Photo Restoration - Before and After


This Easter weekend, my father-in-law asked me if it were possible to restore the colors of an old faded photo of his parents and grandparents.

"Of course," I said eager to attempt a new challenge. And to make it even more interesting, I decided to tackle the restoration in Affinity Photo - the best alternative to Photoshop that I've been using the last year.

The original photo was heavily faded and to correct this, I applied a white-balance adjustment and intentionally boosted saturation to identify imperfections.


There was significant water damage and various oils all over it. Interestingly, I could make out fingerprints perfectly preserved by the digital scan - I felt like a real CSI investigator.

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Splitting the image into its distinctive RGB channels, I could tell most of the damage lied in the blue channel.

Blue Channel

Blue Channel


And the cleanest was the Green-Channel.

Green Channel

Green Channel


I exported the green channel and cleaned the image using Affinity's in-painting tool. The heavier damaged areas were repaired by taking the black and white green-channel and hand-painting the faded or otherwise non-existent colors. The key is to use a very opaque brush to only add as little as necessary to boost what is already there.

Once finished, I change the transfer mode to color and the image came to life. After a few hours removing more blemishes, specs, etc - I then ran the photo through Neat Photo to remove as much as the hard to clean chromatic noise as possible.

Finally, I used Film Convert to emulate the classic film stocks, apply heavy saturation and film grain to prevent banding.

Final Restored Image

Final Restored Image


If you have a special photo you want to be restored, contact me today!