Self-Taught Photo Restorer Breathes New Life Into “Irreparable” Photos From the Past

Photo Restoration by Mario Unger

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Austrian photographer Mario Unger has led an eclectic life, spending 33 years as a music teacher before pivoting his passion toward photography. Now, he has also developed an exceptional set of Photoshop skills and puts them to use restoring and colorizing old photographs.

The transition to photo restoration was quite natural for Unger. “I found an old photograph and thought, I have to learn how to make it look new again,” he tells My Modern Met. For practice, he began sourcing public domain photographs from the Library of Congress and set about honing his craft.

Unger is constantly challenging himself with difficult restorations that he finds online and through clients who send him beloved mementos to repair. The work can take anywhere from three to 40 hours depending on the image and the level of detail required.

Not only is Unger adept at piecing together the details of a photograph in ruins, but he often skillfully applies color. By transforming these black and white images of yesterday into color photographs, he bridges a gap between history and the present day.

When he's not spending his time working on photo restorations, he's working on his own photography. Whether that be macro photos of insects, surreal digital art, or stunning landscapes, his work truly proves that he's a jack of all trades.

Photographer Mario Unger spends hours meticulously restoring old photographs.

Photo Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerPhoto Restoration by Mario UngerMario Unger: Website | Facebook | Instagram | 500px | Redbubble

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Mario Unger.

Related Articles:

Colorizing Classic Black and White Photos

Artist Dedicates Her Spare Time to Restoring People’s Precious Photos

21-Year-Old Breathes New Life into Historic B&W Photos by Adding Color

Digital Artist Masterfully Restores Severely Damaged Vintage Photos

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content