Fading Historical Sources

A common problem with old black-and-whites or sepia tones is that they fade. Attempting to adjust the Levels or Curves often introduces color artifacts.

Step 1. Leave the image in RGB mode, but strip away the color by choosing Image>Adjust>Desaturate or by pressing s+® + s (m+l+m)

Step 2. Make a Levels adjustment and restore the white and black points.

Step 3. Make any additional adjustments as needed.

Step 4. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Click the Colorize box and adjust the sliders until your photo is tinted to match your desired look. This adjustment layer can be used on other photos as well.

You can open the file Ch10_Historical_Stamp.psd to see this technique in action.

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