Paint Shop Pro Tutorial: Restore Faded Photos

Learning how to restore faded photos is an important skill for any photographer to master. Fortunately this is one task that computers make much easier.

To restore a photograph back to its former glory, the only thing that you actually need is a computer and Paint Shop Pro.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Photo
  • Scanner
  • Paint Shop Pro

Step 1 - Scanning Your Photo

Start by scanning your faded photo. This method will vary depending on the type and brand of scanner you have. You can also do this directly in Paint Shop Pro if you prefer. Obviously if you are working with a digital image, then you can skip this step.

Step 2 - Opening your Image in Paint Shop Pro

Now you need to load Paint Shop Pro and open the image. The easiest and quickest method of doing this is to click "File" and choose "Browse". This will bring up a window similar to those seen in Microsoft Windows applications. Navigate to the location of your scanned photo and double click on it to open it.

Step 3 - Enhancing the Photo

Once the photo is open you can determine how faded it is. Some scanners feature built-in image correction software which may correct the problem. Without this extra feature, you will need to use the features in Paint Shop Pro to repair faded photos. Rest assured, it isn't as difficult as it sounds.

Step 4 - Automatic Color Balance

Click on "Effects" and then select "Automatic Color Balance." This is a very useful tool that balances the colors in a photo. This is especially useful when dealing with photos that have been faded by the sun.

Step 5 - Automatic Contrast Enhancement

Next, run the "Automatic Contrast Enhancement" tool by selecting it from the "Effects" dropdown menu. This will correct the brightness and contrast in your image. This is an important tool because faded photos often look washed out and much lighter than they should be.

After this you can also run the "Automatic Saturation Enhancement" tool. This will enhance the look of your photo by making it look more natural.

Step 6 - Dealing with Scratches

If there are any scratches on your photos then you can use the "Automatic Small Scratch Removal" tool to remove them. If there are any larger scratches or imperfections on your photos, then you should use the "Scratch Removal" tool to get rid of them.

If there are any tears around the border of your photos, you may be able to copy, paste and flip the border from the other side of the page. Every photo is different and you will need to think about each photo individually.

After all of these steps your photo will be looking in much better condition and should look as good as the day it was developed. This just goes to show that you don't have to throw photos away just because they have started to fade.

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