Volunteer Artist Helps Transform 50-Year-Old Photo Into Modern-Day Quality

Photographs taken with old cameras were in black-in-white due to the limitations in modern techniques and technologies. On top of this, the chemical makeup of old pictures makes them more prone to fading and deterioration. And it’s really a pity to lose a special memory that we held dear through the years . But luckily for us, modern technology has brought about digital photo restoration that can turn a faded old picture into a seemingly modern portrait that looks as though it was taken in the modern-day.

There are plenty of available photo-editing apps that you can use to restore or enhance old photos. Or you can seek the help of professionals to do the job for you. The subreddit r/estoration provides a platform where people can submit pictures that require restoration, enhancement, or colorization. If you’re lucky, someone may be kind enough to fulfill your request and restore your photo for free. One particular submission has gone viral recently after a graphic artist decided to accept the task and showed the amazing transformation.

Volunteer Artist Helps Bring 50-Year-Old Photo To Modern Day Quality

Graphic Artist Transforms An Old Photo Into A Colorized Portrait With Modern Quality

photo restoration before and after

Reddit user u/hattondjh posted a black-and-white, grainy photo of a woman on the page. The OP wrote that the woman on the photograph was a mother of a friend. It was taken about 50 years ago and it was the only photo they have of her. The OP was asking for some advice on how to enhance the image as they intend to give it as a gift to their friend who is constantly baking for them. We later found out that the photo was taken in Ireland in 1953.

Some Photoshop experts quickly took the challenge and posted the results on the thread. Although the OP was really impressed by the colorized versions of the photo, a graphic artist who goes by the name IDoArtForYou wasn’t as impressed by the results. So, he decided to work on it himself.


The Original Photo

old photo woman black-and-white

IDoArtForYou is a professional 3D character artist who also takes photo-restoration work as a side hobby. The graphic artist revealed that it took him around 12 hours over a 2 to 3 day period to finish the restoration and enhancement process. First, he removed as much noise as possible. Then he morphed stock photos into the original picture to enhance the details and textures. He spent a lot of time trying to find stock photos matching the details of the original photo in order to make it as realistic as possible.

The next process involved colorization where he tried to overpaint the monochrome image while also replicating the natural features of the image including reflections, refraction, glossiness, subsurface scattering, and many others.  Then he adds some distortions, noise, lighting fixes, and minor touchups to achieve a more accurate result. When he posted the before-and-after photos on the thread, it got the approval of the whole subreddit page.

After his own Reddit post has also gone viral, the graphic artist has been receiving plenty of requests for photo restorations. Apparently, he cannot possibly work on all of them. In return, he shared a 34-second animation documenting the entire process on YouTube to help simplify the complex process for aspiring graphic artists.

“I do ask people to send me photos,” he says. “I never know when I get in the mood for it. If I like a picture, I work on it. And if I do work on it, it’ll be free of charge.”


Watch the entire process on the short video below

Source: Reddit