Old- not so great images

August 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Do you have older, not great images?

Many people have photographs from many years ago, some taken with early digital cameras and even scanned images from film cameras. It goes without saying, that every image whether digital or in print does not need to be a masterpiece. Sometimes an image can bring back pleasant memories from the past even if the photo itself is not the best quality. But, what if you want to bring just a little bit of life into the image?  This post will not deal with restoring very old damaged photo's, but rather older images that simply lack luster.

The photo above was taken over 20 years ago with a plastic point and shoot camera. It was a overcast day at a beach. Certainly not a really bad image, but is certainly flat. Can we bring a little life back into the image while still keeping the overall mood? Of course we can.

I wanted to keep the moody appearance of the image but wanted give it a little spark. The greyed out sky was an area that I wanted to improve.  Programs such as Luminar and Photoshop  both have sky replacement features. There are also a variety of third party vendors that offer a quite variety of skies( Sky replacement). Sources such as Etsy has sky packs for less than $5 Sky replacement packs.  The key in using the sky replacement is to try to match light and at least close to your original image. While Photoshop and Luminar typically do a great job in replacing skies, there are some images, particularly poorly scanned images, that either program will not be able to fix automatically. In these cases, here is a very quick and easy was to manually replace a sky Sky replacement in 2 minutes.

Of course, we will often will need to make additional adjustments to these images. Some valuable changes that I have found in landscape images include:

  • Increasing contrast
  • Increasing clarity
  • Opening Shadows
  • Reducing noise
  • Vibrance and Saturation
  • Sharpening the image

I am also including the following reference that includes some detail as how to adjust sharpness and noise if you use Lightroom to edit your images Sharpness and Contrast.

Take a look at your old images, and see if you can breathe a little more life into them!






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