Is there anyway to fix noises in an old scanned picture?

Hi everyone,

My grandfather passed away a few months ago and when re-arranging his belongings, we found an old picture of him taken with grandmother from like 75 years ago.

At that time in our country the camera only produced black and white photos. The colors you see were added onto the photo by direct painting. And since it was printed in a type of harsh paper, when being scanned there were a lot of noises.

I brought the original picture (as big as a postage stamp) to the photographers here, hoping they could help make it in big size for us to hang on the wall. However, I was advised that it is difficult to clear such noises, especially those on the faces without making the faces of our grandfather & grandmother look unnatural.

May I seek your advice here if such an issue can be fixed? (If possible I’d appreciate if you could make it in details as possible as I am not into this field)

Below is the link to the picture

Thank you very much.

Michelle V.

Hi @icytuvi, welcome to the forum.

Something like the following quality is achievable without much effort:


Is this what you want?

If so, you should become familiar with:

  • Lab* color space conversion
  • FFT bandpass filtering (for the L*-channel)
  • MeanShift filtering (for the a*- and b*-channel)

If you have more of this images you should know the options of the above functions because this is (at least at the beginning) not a One-Button solution.

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Hi @phaub,

Thank you very much for spending time on the photo and also for detailing the method of processing it. The photo did come out exceeding what I expected. All the details, the faces, the colors etc. are bolder and clearer. I’ll try to learn from what you have shared.