How to Recover Dull, Washed-Out Photos?
Summary: Have you ever experienced washed-out and dull photos? Wrong camera settings, low-quality lenses, poor lighting, and several factors can lead to a washed-out photo. You can restore your photos and relive your precious memories by following simple steps.
Photos hold a special place in our hearts. They are not just mere images but a representation of our cherished memories. Whether it’s a family vacation or a friend’s wedding, photographs allow us to relive those moments and emotions.
However, sometimes, the photos we take can appear dull and washed out. Seeing your once vibrant and colorful images become lifeless and lackluster can be frustrating.
What are the Reasons Behind Washed-Out Pictures?
There are several reasons behind dull and washed-out photos, and some of them are:
- Wrong Camera Settings or Exposure: If your camera settings aren’t adjusted in an appropriate way, the photo can look too bright or too dark, resulting in a washed-out photo.
- Poor Lighting Conditions: Uneven or improper lighting can result in washed-out photos with reduced color saturation and contrast.
- Inefficient Post-processing Strategies: If your editing strategies are not good or you are using the wrong tool to edit your pictures, it can also lead to washed-out picture issues.
- Low-quality Camera or Lens: A low-quality lens or camera can also result in pictures with no detail and sharpness. This eventually leads to washed-out pictures.
Steps that Professionals Follow to Fix Old Faded Photos
Here are some key steps that generally specialists in the industry follow in dealing with old faded follow:
- Scan the Old Faded Pictures
To fix old faded photo prints, start by scanning them to convert them into digital pictures. Besides, you can capture high-quality printed pictures with a digital camera.
This usually provides better outcomes compared to a scanned picture. After this, load these digital images to editing tools like Gimp, Photoshop, and more for editing.
- Crop the Digital Image, if needed
The corrupted, old photo might have ripped or torn edges. To fix the frayed edges, you can substitute them with the fine edges of your picture by using editing software. If the corners aren’t crucial, crop the shattered edges.
- Repair the Old Faded Pictures
In this step, you can fix the damaged sections in the old faded pictures. You can use tools with smart brushes like Photoshop, Gimp, Lightroom, and more to tackle the cracks, spots, or dampness in a similar color tone. This will remove the shabbiness of the old faded photo and give it a new look. It is suggested to create an effortless transition between the photo’s untouched and retouched portions.
- Adjust White Balance
Once you repair the damaged photo, set the accurate white balance. Your old pictures or even new faded pictures may need to be revised in color. They perhaps have a yellow, off-white, grey, brown, or orange tint. By precisely adjusting the white balance, the photo would look natural.
How to Fix Colored Faded Photos in Adobe Photoshop?
Here is a quick strategy to fix washed-out pictures in Adobe Photoshop:
- First, download and install Adobe Photoshop and upload the faded photo.
- Now, go to New Adjustment Layer and then to Levels.
- In the Level panel, you can find a Histogram with 3 sliders – black, mid-tone, and white. The Histogram of a faded photo does not contain any information in the black or white sections.
To adjust the faded photo, move the black slider toward the middle tone or the beginning of the Histogram. To do this, click on the Channel tab first. You can also assess each channel separately (Red, Green, and Blue).
- Select the All Channels View option from the Histogram panel on the left to see the composite RGB channel.
- Using the black slider, move it toward the start of each RGB channel Histogram one by one. To fix the faded picture, adjust the brightness and contrast. Further, you can try the ‘filters’ and change the ‘blend mode’ to enhance the photo.
- Finally, save the restored picture as JPG, PNG, or any other preferred format.
Are Old Digital Photos Corrupt or Inaccessible?
When storing your precious photos, you want to protect them from any potential threats, such as virus attacks or bad sectors, in the storage drive.
Unfortunately, file corruption can still occur, leading to damaged photos that may become inaccessible or unusable. Some common signs of photo corruption include:
- A grayed-out image,
- or a black screen
If you encounter any issues with your image files, a photo repair tool like Stellar Repair for Photo can help you recover and restore your damaged files to their original quality.
It is advanced software that can automatically fix damaged file headers, structures, and data to restore your photos to their original quality. This tool has multiple features, including:
- Easily repair corrupt JPEG/JPG and other photo formats.
- Supports RAW formats of popular camera brands.
- Compatible with both Windows 11 and macOS Monterey.
Steps to Repair Corrupt Photos with Stellar Repair for Photo:
Step 1: Download and install the software.
Step 2: Once the setup is done, click on Add File and choose the file/files you want to repair.
Step 3: The tool will start the repairing process.
Step 4: Finally, the tool will preview and save the repaired photos at the desired location.
Preserving our precious memories is crucial, and having high-quality photos is essential. However, several factors can cause images to become dull and lifeless.
Fortunately, there are many ways to restore these images and bring them back to their former glory. I hope this blog has helped you understand how image restoration works and the various processes used to fix damaged photos.
Can we increase the clarity of an image?
Yes, it’s possible to increase the clarity of an image using various techniques, such as sharpening, noise reduction, and adjusting contrast and brightness.
Is it possible to Depixelate an image?
Depixelating an image involves using software that applies algorithms to guess and reconstruct the original details of the image based on surrounding pixels. While some success can be achieved, the resulting image may not be completely accurate.
How do you fix a washed-out picture?
To fix a washed-out picture, you can adjust the brightness and contrast and try adjusting the levels or curves to bring back the detail in the highlights and shadows. Additionally, using color correction tools to adjust the white balance and color saturation can help improve the image’s overall appearance.