Restore old photos: how to rescue vintage prints and family pictures

Cheat Sheet: how our layers stack up

The cheat sheet below shows how we combined our separate layers to repair damaged areas and colourise the children. Click on the infographic to see the larger file, or drag and drop to your desktop.

Cheat Sheet: how our layers stack up

How to restore old photos using Photoshop Elements

Most of the restoration techniques in this walkthrough can be applied using Photoshop Elements, though you'll lack the access to Smart Objects in Step 04.

Once you've applied the Dust & Scratches filter, add a Layer Mask directly to the filtered layer. You can then click on the mask and press I to invert it. This hides the filtered layer's content.

You can then follow the technique in Step 06, but you'll be spraying white on the Layer Mask, instead of the Smart Filter's mask.

Elements users don't have access to all of CS's Content-Aware tools (such as the Content-Aware Fill command), so you will have to do more manual cloning and healing to remove certain scratches.

PAGE 1: How to restore old photos, steps 1-9
PAGE 2: How to restore old photos, steps 10-18
PAGE 3: How to restore old photos in Photoshop Elements


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