I'm attempting to restore an old photo with pretty bad speckled silvering as opposed to large areas. I've managed to get rid of the spots but in doing so have inadvertently increased the scan lines presence and anything I try to do to get rid of them with Gaussian blur etc. is reducing the image quality significantly. Original Scan Fixed Scan with Obvious Lines

I've tried a couple of methods I've found on the internet but the results are not making much difference. (I tried Moire reduction and adding image from two separate layers - one lightened then one darkened to try to get rid of the highlights but again no real success.)

Not getting much success on the patch tools or heal brushes either.

Any suggestions or pointers on a good fix? I think these scan lines are going to play havoc when I try to colour it.


*edit - Apologies, i had looked at the 'removing texture from a photo post' however the scan lines present would not be considered a repetitive texture and therefore i dont think this would solve the issue.

see below 60% zoomenter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi and welcome to Photo.SE! Does this answer your question? What is the best way to remove texture from a scanned textured photo paper?. Could also be that it doesn't help you as the pattern you deal with is different. In that case, feel free to edit your question and indicate that you've seen the related question, tried the proposed methods, but it failed for you for [reasons]. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2021 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you're using a scanner since you refer to 'scan lines'. Perhaps using a camera would work better. You could change the angle of the lighting and/or camera to minimize the silvering (I assume it's a reflection issue and not a density issue). \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Mar 15, 2021 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Bob, i tried initially taking a picture of it from various angles however the results were practically un-useable (probably my skills with the camera to blame) and thought i would get a workable image on the scanner (considering how much alteration would be required anyway). it seems my fixes to remove the silvering speckles are to blame for the amplification of the scan lines as opposed to the original scan and my original question was more wondering if i could add a step along the way potentially to reduce this aftereffect. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2021 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't summarily assume scan lines couldn't benefit from two scans done 180° apart. The scan lines will be the same distance apart, but the "offset" of the lines on the image will almost certainly be different. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 15, 2021 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related to this answer at the question that @SaaruLindestøkke recommended, can you try taking multiple scans (rotating 90º between each scan), rotate the scanned images vertically as necessary, and then blend the layers together? The interesting (common) signal should align and add up, and the scan artifacts should be "averaged out". \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Mar 16, 2021 at 1:32

1 Answer 1


A shot at it with Gimp's wavelet denoise filter and a small contrast increase with Curves:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks xenoid. that looks fairly impressive and seems to be the ticket. if i dont have any luck implementing the rotated scans i will look into the plug-in (i use my work computer for doing stuff like this as it is a bit of a beast with regards to spec, the downside is i need the IT regimes approval for installing plugins and the like) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2021 at 14:31

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