinkles, scratches, or any form of dust marks. The best tools for removing these is by using the healing brush and clone stamp tools. With the help of clone stamp tool, an image from the source region can be replaced with the image content in the target region.
This is a very useful tool when there are large tears on the photo, or when you have to make copies of a pattern or object. This is also helpful for completely reconstructing all the characteristics of the source. The healing brush tool, on the other hand, replaces texture from a source region to a target, while maintaining the original luminosity and color.
Apart from these, there are many other tools and techniques for photo restoration, and with the help of a professional picture editing service, you can restore a photo with a quality even beating the original.