Best tools and plugins for restoring old photos in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Posted on 2009-02-16
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hi, thanks for reading and I hope someone can help.

I have recently purchased an Epson Perfection V500 Photo scanner with the desire to make a digital archive of the thousands of family photos that are just sitting in boxes in danger of being wiped out by fire or flood. I have Photoshop CS4 and my understanding is that prints should be scanned no higher than 300 DPI and negatives at about 2400 DPI.

My question is simple I think, I would like some input on what are the absolute best plugins for Photoshop which will be helpful in getting these photos and negatives scanned and archived.

 I will be using Vuescan for the scanning, so I am not concerned about making the scanning part easier as vuescan seems to do a nice job of simplifying the process. I am interrested in those plugins that are indispensible for fixing old photos. Restoring color to faded photos, fixing minor rips and tears and other damage.

 I am very new to this, so please forgive me if I have said something that does not make sense.

Thanks very much in advance for taking the time to read and possibly answer this question. I will check back frequently and award points to the best answer.  
Question by:GaryAmbrose
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    The native tools in Photoshop work great for photo restoration. I haven't found a need for add-ons.

    It sounds like you want to batch process your photos. That's the downside. I haven't ever found a magical sequence of steps, or an automated filter/tool that will work for all photos. Most require manual retouching.

    It won't be quick and easy, but the built in tools in Photoshop will do a great job for you.

    Author Comment

    Statler01, Thanks very much for taking the time to answer. I know the tools in photoshop are great and can do almost anything, I was more or less looking for some great plugins for making images better. And you're right, I kind of am looking for something to make the edits easier. I am in the process of learning photoshop through video based CBT's from Kelby and Talented Pixie so I can get good at using the various tools. Thanks again and I welcome any other comments or answers. I will hold the points until I hear from a couple more people.
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    No worries about the points. If anyone has any automated tools for this, I'm interested to see them as well!

    Also feel free to post any images that you might need particular help with.
    Especially for someone that's just learning, it can be nice to see how a few different people would approach the same image.

    Author Closing Comment

    As I learn about photoshops abilities and built in filters and tools I realize that statler01 was correct in that the included tools really are all you need. Plus once you get good at it it really does not take very long to fix a photo (depending how badly damaged it is, of course) This photoshop stuff really is exciting. Thanks again statler01 for taking the time to read and reply to me.


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