Fix an Old Photo

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Photo Collage
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Repairing Old Photos
Photoshop Training

Well this one is a bit personal for me. My Mom came to me with a picture of my grandparents that had been used and abused, taken back in 1943, and asked if I could do something with it. One of those great old pictures from a photo booth at a fair. Even I am not too young to remember those. Well, actually she told my grandparents that I COULD do something with it because I use that photo program and all. My grandparents are far from the most computer literate people out there. It was all we could do to get them to do some emails until they decided they had no use for that. Fortunately my Mom knows the computer scene a bit more than that and has some confidence in my meager abilities. Although you may not need to have gotten an MBA online for this task it could still prove trickyWe will see when all is said and done.

Here is the photo I was presented with.


I started with the Healing Brush Tool. This is quite the amazing tool as are most of the Photoshop tools. Once you have the tool selected, Alt+click in the area that you want to mimic, and then gently apply the brush tool over the area to be "healed". Sometimes even making the brush size quite large, and clicking once as opposed to stroking can be more effective. Here is the area that I will sample.


And here is what it looks like after I have "painted" over it with my Healing Brush sample. Not too shabby!


It is really that simple in most cases. Just go around the picture and sample an area next to the area to be "healed" and paint with it.

Occasionally the Healing Brush just won't do what you want it to do. If that happens, try the Patch Tool. Select the area you want to "fix" and then drag the selection to an area in the picture that you want it to look like. You can actually drag it around and it will change as the background you move around changes. Pretty cool as well!


Use the Blur Tool to soften up areas of question. This is a very under rated tool. When something is not quite blending right, try the Blur Tool. You would be amazed at the crud it can clean up.

And last but not least, if all else fails, try using the Clone Stamp Tool. It works very similarly to the Healing Brush tool.

When all is said and done, I am very happy with the final result. Here is the before and after. Quite frankly, I am excited to print this and put it in a nice frame for my grandparents. For printing the photos, I generally use the google playstore to find the best photo print apps, since I own an android. Similarly, there are a lot of apps on the Appstore as well.

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