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A few days ago, I was looking through old photographs with my Grandma when I came across this. It’s a photograph of an old typewriter that my Grandpa took while in the service. He was stationed in Greenland as a typewriter mechanic. This photo has a lot of meaning to me, but unfortunately it’s tarnished and fading. This is the process of restoring the photograph.

Scanning the Photo

Canon MX 922

I started by scanning the photograph. I was able to do this wirelessly with my Canon MX922. If you need a new home printer/scanner, I highly recommend this. It is the best printer I have ever owned.

Scan Settings


Make sure the scanner is set to Black & White, using the highest resolution possible (600dpi for me), and set to save as a JPEG. There are other advanced settings like restore fading and dust detection, but I left them off. I cropped the image by drawing a box around it before it scanned to save time.

Original Scanned Image

Original Scanned ImageIt’s hard to tell whether the image was blurry to begin with, or if it degraded over time. A good point of reference is the ruler toward the top of the image. My goal is to make those numbers crisp and legible. There is also noticeable imperfections in the photo – I see several fibers, cracks, and duct particles. Now it’s time to start restoring the photograph.

Cropping & Straightening


I straightened and cropped the image in Photoshop. I cut off a small bit of the edge to make it clean.

Removing Scratches, Tears, & Fibers

removing-scratchedNext I used the clone tool to remove any major imperfections. The clone tool copies part of the image that is close to the imperfection so the image looks seamless.

All Cleaned Up

all-cleaned-upThere are still minor imperfections, but I think it enhances the style of the photo. I wanted to remove anything major that likely happened to the physical copy of the photo.

Sharpening & Enhancing

sharpeningI used a tool called Shake Reduction to sharpen and enhance the photograph. It used a complex algorithm that guesses at the original detail behind the blurred regions in an image.

Final Restored Photo


What a difference! 

Restoring this photo only took me 10 minutes, and it was completely worth it. I am really pleased with the results. The last step is getting an 8x10 print made from I highly recommend them for any type of photo printing. The quality is outstanding compared to any superstore, and their website is very easy to use. Best of all they are affordable – an 8x10 is only $2 and change.

If you have any old photos and would like me to restore or enlarge them, please contact me!

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