enter image description here

and the part I'm interested in:

enter image description here

Unfortunately, this is roughly 45 years old, no negatives.

4 Answers 4


Most of the problems are coming from the paper texture, or, rather, from the way the scanner's light source is reflected by the texture. You can minimize that by scanning the photo in several different orientations: vertical; vertical again, but upside-down; horizontal; and horizontal the other way around. Each of those scans will put the highlights of the texture in different places.

Using your image editor, orient the resulting pictures all the same way. And this is the part where Photoshop as an editor comes in very handy, though there are other software packages that do similar things: load all of the images into a stack and align them, then choose a stack blend mode that minimizes the texture effect (that will probably be either median or mean). And that will give you a much, much cleaner starting point for the rest of your restoration.

And if you have the ability with your scanner, try to create a scan that has no real white or black (close is okay, but try to avoid pure white or pure black) and make it 16-bit. You can always increase the contrast later, but you don't want to lose any highlight or shadow detail in the scan.


If this is what you want try searching for "online photo editor despeckle" - EG: https://www.freeonlinephotoeditor.com/ - I choose enhance and despeckle twice, took less than one minute.

enter image description here


I think, you're looking for "restoring picture". If you confident with photoshop - watch some videos and tutorials in YouTube. My suggestion - try to decrease sharpness, edit contrast. Add little bit color (if you want).

P.S. Amazing picture!

Link to videos: Youtube: Restore pictures in Photoshop

enter image description here

  • You're right that I'm trying to restore it. The problem is all those bright dots--you're saying to photoshop them out manually? (And I claim no credit for the picture--I was still a kid when it was taken.) Nov 26, 2017 at 4:19
  • @LorenPechtel Yeah.. If you want to edit - do it manually... where's no other way to solve your problem. Furthermore, for every thing that you want edit, but you don't know how - type your problem in YouTube. It helps a lot. I gain majority of my skills in PS by watching YouTube videos. Nov 26, 2017 at 4:24
  • There are thousands upon thousands of those dots. (And what are they anyway? I sure don't notice them on the print.) Removing them would take ages. (And I'm not at all sure if the 8x10 that my wife wants is even realistic with them cleaned up.) Nov 26, 2017 at 5:04

Well I had a bit of a go with GIMP and G'MIC plugins and here it is :

enter image description here

  • 3
    Without explanation of what you did, this is not a helpful answer.
    – mattdm
    Nov 27, 2017 at 15:37
  • 1
    Also, looking at the detail in the face, I think this is arguably worse than the original.
    – mattdm
    Nov 27, 2017 at 15:38
  • @mattdm The OP doesn't need to learn what are in fact ad-hoc techniques - there's no general method. And "what detail" does you fantasize was there that isn't now - are you doing something silly like zooming in at 100% ? Be realistic. Nov 27, 2017 at 20:44
  • Stephen, the OP's question asks, "What can I do...". A general explanation of what you did would be instructive to the OP. Questions need to ask for illustrative or instructive answers; questions that just ask "fix this for me" would be closed as off-topic. By the same token, answers without any explanation aren't typically considered very good...
    – scottbb
    Nov 28, 2017 at 0:28
  • 2
    While my specific want was to restore this shot I was asking in general of how to do it, not simply coming here asking someone to do it for me. Nov 28, 2017 at 0:45

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