The Digital Photo Guy

Photo Restoration Webcast

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Articles, Photo Editing, Webcast

On Saturday, March 21, I presented a Photoshop Elements retouching presentation to the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego via webcast. The group was meeting at UC San Diego while I was at Joshu Tree National Park leading a spring wildflower workshop.

I showed how the following photo from the 1950s or 60s can be quickly and easily restored with a few basic tips and tricks. Click the thumbnails to see the BEFORE and AFTER photos.

levels-colorsharpenstraighten   restored

I then applied virtually the same techniques to another photo and demonstrated how these steps can be used to restore ALL faded, skewed, poorly taken photos.

The next photo was more challenging because of its age and damage. I didn’t fix the entire photo because, as I explained to the audience, much of this is just tedious and time-consuming. The only reasons one would have for spending time on restoring such a photo would be 1) it’s a labor of love involving a photo of a loved one or, 2) you’re getting paid gobs of money.


Here, I demonstrated making a copy of the right eye, flipping it over to match the left eye, moving the catchlight to the correct side and “nudging” the pupil to the right to match the right eye. I also used a gaussian blur to smooth and repair the skin on her left cheek.

You can see a recording of the presentation here. If the audio and video get out of sync (narrative and cursor don’t match), click on the progress bar along the top and drag it back back a few seconds.

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