Suggestions for Tools and Tutorials for Photo Restoration?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gpspad, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #1
    I have been going through youtube videos for photo restoration and its amazing what can be done, unfortunately i realized early on I don't know a lot about the basics of photo editing.

    It seems I need to pick a software tool, learn the basic then get into retouching the old family photos. But where to start is daunting. I have access to GIMP and pixelmator, but not sure this will be the best tools for going through ton of old family photos I need to clean up.

    the expense is a an issues, but am i wasting my time by just no starting with photoshop?

    Is there any standard tools or tutorials for learning how to restore old photos?

    If GIMP or Pixelmator are good options, are there any good tutorials for them?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I would think that Photoshop and/or some available plug-ins would be a nice option
     
  3. organicCPU, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017

    organicCPU macrumors regular

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #3
    Photoshop is great, but as it's subscription based nowadays it will be much money to spend month by month...

    Affinity Photo could be a good alternative. Open source software like GIMP or Krita is getting better and better. I hope that they will mature to a professional level at one day. Nevertheless, if you are just starting with editing, you should try them out. Maybe you won't miss what you don't know. Pixelmator would also work, if you like it. You shouldn't need native CMYK or CIE LAB color editing for your tasks and RGB color space should be fine for you. I guess 8-Bit color is sufficient, too. Work with some color profile that fits best to your workflow. By the way, I don't recommend sRGB IEC61966-2.1, if it's not embedded in your sources. Better use the slightly outdated AdobeRGB (1998) or eciRGB v2.

    Where is your starting point? If you scan old photos from negatives or positives, your software and hardware for scanning are the first tools in your chain! Unfortunately I don't really know a low-cost solution for that. Did you check out Silverfast and it's Mac OS versions that are supported with specific scanners? That software has dust and scratch removal and more restoration features depending on the scanner you use. A much more cheaper software solution for scanning is VueScan. Check out if your scanner is supported.

    Yes, there are several plug-ins for editing tools like Photoshop existing, but most of the time you'll end-up drawing and retouching pixel by pixel, if you need to get out the optimum... so the stamp tool will get your best friend...
     
  4. Moakesy macrumors regular

    Moakesy

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    +1 for Affinity Photo.

    It's very powerful, receives regular updates and (crucially) does not have a subscription model.

    Also, it has some great help videos to get you going all the way to the more advanced stuff....

    https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/topic/10119-in-house-affinity-photo-video-tutorials/

    If you are talking about scanning old photos and tidying them up, then this tutorial on using the 'Dust and Scratches' filter may be of interest....



    If you can expand on exactly what it is you want to do, and how many photos you're talking about, then it will help in identifying the best software for you. Also, are we talking negatives, printed photos that are faded or old digital images?
     
  5. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #5
    Only prints for now, but at some point I will try to scan the negatives.


    I have hundreds of old pictures. Some are ripped and have dust specs. Many of the ones for the 1930's were small 2.5x3.5 prints that were very faded. the worse may be the color ones from the 70's. It will be a project that stretches over a long period of time.

    I just want to pick a platform that can do that type of work easily and has a good set of tutorials so I can learn it from scratch. Youtube videos are great, but without knowing the basics first I think its making not harder for me to learn it.
     
  6. organicCPU macrumors regular

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #6
    I assume that you already do have a flatbed scanner. Some are capable of scanning negatives, too.

    Ripped photos can be repaired best with a "stamp tool". With that you can copy pixels from other parts of the picture to fill the tears. If they are in parts, you can work with "layers", "mask" the non picture parts and put the pieces together with simple transformation tools like "move and rotate".

    Dusty and faded photos can be corrected with tools like "gradation curves", "contrast and brightness" or "color balance". Most of those settings can be applied during the scan to give you a better base for further editing. In your image editor you'll find the same tools to refine things. In the image editor you can save the settings for these corrections. Good scanning software can save presets for repeated and similar tasks, too. Notice that you can scan one picture multiple times with different settings. Afterwards you work again with "layers" to make a fusion for best results.

    Most image editor apps including GIMP and Krita can give you a platform for this. I think the most pros here would choose Photoshop or Affinity Photo.

    For your workflow, it is important to know what you want to do with the data. Present them online or on your TV, make photographic prints or a printed photo book. That will point you to the right resolution for your scans.

    Even if you won't use photoshop Adobe TV has plenty of good tutorials that explain basic photo editing. To get into Affinity Photo there are plenty of tutorials on the web like here on vimeo.
     

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