In Pictures: How to Clean and Retouch Old Photos with Paint Shop Pro

Ensure your old family photos get preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Let’s face it, there’s always a project to be done! One such unfinished project is sorting out all my old 4x6in photos. These memories hold a real value. Unlike digital camera pics that are backed up and duplicated on numerous hard drives, CDs and free online storage sites, these older, precious pictures are kept on single, eroding, torn and scratched pieces of paper. Then they’re stuffed in numerous drawers, shoeboxes and old albums.

So let’s get cracking and try to finish turning these torn and scratched memories into digitally cleaned, recoloured backed up files. That way they will hopefully last forever.

To take this task on you are going to need access to a scanner to digitise your images, and some photo-editing software. Here we show you how to do it with the basic version of Paint Shop Pro 8.0.

Tips and Tricks: Choosing the Right Scanner Resolution

Unlike cameras or printers, using the maximum scanner setting doesn’t necessarily produce the best results. Make the maximum optical resolution (rather than a higher, software-boosted one) your upper limit. Check your scanner for details. High resolutions can be cumbersome to work with as unwanted detail starts creeping in. This is especially common with old photographs, slides and negatives where the emulsion may have begun to perish.

The most suitable resolution depends on what you’ll do with the scanned image as well as the size of the source material. If you’re going to want to print your photo at any stage, choose a setting of 600 or 1200dpi (dots per inch), depending on your scanner’s capabilities.

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