Saving Old Slides ... With Photoshop

How to Give New Life to Your Old Photographs

by Jim Zuckerman

Before
Before
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Recently I came across an old photo I took on the island of Crete that has always bothered me because it is too light, the contrast is too low, and the colors are to weak.

This is artwork from the Minoan culture, a civilization that flourished a thousand years before the Greeks. It is remarkable to see such great art from 1500 B.C., but my images were disappointing because my light meter was inadvertently set to the wrong ISO. I was shooting Fujichrome 50 (digital cameras hadnít been developed at that time).

After
After
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Photoshop can save a lot of old slides and give them new life. I scanned the original 6x7cm (medium format) slide with an Imacon scanner, and then I worked with my favorite two commands: hue/saturation and contrast.

By increasing the saturation, the colors instantly came alive, and then with the addition of a little contrast the ancient mural was restored to what it may have looked like so long ago.

I also used one more command Ė color balance (all of the commands are under the pull down menu: Image > adjustments). The photo had turned too yellow, and by moving the yellow/blue slider toward the blue I eliminated the undesirable color bias.


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Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.