So I have a lower resolution photo and a high resolution scan from a magazine that both picture the same thing. However, the scanned image is faded, has text, is not fully in color (parts are in gray) and is not just very good quality. Where as, the low resolution photo is fully colored, very bright and no text or anything.

Cleaning, filtering and color correction won't improve the scanned document sufficiently and it is hard to remove the texts without leaving some trace of it.

So I was wondering if there is a way to use the low resolution photo somehow to improve the scan? Like enhance the colors and/or smooth out the wrinkles that were in the magazine.


1 Answer 1


It is possible, but it will depend on the photos, and on some manual fiddling - so it is not possible to give an exact recipe - do more or less this:

  1. Open the high-resolution photo

  2. file->Open as layers...and open the low resolution photo on top of it make the low resolution photo invisible in the layers dialog

  3. resize and reposition if with the transform tools so that it matches the phot bellow as close as possible

  4. turn it visible again and make it translucent.

  5. now, duplicate the high-resolution layer so that you can always have an "out of order undo" for your edits - you will work on the second layer, and if things go bad, just copy/paste/clone parts of the lower layer on to it

  6. Now, it is fiddling: try putting the low-resolution photo in "color" mode instead of "normal" in the layers dialog

  7. remove the text artifacts within the work layer, either with the clone healing tool, or with the cloning tool, on the "registered mode", settting the low resolution layer as source. Do this editing until the final result satisfies you.

  • Thanks! That worked partially! However, the scanned image's noise made the "color" mode look weird. "Hard light" seemed to work better although it slightly changed how the colors look but I was able to fix that! Thanks!
    – palako
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 17:28

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