Posted On 21 Mar 2019
If some of your precious memories are fading away in shoe boxes and dusty old photo albums, all is not lost. Follow our simple guide to restore your images and protect your past.
Of course, you could send your photos to a commercial scanning company where they will be imported and retouched for you. If you fancy the task yourself or would rather save some money, DIY renewal could be for you. Follow the steps below for photo success:
- Use a scanner
For prints, a regular scanner will work just fine. If it’s slides and negatives you’re restoring, you’ll need hardware that properly backlights your image during scanning.
If you have a flatbed scanner but no ability to scan negatives and slides, Make Magazine provides a free downloadable template for a cardboard adapter.
- No scanner? No problem!
Mobile apps provide a quick and easy way to convert your photos into a digital format. Although a scanner may produce a better quality of image, apps are low-cost and will not subject your fragile photos to bright light.
Try Photomyne or Google PhotoScan for free. Both are supported by Android and iOS and are specifically designed for snapping prints.
For your small slides and images, try Helmut Film Scanner for Android.
- Choose your tools
Next, you’ll need some software to treat any imperfections. If the originals are in fairly good condition, you may find that default apps such as Apple Photos, Microsoft Photos or Google Photos are up to the task.
For greater functionality, the app store is full of alternatives. You could choose Adobe Photoshop Elements which offers a free 30-day trial. Alternatively, Adobe Photoshop Express provides a free solution for Windows, iOS and Android.
Next, it’s time to restore your images. Use the software’s spot fix, healing brush or clone stamp tool for rips and tears. Select the enhance function to adjust colors and contrast. Crop away any frayed edges or backgrounds. If in doubt, see the relevant help guide for specific instructions or YouTube for a demo.
- Publish in pixels or ink
Once your photos are polished, you can save them however you like. Online galleries are great for sharing memories with family.
You could also print them onto acid-free paper for safekeeping. Search picture-printing firms online. Photo-books make a lovely gift for family members!