Editing old photos // ⋆ Amanda Hawkins | Ahhh Design

We have hundreds and hundreds of old photos from both my mom and dad’s sides of the family. My mom and I ended up being the keepers, to scan and organize – which is a lot of work but we love doing it. We both also love genealogy and could spend days researching our long ago relatives.

I’ve always loved the photo below from 1943. My great-grandparents with their 4 kids surrounding. The woman in the back right is Nan, my paternal grandmother, a seriously amazing woman.

This is the scan of the original photo:

I don’t always spend tons of time cleaning up the scans in photoshop, sometimes I’ll just remove the scratches from the faces and adjust the color a bit. With this one I spent more time cleaning up the background too. I mostly use the clone tool and go through pixel by pixel. For the color edits I use the color balance, curves, levels and black and white adjustment layers.

Here’s the photo after the clean-up, just removing the yellow tint makes a huge difference:

I’m definitely not an expert at restoring photos but I have been doing it for years. Something I always wanted to try was to colorize an old photo – it just seemed very daunting. These beautiful before and after images by Sanna Dullaway and this colorization timelapse video are both really cool if you want to see more.

Here’s my first attempt!

I woke up this morning thinking that I should add more color into the faces so they’re not so pale, rosey cheeks and whatnot. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though. I roughly followed this tutorial, using the hue/saturation adjustment layer to add color. I’ll definitely be doing more of them and researching about other techniques for adding color, fun!

Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out littlebird.ahhh.co if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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