Restore a Discolored Photo With Photoshop Elements

High Angle View Of Old Photographs In Box
Andrea Adlesic / EyeEm / Getty Images

If you've got old photographs in your family album that have faded, you may wish to scan them in and then repair them using Photoshop Elements. It couldn't be simpler to restore a discolored photo.

How to Restore a Discolored Photo

These instructions will help you to adjust the lighting on a photo to restore it to its pre-faded colors.

  1. First, open up the scanned image in the Photoshop Elements editor. Then click Quick Fix to enter Quick Fix mode.

  2. In Quick Fix mode, you can get a Before and After view of our image. Using the ​drop-down box labeled View, select either Before and After (Portrait) or Before and After (Landscape) depending on which fits your image best.

  3. Now, to recolor the image, use the Smart Fix slider in the General Fixes tab.

  4. Drag the slider along to the middle, and the photo should return to a much more normal color. It's worth fine-tuning a little at this stage. Dragging the slider slightly to the right will emphasize the blues and greens in the image. Moving it to the left will increase the reds and yellows.

  5. Once your image is the right color, click the Tick icon at the top of the tab to accept the changes.

  6. If your image is still too dark or light, the sliders in the Lighting tab can be used to bring out the detail a bit more. Many photos won't need this extra step though.

  7. If necessary, use the Lighten Shadows and Darken Highlights sliders to adjust the brightness of the image. Then alter the Midtone Contrast slider to increase the contrast slightly, if the image has faded in this way. You'll need to select the Tick icon again to confirm the changes.

Tips for Restoring Old Photos

  • Once your photograph is repaired, you can reprint it and stick it next to the original in the album!
  • Want to keep playing with the image? Learn how to replace a boring sky.