How to Restore Old Photos: 2 Dobale Ways You Should Try

Old photographs have a certain magic to them. They are enigmatic peepholes into the past that show you what life was like and who were the people that came before you. But the sad truth is that these old photographs are just as enticing as they are fragile. No matter how much you try, there is little you can do to turn the clock back on your photo archive. Or is there a way to restore old pictures? 

Luckily, there is, and more than one! These ways do not require much money and don’t involve any professional help - you can do them all by yourself. So without further ado, let’s have a look at how to restore old photos manually and digitally.

Manual Method

We’ll start with a more time-consuming way. This method might require additional materials, but you can get them at any home supply or stationery store. 

First, you need to separate your pictures in case they got stuck to each other. Soak your pile of old photos face up in distilled water for 30 minutes. Then, gently slide the photos apart, either with your hand or a spatula. Let them dry while lying face up.

If your old images have curled edges, an impromptu humidifier chamber will do the trick. Take a plastic container and place a wire rack inside it. Fill the container with water just below the rack. Put your photo on the rack and close the chamber. Let the picture sit there for a couple of hours, then take it out and let it dry under some weight - a handful of books will do. 

Your images have rips and tears? Repair your old photos using an acid-free tape. You can get this tape at any stationery store. The acrylic adhesive won’t act aggressive towards the fragile paper but will still hold the image intact. 

Finally, in case your old photos have dust and stains, there are ways to remove them. First off, you can use a toothbrush with soft bristles or a brush. Gently wipe away any dust or residue that can be sitting on the paper. Make sure to wear gloves - this way you won’t leave any smudges.  

And that's it - now you know how to restore old pictures manually. Don’t think you have the chops to pull that off all by yourself? Then consider mending your old images digitally. This way you won’t need to work with the only surviving copy of your old photo. Besides, you’ll have some much more freedom to edit your photo archive however you want. Curious? Then let’s have a look.

Digital Method

Digital photo restoration might sound difficult, but it is really not. Provided that you use PhotoGlory, of course. This AI-powered software was exclusively designed for restoring old photos and introducing them to the digital age. This is how it works.

First off, you need to have your old picture digitized. You can either scan it or shoot anew. Then, open your image with PhotoGlory. If your photo is moderately damaged - slight rips and fine creases - just hit the Restore Old Photo button. The program will heal most of the defects automatically. If there are any flaws left, you have a whole arsenal of easy-to-use tools for the job. Get rid of smaller defects with the Healing Brush tool. The Clone Stamp is perfect for concealing bigger problems like a stain or a tear. Use the Patch tool to easily recreate missing parts of your image. 

If your old picture is black and white, use PhotoGlory to colorize it in a click. The software will analyze your photo’s content - people, objects, nature and architectural settings - and colorize everything. You can also colorize your picture by hand, in case the software was wrong about a chosen shade or if you want to set your own color accents.

In case your photo was once in color, but has lost all the juice, PhotoGlory can help you fix that, too. The software comes equipped with the Curves tool. It allows you to professionally tweak the RGB channels of your photo to either get rid of a color cast or boost lost colors. Another way to do that is by using built-in color grading presets, a.k.a. 3D LUTs. PhotoGlory also offers you over 100 stylish effects and a text tool to caption or timestamp your old images. 

And that’s it - now you know the easy way to repair your family archive. In case you feel like there is more you want to know, make sure to check the guide on how to restore old photos. And in the meantime, we hope you have fun mending your old damaged images. This is a rewarding process that will bring you closer to your ancestors despite the time and space between you.

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