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5 Tips for Restoring Family Photos

Use A Quality Scanner

While the majority of multi-function printers available on the market these days can perform high-resolution scans without difficulty, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a dedicated flatbed scanner. Some are so upscale that they even include integrated hardware for storing negatives or slides. Other than that, make certain you thoroughly clean the flatbed before you scan anything. This will lessen the amount of time you’ll have to spend editing the photo or photos.

Stick With High DPI Rates

The dots-per-inch rating you choose when scanning a photo or photos plays a big role toward your success. Consider that scanning a 3-inch by 3-inch photo at 100 DPI gives you a 300 by 300 pixel image, while scanning that same image at 200 DPI gives you a 600 by 600 pixel image. Ideally, you want to always go with 300 DPI when restoring family photos. It can be risky to go any higher than that, because it can have the reverse effect of making low-resolution photos suddenly seem blurry.

Take Advantage Of Healing Tools

Healing tools like the clone tool are really useful for removing stuff that you just don’t want in the photo. It’s especially great for getting rid of scratches, creases, dust, unwanted objects or people and more. It basically lets you retool a photo so that it looks contemporary, as if it were just taken yesterday. These tools are limited in what they can do, but if used properly, they can make your family photos look 10-fold better.

Save With A High-Quality Format

The JPEG and JPEG formats are used most frequently these days for saving photos, but you ought to avoid them. These formats suffer from lossiness, in that they are prone to decaying faster than you would prefer. Your best bet is to choose lossless formats such as PNG and TIFF. The latter is especially valuable because it retains all data, regardless of how many times you resave the photo. Just keep in mind that PNG and TIFF formats use up a lot of hardware space.

Acquire Patience

Restoring family photos requires zen-like patience. It can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it does require dedication, commitment and time. One photo can take an hour or longer to retool, depending on far you are willing to go to achieve the perfect photo. Be patient, take your time and make sure to take breaks when needed. Also, never give up, even if you find yourself feeling frustrated!

Piecing It All Together

Restoring family photos is anything but impossible. If you use a quality scanner, choose the proper DPI setting, take advantage of healing tools, rely on high-quality formats and remain patient, you can restore any family photo into optimal condition. And once you get this process down, it’ll become that much easier and quicker for you to repeat over and over again. Before you know it, you might just wind up with a knack for restoring photos!