View Full Version : Need help with old photo negative

04-07-2008, 10:37 PM
I stumbled upon this old photo negative (if thats what you call it) of my grandfather. I have scanned the image but have no idea as to how to make it come alive using photo software. Any advise on where to start?


04-08-2008, 09:26 AM
My usual starting point is levels or curves.
Even though this images isn't rich in tones, that's where I'd start.

04-08-2008, 09:08 PM
This negative is in very bad shape with a lot of detail destroyed. Nevertheless here is a starting point.



04-09-2008, 01:32 AM
thanks Tegan... if you have time can you briefly share with me the process? i was scanning 4x6's when i found this.... the negative is bigger than 4x6 so I have to rescan it... :)

04-09-2008, 08:29 AM
In PaintShop Pro under image, there is an option called: negative. Clicking on that option changed the negative into a positive. I then increased the sharpness and contrast a little and cleaned up some artifacts: blocks caused by editing in low res images. I increased the chin line a little as well.

With more time, I would strengthen the hint of detail on the left side in the shirt area, chin line and around the ear. As to the glasses, the decision would be either to remove from the eye where they are obvious or try to add them into the other eye and toward the other ear which is not very visible. Selecting the eye with the glasses, horizontally flipping the selection and replacing the eye on the other side is also worthy of experimentation.

There are lots of possible approaches but they all take time.


04-09-2008, 09:07 AM
Tegan... I will look for a "negative" equivalent plug in for Gimp and start with your suggestions... Thank you very much for your time..... :)

04-16-2008, 01:45 PM
hi there,
i too tried to play around a bit with your picture, and here are my results...
i used the hp image program, (i think it came with my printer)
and played with the exposure and lighting,
then i actually used the 'solarize' tool in paint shop pro.
its fun to play around with - thanks! :)

04-16-2008, 03:51 PM
thanks kiley,

I have realized that restoring this photo to a likeness of the original is way beyond my current processing capabilities.... I gonna try it again after more practice...

in the meantime I bought elements 6 and having fun restoring scans of old photographs (easier) and learning that way.... :)