Adam Diamond
Adam Diamond

Adam Diamond is the supervisor for Canon's Inkjet Printer Marketing Division's Training Department and has traveled the country teaching people on all levels of experience, from the beginner to the experienced professional photographer.

Restoring Old Photos with Canon Scanners & Printers

May 17, 2016

How many times has this situation taken place in your life?  You’re at home or at a family member’s house or at a friend’s house and they pull out the old photo albums. Next thing you know it’s three hours later; three hours of laughter, maybe a few tears shed, but all in all each photo has a story associated with it. 

If you’re like me, I look at these old photos and I am amazed how much their color has distorted or how much dust and scratches they have accumulated through the years of holding these photos.  What if there was a way to restore these photos to make them look as if they were printed recently vs. in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s?  There is.

No matter if a photo was originally printed in color or black and white, it is certainly possible for someone to restore these photos without “breaking the bank.”  All it takes is a quality scanner and printer, both of which Canon offers as all-in-ones or standalone products.

Take this first photo:

The photo was taken in the early 1950’s and through years of handling, the photo displays dust and a few scratches.  Normally a person would say that due to the age of the photo, these were normal wear and tear and they’d accept them.  By using the scanner on the Canon PIXMA all-in-ones (i.e. MG and MX series), this photo can be enhanced back to its original form, without the dust and scratches. 

When a person downloads the driver and software with a Canon PIXMA all-in-one, they are provided with a complete software package, My Image Garden.  When using the scanner driver within My Image Garden, the user is given a multitude of image correction / restoration options at their disposal. 

  • Resolution (dots per inch – DPI)
  • Image Size
  • Image Correction
  • Image Adjustment (for this project we would select PHOTO)
  • Dust Reduction (the older the photo, the more you most likely want to raise this)
  • Fading Correction (same rule as Dust Reduction Applies)
  • Grain Correction (depends on lighting – the darker the lighting, the more grain correction would be needed since low light photos are typically grainy)
  • Gutter Correction (mainly used for documents where the spine of the book was scanned and came out a thick black line.
  • Face Sharpener (can choose from 1-3 in strength – this photo was a 1)
  • Digital Face Smoothing (can choose from 1-3 in strength – this photo was a 1)

After making all the alterations to your photo, remember to save your work.  There’s nothing more frustrating than to get your photo just the way you want it and then forgetting to save your work and you receive the dreaded “unexpected program quit.”

Once you are finished, My Image Garden gives you the ease of printing the photos that you’ve altered.  Simply select “Photo Print” from the Guide Menu, double-click on your selected image, select any Special Filters you desire and click the Print button.  From here, it’s just a matter of selecting your printer, the size and type of paper, and which cassette the paper is housed in. 

The last thing to do is to wait for your beautifully restored image to print. You can then display the print for all to see your amazing restoration skills. No one has to know how easy it was for you to accomplish with a great printer and software package.

© 2017 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.