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If you’ve ever wondered to yourself, “Can damaged photos be restored,” it’s likely because you’ve come across some damaged photos that you’d really love to pass onto your children or grandchildren.
Unfortunately, a lot of the photographic paper that was used throughout the 1900s is incredibly fragile. This means that photos of your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents need to be very carefully taken care of or else they can be damaged by insects, mildew or mold, and the elements.
Of course, you can’t go back in time and yell at your relatives to take better care of their belongings, so all you’re left to do is figure out what types of photo restoration techniques might work on your photos.
I don’t necessarily recommend DIY photo restoration, because old photos are so particular, but here are some options that you can try.
You Can Repair Damaged Photos With Copy Reproduction
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The easy answer to, “Can damaged photos be restored,” is yes. You just have to figure out what type of photo restoration service will work best on your particular images.
The first option for fixing these images is copy reproduction. This is the easiest option if you have the right equipment, but it’s literally impossible to do without it.
You can complete a copy reproduction if you have the transparent negatives or positives of the image. This way, you can simply take the negatives or positives to a lab and get them recreated. You can also copy the transparencies so that this sort of an issue never happens again.
Airbrush Restoration is Another Option
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If you aren’t one of the lucky people who has negatives or positives lying around, then you can try to complete an airbrush restoration.
However, this too is a type of photo restoration that is highly specialized. With an airbrush restoration, an artist will copy the original image and use different pens and paints to fill in any missing parts of your photo. These types of artists can also fix color issues in the same way.
Unfortunately, this likely isn’t the option you’re looking for if you’re googling, “Can damaged photos be restored,” because it costs hundreds of dollars and takes hours and hours for an artist to fix. You might want to keep this in mind as a nuclear option.
Chemical Restoration Requires Professional Help
Yet another positive answer to, “Can damaged photos be restored,” is that they can be through chemical restoration.
Chemical restoration is the type of restoration that museums use for their most precious pieces. It is completed with a developer fluid and for this reason is very dangerous for old manuscripts. This is another nuclear option for people who are dead set on fixing an old image for a large price.
Physical Restoration Should Be Your Last Option
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One other answer to, “Can damaged photos be restored,” is that they can be physically restored. However, this is yet another option that you likely won’t be drawn to for its cost.
During physical restoration, scientists use autoradiography to get information from your photo in order to fix it. Out of all of the options I mentioned above, this one requires the most expensive equipment, which means it probably isn’t realistic for you to use.
So, What’s the Best Option?
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The best answer to, “Can damaged photos be restored,” is that they can be via the power of editing. This is one option that you can actually DIY for no cost whatsoever (so long as you already have a subscription to a photo editing software).
You can either scan your old photos, or take a picture of them if they are too fragile to be scanned. Then, upload those photos into your photo editing software.
You may want to try auto color correction, which will fix any contrast issues you are having with your old image. Likewise, auto sharpen will make your photo more defined so that you can see some of the finer details in it.
The “dust and scratches” feature could get minor problems out of your photo. If you’ve saved enough of your image, this may honestly be all that you need.
Of course, if you’ve never restored old images before, you are going to be going on a journey with a steep learning curve. Why not save yourself the hassle and bring your old photos to a professional?
PhotoRepairPro restores damaged photos for one flat rate of $35. For that price, you’ll get the repair completed, an online proof, a JPEG download, and two 5x7 prints shipped to your home.
You know that you can trust the professionals at PhotoRepairPro because they are the same company that worked with Costco Photo Centers for over a decade.
They can restore your old images, including fixing scratches and tears, filling in lost information, and making your image crisper. They can then restore that image to its original condition or you can get it colorized so that you can see your ancestors like you never have before.
The process is also so simple. All you have to do is upload the image you want fixed to the website, fill out some information about what you would like it to look like, and wait. You will have a proof within 7 business days and prints within 2 weeks.