How To Give Your Old, Vintage Photos a New Life With iPhoto for Mac

Alvaro Bernedo

Restoring Vintage Photos in iPhoto Main

Like most of us, perhaps you also have a bunch of old photos that you really like and that you don’t want to see spoiled by time. However, since there’s usually just a single copy of those photos, scanning them is a good idea if you want to truly preserve them.

The problem is, a scan only replicates your old photos, so if you want to really make them look like new you will have to restore them to some degree, a task that might seem daunting but is actually stress-free on a Mac, thanks to great tools like iPhoto.

Fix Vintage Photo

Let’s take a look at how you can get your old, vintage photos to great shape using iPhoto.

Adjusting Tones and Colors

First, scan and open your vintage photo in iPhoto on your Mac. Then click on the Edit button at the bottom right of the iPhoto window to display the editing panel.

Fix Vintage Photo Open

Fix Vintage Photo Edit

There you will find a series of tools that are usually great for enhancing your photos. They are also an excellent option for restoring old photos.

Fix Vintage Photo Edit Panel

The first thing you’ll do in this panel is to head to the Effects tab. There are various pre-set effects that are just ideal for vintage photos here, so you may pick one. In my case, I wasn’t pleased with any of these, so I instead used the ‘spheres’ on top of the panel to adjust the color more finely to a cooler tone of sepia.

Fix Vintage Photo Color Original

Fix Vintage Photo New

Fixing Imperfections

Next, I went back to the Quick Fixes tab. There, the most useful tool for this kind of task is definitely the Retouch option which will help you take care of any small flaw or imperfection that your photo might have.

So, click on the Retouch button and then drag the slider shown there to adjust the size of the brush that you will use. In this case, since what I wanted to correct were those awful scratches spread across the photo, I selected a smaller brush size.

Fix Vintage PhotoBrush Size

After that, you can use the slider at the bottom left of the window to zoom in your photo to better work with those smaller blemishes.

Fix Vintage Photo Zoom

Now here’s a neat trick: iPhoto tells you to either click or drag your cursor along the imperfection to fix it, but dragging tends to mess the color uniformity a bit, so just stick to clicking and your photo will end up much better.

In this example, I started correcting the vertical scratch at the left of the tower one click at a time. As you can see in the pics below, the result is quite amazing.

Fix Vintage Photo Process 1

Fix Vintage Photo Process 2

Fix Vintage Photo Process 3

You can then repeat this for every little imperfection on your photo until it looks flawless.

Now, an optional step. In this case, I wanted to accentuate the form of the Eiffel tower, so I decided to crop the photo to a vertical form to remove all the noise around it. For that, you can just click on the Crop button or drag the corners of the cropping frame on the photo.

Fix Vintage Photo Cropping

Fix Vintage Photo Crop Done

There you go. Quite neat what a tool as simple as iPhoto can accomplish, right? Now go get all those old photos you might have and give them new life!

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#iphoto #photo effects

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Alvaro Bernedo

Written By

Alvaro Bernedo

Contributor at Guiding Tech