Two Tech Tools That Will Bring Your Faded Family Photos Back to their Former Glory
We’ve all been there. The moment is simultaneously exciting and discouraging. Opening up an album that’s been sitting in an attic for decades feels a lot like discovering buried treasure. And like most buried treasure, your precious family albums may look like they’ve seen better days. Dust and grime can build up on photos when they sit, untouched and unseen, for many years. If they’ve been trapped inside one of those old school “sticky-page” albums for decades, you’re bound to notice some residue on the surface of the pictures. Plus, if your vintage family snapshots were taken on certain types of film or printed on certain types of paper, they may look like they’re a bit bleached or bizarely tinted! But whether your vintage family photos are dusty or in need of color-correction, there are two tech tools that will bring your faded family photos back to their former glory. Using these software platforms, you can give your beloved family pictures the care and attention they deserve.
For PC Users: Vivid-Pix RESTORE for Windows
This software offers fast and easy image restoration for scanned photos. Vivid-Pix RESTORE is the brainchild of the inventor of underwater-image improvement software. Using the same technology platform as the acclaimed Vivid-Pix SCUBA and Land & Sea products, Vivid-Pix RESTORE improves scanned images from color prints, black-and-white prints and slides. It also works on digital photos. The founders have a fascinating story and a deep commitment to helping families restore their family heirloom photos. Here’s what they have to say about their love of family pictures:
We all have boxes and boxes of old snapshots, waiting to live again in the digital world. Some of these boxes are handed down from parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents or other family members, filled with priceless memories. Unfortunately, the longer those prints sit in shoeboxes, the more they will fade. Due to light, heat, humidity and other conditions, the dyes in photo prints and slides fade over time – even those printed recently on modern equipment. Even photos stored in cool, dark places will eventually lose their color and vibrancy and with that loss goes those stories.
That’s exactly why the team at Vivid-Pix worked for years to develop a patented method for correcting for depth and distance in underwater photos. And that same expertise helped inform the development of their advanced color and clarity correction within Vivid-Pix RESTORE.
How to Start Using Vivid-Pix RESTORE:
To get started, you’ll first need to scan your prints, slides or negatives. There are many options to choose from, including mail-away services, photo retailers, and local photo organizers. With any of these services, scanned images are provided for you on a disc, a drive, or on a cloud server. Ideally, your images should be scanned at a high-enough resolution (300-600 dpi) so you can enlarge and crop. In the genealogy world, where archiving is the name of the game, the standard is often 1200 dpi, but this will be more than most people require for easy sharing, viewing and storage.
Tech tip: DPI means dots per inch, and is a measurement of how much information is stored in the file, based on the size of the image. The higher the number, the more information is stored.
To use Vivid-Pix, open the folder on your computer where the scanned images are stored. Then select the image(s) you’d like to correct. Everyone sees lightness and contrast differently, so Vivid-Pix RESTORE gives you a preview of nine suggested fixes – just pick the one you like best! Don’t worry, Vivid-Pix RESTORE never affects the original image. (One note: Vivid-Pix RESTORE is not designed to fix spots or tears in a print.)
Here are a few samples of what this simple-to-use software can do for your family photos:
Vivid-Pix RESTORE software analyzes every picture, providing a correction based upon the requirements of that image. With as little as one-click, your photo can display more color and clarity than when it was first printed. The software also includes tools to fine-tune your images and to begin organizing your photos.
For Smartphone and Social Media Junkies: PicTapGo!
If you’re one of the millions who enjoy sharing vintage family photos on #throwbackthursday, then you’ll love this handy app! PicTapGo is designed with an intuitive interface that’s easy to use without instruction or tech wizardry. This is a go-to app for folks who want to quickly snap a picture of an old family photo and upload it to social media. The entire process is super speedy! Here are a few of the top features that you’ll enjoy when giving PicTapGo a spin:
• Plenty of free filters available, so you can make your smartphone images shine in seconds
• Apply a filter and then use the slider tool to lessen the intensity of the effect
• Layer different filters for fun, customized looks
• Save your favorite photo filter ‘recipes’ and use them again
• Share to social media in mere moments – directly post to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
Here’s a quick example of family photos (right) that were loaded into PicTapGo. These pictures were quickly taken with an iPhone and then opened using PicTapGo. Check out the variety of customized looks you can achieve. Ready to bring iPhoneography to a new level?Win every #TBT with PicTapGo!
About the co-authors & founders of Vivid-Pix:
Vivid-Pix is a partnership between Randy Fredlund, CTO, and Rick Voight (pictured left), CEO, to design, create and deliver fast and easy imaging software. Since launching in 2012, Vivid-Pix has advanced its product to earn the support and respect of business leaders and photographers. Fredlund has more than 100 digital-imaging patents and has extensive experience in research, development and commercialization. Voight has created billion-dollar businesses through Product Development, Sales and Marketing for Eastman Kodak and Hewlett-Packard. The software is now available from the Vivid-Pix website and from select resellers. Since the launch of Vivid-Pix RESTORE at RootsTech, the team has seen the power of pictures in action, as long-dormant memories are brought back to life with greater color and vibrancy. It’s truly an honor to bring this product to families. You can visit their site to learn more. You can also follow them Twitter and YouTube for tech tips, or chat with them on Facebook.