How To Fix Faded Photo Scan Colours So They Look Natural Using Photoshop

What you're going to learn to do after reading these scan tips...

fix photo scan color with photoshop

1. Use Auto Color To Make Colours Look More Natural

Remember how I told you that it doesn't matter if your photo is 100 years old or 1 year old, you'll still get unnatural colours? And that's because your scanner is going to also scan the light coming off the surface of your photo.

The best way to get rid of this flat / "filmy" look, is to use "Auto Color".

Here's what to do: open your digital images in Photoshop, and find Auto Color...

fix color photo scan photoshop command

Command: Image -> Auto Color

And here's the before and after...

fix negative scan color photoshop

2. Colours Still Boring? Brighten Them Up Using "Color Balance"

In most cases Auto Color is all you'll need. But if you still feel that your colours are a bit off or not bright enough here's what to do:

Open the Color Balance Tool by clicking Ctrl + B or Image -> Adjustments -> Color Balance

And you'll get something like this...

fix color balance slide scan photoshop

Now, in my case (see image above), the colours are a bit dull. So what I did was, see those 3 gray arrows in the middle in the Color Balance tool? I moved them closer to Red, Green, Blue.

Now, your photo scan is going to be different. If your scan is way too red, then move the arrow toward Cyan. Or what if your blues look purple? Then you can slide the arrow closer to Green away from Magenta.

You see, it all depends on each scan. And hopefully Auto Color does the trick for you. If not, you'll have to use Color Balance. Sure, it takes time. But if you're serious about quality scans that you'll one day give to your grandchildren, then I think the time is worth it!

Here's what I did...

fix photo scan color balance photoshop

Next Step: Fix Dust, Scratches, Bends From A Photo Scan

Now that your colour look amazingly bright and natural, your next step is to fix all those scratches and cracks.

That's next...

How To Fix Cracks And Scratches From A Photo Scan Using Photoshop  

Free Ebook: Tells You Secrets To Getting High Quality Slide, Negative, Photos Scans In Half The Time

Which of these scanning troubles do you want to overcome?

  • What's the best resolution / DPI to scan your slides, negatives, and photos -- so you don't lose details
  • Best method to digitize slides, negatives, photos using your regular flatbed or film scanner
  • How to clean your negatives, slides, and photos before you scan them -- so you don't scratch them
  • What side should you scan a slide or negative -- so they're not backwards or facing the wrong way
  • How to setup your scanner to get higher quality digital images -- 24bit JPEG? 48bit TIFF?
  • How to fix your digital images using Digital ICE, GIMP, or Photoshop and make them look new
  • How to improve your scan workflow so you can double your productivity and finish your project twice as fast
  • Understand the technical stuff of a digital image so you can make sideshow videos, reprints, and more!

Hey, my name is Konrad. I've been scanning professionally since 2005. I've helped multi-billion dollar companies, pro sports teams, pro photographers, artists, museums, book publishers, etc. I've scanned over 930,000 slides, negatives, photos.

The reason I'm telling you this is because no matter what challenge or frustration you're having, I know exactly what you're going through. So, to help you RIGHT NOW, I've put together a super simple scanning guide to get you started.

How to scan slides negatives photos into digital, free ebook download

Your free ebook is up for grabs. Just click the button below and start downloading...