Photoshop Blog

March 29, 2013 /Photoshop /

Photo Restoration in Photoshop and Bringing Memories Back to Life

When Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast last fall, I remember reading stories about the survivors (by chance I’d escaped it myself by just hours a week before) and one theme kept popping up – people facing great danger to retrieve their family photos. Brave survivors were running into hazardous buildings, fighting through rushing floods and putting their lives at risk to retrieve precious memories. Those photos were people’s most valued treasures, and the storm was damaging them the same way it damaged their homes and their lifestyles.

I needed a way to help. It was unbearable to see these victims fight to recover their most prized photographs, only to find them damaged by the storm. Knowing Photoshop’s tremendous power for retouching and restoration, I looked everywhere for tutorial  content to share, but nothing seemed right. I knew my background in photo restoration could be of use, and the solution seemed to be one that everyone could appreciate (we all have old, damaged photos – right?).

Luckily, the team at came to the rescue. They offered me one of their studios to record a video series about using the tools in Photoshop to recover photos. I wanted to make the series available to anyone for free, and their team absolutely understood that.

Bryan O'Neil Hughes tutorial

Starting today, is offering free access to my “Photoshop Insider Training: Photo Restoration” video series to anyone through the “Like to Learn” tab on their Facebook page. The series, which totals 25 videos and more than 70 minutes of footage, will take viewers through the entire photo restoration process, starting with the scanning/uploading process and ending with my own personal finishing touches. For a preview of the series, check out the clip below.

Throughout the series, I discuss the role Adobe Camera Raw plays in the restoration process, including tips on toning, coloring and cropping. You’ll learn how to use Photoshop to remove dust, scratches and other distracting blemishes. The series even covers correcting serious problems like tears, creases, stains and water damage.

Restoration before/after

To get started, go to the “Like to Learn” tab on the Facebook page. After that, you can watch the videos for free and get started restoring your memories.


Join the discussion

  • By Daniel Camacho - 11:08 AM on March 29, 2013   Reply

    Great Great , I particularly have dificulties to work with Photoshop but it does not means it is no a great tool thaks guys for this giff I am amateur love photo but have not all the time I WILL LIKE TO HAVE

  • By pat - 11:19 AM on March 29, 2013   Reply

    love you guys awesome stuff will use – my son’s is going to Nationals for hockey this week and hopefully to have a time by the 10th !

  • By Thanasis Bethanis - 11:32 AM on March 29, 2013   Reply

    So great. Can anyone tell me how did he do that thing with the Spot Healing Brush? I tried it pressing alt + ctrl but didnt work for me.

    • By Bryan O'Neil Hughes - 12:18 PM on March 29, 2013   Reply

      With a painting tool selected, Control + Option (Mac) – drag left/right in order to decrease/ increase brush size. Control + Option (Mac) – drag up/down to decrease/ increase brush hardness.

      On Windows, Control + Alt + Right Mouse -drag left right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.

      hope that helps!


  • By Thanasis Bethanis - 12:20 PM on March 29, 2013   Reply

    Thank you very much Bryan :)

  • By Daniel thomassin - 4:10 PM on March 29, 2013   Reply

    Merci beaucoup Bryan pour les conseils et pour les vidéo de Lynda;Ceas va mètre bien utile car je ne ces pas encore restaurer des photo ancienne !En vous remercient beaucoup .


  • By karanmansa - 9:01 PM on March 29, 2013   Reply


  • By ayakkabı - 1:36 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    a new very useful photoshop brush. thanks.

  • By Jennelyn Derecho - 1:57 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    I followed the instructions. But a question ” how to save the finished photoshop”? Please help me….

  • By uhammad idrees - 2:54 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    thank you for give me a taring for Photoshop i like to la ran plz

  • By Vidit Kothari - 3:53 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    Thank you so much for this.

    Reporting a bug: The FB share button isn’t working as it is supposed to. On Clicking it, the “Post to Timeline” button gets cropped out and a user thus cannot share the article. Maybe the button needs a higher Z-Index in CSS or something likely.

  • By Haris Khan - 7:22 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    What about the Certificate of that? can we also get the certificate?

  • By Kashif - 9:57 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    I want to use adobe photo shop but i dont know any thing about using tools of photo shop. kindly tell me how i can use adobe photoshop or send me any link of video which containing method of using photoshop… Please

  • By Aby - 10:26 AM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    i am really

  • By Mike - 12:06 PM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    Thanks for this, I’ve just begun the long process of bringing back to life my parents wedding photos. Timely post for me!

  • By Lans De Los Reyes - 11:11 PM on March 30, 2013   Reply

    woah! nice work, i think this will be a good time to spend while im on a vacation :)

    more power photoshop! :* <3

  • By Mastermansachin - 7:08 AM on March 31, 2013   Reply

    I hope it will help me and other people to learn new and interesting things in photoshop!! :)

  • By Adnan Mukati - 1:36 PM on March 31, 2013   Reply

    This is great thanks Bryan O’Neil and lynda for this tut.



  • By eins galindo - 4:34 PM on March 31, 2013   Reply

    thanks!!!! big big help!

  • By andrei konn - 9:40 PM on April 3, 2013   Reply

    Well, the provided information regarding the technique of restoration photo is extremely handy. From the provided tutorial I managed to add life to the old photographs of my grand parents. Thanks Bryan for sharing the valuable information.

  • […] Check out this great collaboration between Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes & Bryan writes, […]

  • […] If you’re interested in improving your photo restoration skills in Photoshop, check out the tutorial series, “Photoshop Insider Training: Photo Restoration.” […]

  • By Steve Ashie - 4:12 AM on April 8, 2013   Reply

    Great restoration course. I’m a beginner in all this, can you tell me how to evaluate the photo, ie what can and cannot be done and when I’ve added/fixed what I can of a photo, when it would be considered done?


  • By Laura Seeger - 1:57 PM on April 8, 2013   Reply

    I’ve watched your series on about restoring photos and it’s wonderful. Well done!

  • […] If you’re interested in getting started with photo restoration, find out more from my free video series. […]

  • By andrei konn - 12:46 AM on April 24, 2013   Reply

    restoration photo has become part and parcel of photography. You can change old looking photograph into completely new one. This helps in repairing old photographs.

  • By Lori Lea - 11:32 AM on April 29, 2013   Reply

    where is the “Like to Learn” tab located?

  • By Digitalkamera Test - 11:41 AM on May 10, 2013   Reply

    Perfect effects, really nice!

  • By nick - 5:19 AM on May 16, 2013   Reply

    has this free video viewing expired now?

  • By Jerri Menaul - 10:27 AM on June 13, 2013   Reply

    Photoshop is a very great help in restoring the beauty of old photos, you can edit it anything you want. Old photo may seems to be more valuable and adorable if it is being restore, Check this video it may give you some idea about photo restoration:

  • By Ralph Janulewicz - 9:32 AM on October 7, 2013   Reply

    perfect article, always love reading good writing.

  • By Alphonso - 4:26 PM on November 24, 2013   Reply

    Thank you very much Bryan, just saw your blog…… Like you, I enjoy retouching very much… Thanks for the info!

  • By Rakesh Gurjar - 5:54 AM on December 4, 2013   Reply

    Hi Thrare,

    My name is Rakesh Gurjar.

    i have 5 year experience in photo restoration work.

    I do color and density correction, contrast and saturation
    enhancement, conversion to black
    and white or sepia, cropping, deleting, or adding a person in images.

    I also do removal of background objects, creases, dates, dust,
    scratches, stains, blemishes, glass glare, red eye, and wrinkles. I
    restore stained and water-damaged photographs. I also repair cracked

    If you like to give me some sample work.
    I will work on that and i will send it back to you.

    If you need me you can contact me on :

    i will be happy to work with you.

    Thank you for your valuable time.

    Thanks & Regards,

  • By Gerard Nash - 10:15 AM on April 14, 2014   Reply

    Thanks for the video series. I have watched certain videos several times. Love the content aware move tool. One question. I don’t know when to use a hard or soft brush. How does one decide?

  • By Connie Buckley - 10:31 AM on April 25, 2014   Reply

    Thank you for this information. I want to purchase Photoshop, but there are so many products I’m not sure which one I need. My main interest is scanning and restoring photos. Thank you for any suggestions. i have an IMAC.

  • By Kevin - 12:48 AM on May 12, 2014   Reply

    Is this course no longer free? It states that it’s supposed to be free, but I have to join at a cost.

  • By Photo restoration Dublin - 9:16 AM on June 10, 2014   Reply

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing from Photo restoration Dublin

  • By LEYVA - 12:17 AM on October 16, 2014   Reply

    thanks a lot for sharing and the movies. Now I can start to restore some old family pictures and be ready for nice Christmas presents!

  • By Robert Belllingford - 1:18 PM on October 30, 2014   Reply

    Dear Bryan,

    I cannot find the ‘like to learn’ tab on the facebook page.

    Please could you tell me how to find your free course on photo restoration?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Robert Bellingford

  • By Jennifer McMillen's Photo Restoration - 1:40 PM on November 10, 2014   Reply

    I love Lynda – they are a goldmine of information and a great way to build skills. Restoration skills are just something we absolutely will always need, even if Lynda’s not offering the video it for free anymore.

    Being a photo restorer myself, I use Lynda to brush up on new skills, learn new things. Great things they’re doing over there.

  • By Adana Evden Eve - 12:35 PM on November 30, 2014   Reply

    My main interest is scanning and restoring photos…

  • By dominoqq - 5:42 AM on January 10, 2015   Reply

    thank you

  • By Restore old pictures - 4:34 AM on January 27, 2015   Reply

    Some great content here. Thanks for sharing.

  • By adana evden eve - 4:39 PM on March 17, 2015   Reply

    I cannot find the like to learn THANKS..

  • By Roger - 9:57 PM on May 31, 2015   Reply

    As other commenters, cannot see how to “like to learn” on The videos no longer appear to be freely accessible, but require a subscription to view them all. Very disappointed if this is the case.

  • By Abadipoker - 5:46 AM on June 9, 2015   Reply

    who’s the man in the photo?

Join the discussion


9 − = zero

+ one = 2