Photo Restoration

The days of looking up photo restoration in the yellow pages are over — now, with software like Luminar you can take photo restoration easily into your own hands. Damaged or faded old photos need not sit in a dusty old box, or make a trip to the garbage. With a scanner and a few creative editing tools in Luminar, you can repair those splotches on the photo that took an accidental dip in the kitchen sink, or restore a faded family photo from the 50’s — so that it’s ready for the mantle (or social-media!)

Restoration of old photos

Old photos are vulnerable treasures in today’s digitized world. You can ensure their survival by scanning them into your computer and restoring them back to their former glory. For maximum restoration control, try and use a quality scanning system that allows you to scan them in at at least 300ppi, if you can. Afterwards, open the photo up in Luminar.

Using Presets

Let’s start with black and white photo restoration, for example. Typically, these types of photos fade overtime, losing clarity and contrast, and they can also develop a sort of yellow hue. Our goal here would be to fix the exposure, tone and add dimension back into the image. We can do this in a variety of ways in Luminar, using presets, filter adjustments and perhaps a little masking. Or, if you wish, a combination of them all.

You could begin, for example, with a preset like “Sharp and Crisp” or “Clarity Booster” to give you a starting point with the image, and bring back some detail into the photo. Notice that you can adjust the strength of these effects to your liking (with clarity, usually less is more!) Afterward you could try adding a “Dehaze” filter and observe the restoration effects it comes up with.

Using Filters

Fundamentally, however, for maximum control of your photo’s restoration, it’s best to take a manual approach to tone and exposure adjustment. Do this by adding the following filters: temperature, tone, clarity and details enhancer. Cool down the temperature of the photo, add contrast by playing with black tones and highlights, and adjust using clarity and details to restore the image to your liking.

A common occurrence when using these kinds of sharpening filters is that you’ll notice that the clarity in some areas of the picture is too strong — but in other areas it the clarity restoration is perfect. If that is the case, press the mask brush on the top right corner. Simply choose the brush opacity and paint over the areas you’d like to make less intense. This masking technique can further be used to apply any editing effect only to specific areas of the picture that need it.


Color photo restoration is similar. Though instead of concentrating on black tones and exposure, we have to pay more attention to temperature, tint and the subtleties in the image’s color.

For this, edit using the same filters as before, but also try adding an “HSL Filter”, which allows you to control each color separately in the photo. Adjust until you get the restoration you’re looking for.

Luminar 2018

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Luminar advantage

Luminar makes your photos more beautiful, vivid and sharp. It is the next generation photo software that is adapts to your skill level and photography style.

Golden hour filter

Golden hour is that famous window of time just before sunset or before sunrise. Luminar offers a ‘Golden Hour’ filter that can help you recreate this glowing effect!

Facebook Cover Photo Maker

Facebook cover photo co-authors an online first impression. With Luminar’s facebook cover crop ratio, and other editing tools, you can create one that fits perfectly.

Noise Reduction

Digital Noise is just not as attractive as that old-school film grain. This is why Luminar offers an easy-to-use and effective adjustable noise reduction tool.

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