Few of us get to know more than our nearest and dearest relatives. Further back than this, our ancestors exist only as the subject of family folklore and, of course, in fading photos. My brother is tracing our family history and, if the old photos collected from long-lost cousins are anything to go by, I’m not sure this is such a bad thing.

Not a single photo is lit properly, the depth of field is unforgivable and apparently none of them had heard of white balance. Worst of all, years of neglect have left the photos worn and damaged.

Repairing old photos is only a tiny element of what photo-editing software can do, but it’s the element that many will most want to use. Being presented with appalling before and stunning after pictures can seem almost miraculous. Luckily, it isn’t.

You needn’t spend a fortune on pricey editing software to achieve these results, either. In the following walkthrough, we’ve used Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo X1 to repair some damaged photos with the Clone Brush. Corel recently launched Paint Shop Pro X2 and X1 has consequently plummeted in price. This is pretty much the rule of thumb for most outdated software.

1. In Paint Shop Pro Photo X1, go to File, Open and browse to the image you want to repair. Select the Clone Brush from the Tools palette. This palette will appear on the lefthand side of your image by default, but its location and orientation can be changed simply by clicking and dragging.

Step 1

Step 1