Get 6 Months of ShootQ Free With Any Workshop Purchase!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Featured Projects

Old and Damaged Photo Restored Before Your Eyes in This Time-Lapse

By Hanssie on July 8th 2015


My parents have boxes and boxes of old photos in a storage unit, secured in the pages of those old sticky page photo albums (which I read somewhere will eat through the photos eventually. I never remember this until I can’t do anything about it). I also have a storage unit with boxes of CD’s holding years of photographs of my daughter, which one day may end up having to be digitally restored; who knows where technology will take us). I often wonder if I should do something with those photographs, the story of our lives, my family’s heritage and then I figured maybe an easier way is just to get those Facebook printed books and have at least the last 6 years of my life documented. The entire process just seems like a lot of effort to me, as in two generations, all that will be remembered of me will most likely be some old photos.


But who knows, perhaps someday, someone out there will make a time-lapse of an old photograph of mine and restore it for the world to see – such as the very cool time-lapse below created by Joaquin Villaverde. The clip shows 1.5 hours of Photoshop retouching and restoration done on an old photograph. Before our very eyes, the cracked and discolored image is cleaned up and colorized in three minutes. It’s quite amazing actually.


[Via Digital Rev]

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Bud Johnson

    when these are done right, they’re incredible. very cool!

    | |
  2. Ralph Hightower

    Yup, even digital photographs have to be considered.
    I also have a storage unit with boxes of CD’s holding years of photographs of my daughter, which one day may end up having to be digitally restored; who knows where technology will take us).

    I am not a technology futurist, but I have worked in the computer technology industry from the mid 1970’s, so I have experienced this seachange of innovation in computers, storage media, operating systems and applications. I was interested in photography in high school and used my parents’ Polaroid Land Camera; I bought my first SLR camera in 1980, which I still use and there’s been similar shift from film to digital.

    Chemistry doesn’t change. Sure digital is made of ones and zeros, but there’s no guarantee that file formats, processor chips, or storage media will remain the same. One can’t look at a CD or DVD and say “Yes, that’s my vacation trip to Yellowstone”, whereas with film, even color negative, one can see what the photo is.

    I haven’t worked out a solution for keeping my images from my DSLR current for the next technology innovation.

    | |
  3. Dave Haynie

    I’ve done a few of those, other than the colorization part. I have a roll of photos my Grandfather took in WWI, and I’ve done a few restorations. Many more to go. And it’s not a short process. I may have a few new Photoshop tricks to learn, too… having upgraded to CC recently, there’s probably something there I need to know about next time.

    | |
  4. Jimmy Arcade

    That is very impressive! Makes me realize how little I know about Photoshop. I’ve got a steep learning curve, but I’m anxious to continue growing in my post-processing skills.

    | |
  5. Peter McWade

    The amazing power of photoshop. What a skill to learn. Restoration of old photos.

    | |
  6. Nick Viton

    Mad skillz!

    | |
  7. robert garfinkle


    | |
  8. Timothy Going

    Wow. That is amazing. Photorestoration could be a big business for someone skilled enough and patient enough to do it.

    | |