Thursday, October 19, 2006

How to Restore Old Family Photos

Secret Ingredients heirloom cookbooks are the perfect way to share and document old family photographs. Many of our members have restored old family photographs just so they can use them in their cookbook project.

How do you restore old photographs?

If your photographs are faded, scratched, or torn, it is possible to have them fully restored. You will be surprised- sometimes the restored image is even better than the original. Look at this photograph of my grandparents at a high school dance...

My family had this photograph restored by a professional. The original photo had worn edges and significant fading.

Here are some tips to help you restore your old photographs:

  • Photocopying does not work. Although it will somewhat flatten any rips or tears, photocopying does not fix color, fading, or scratches.

    This is an example of a photocopy of an old family photograph. Notice that the image is not sharp and the gray lines at the top of the image were not as dark on the original image.

  • Computer software. There are many computer programs that will help you remove scratches, tears, and other imperfections. This software can be expensive and complicated, so if you have savvy friends or family members, ask for their help!

  • I scanned and enhanced this photo of my grandparents in Adobe Photoshop. I adjusted the color and contrast, patched tears, cropped the image to remove the worn edges, and then applied a sharpen filter.

  • Photo Kiosks. If your photo only needs to have the color restored, you can do this from a photo kiosk at your local drugstore, photo shop, or large retailer. At a photo kiosk you can scan your image, adjust the image, and order prints. To read about Kodak's photo kiosk's and how to use their features, click here.

  • Ask a professional. If your photograph has a lot of damage, it would be worth the expense to have it restored professionally. Call or visit your local photo shops. A professional restoration could cost up to $30, but your family will be very appreciative.

  • Check out our Purely Organic sample to see how wonderful old family photographs look in a Secret Ingredients cookbook!

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