Originally Posted by adelman3
... I have tried isolating the lady on the right and doing a curves for contrast but again didn't want to go too far. If you think it needs more I will go ahead and try that. Thanks for the suggestion.
The original image I suspect was not that great with lighting coming from the left hand side maybe a large window or door the light falloff then causing the far right person to be too dark in relation to the others. I would imagine that this image likely to have been printed without any attempt to balance the lighting over the entire image. You have the opportunity to correct this if appropriate
So the question I guess is do you want to attempt to return it as close as possible to how you (or at least I) imagine the original looked or would you prefer to try and improve the overall image balance to get a more pleasing look?
Not sure why you are afraid of 'going too far' with curves let your eyes and 'gut feeling' guide you - you will know when it is either too light or dark!. You also mention curves for contrast when I think it is more appropriate to be thinking in terms of overall density i.e. the contrast probably does not need to either increase or decrease but the overall lightness of this part of the image could be improved.
The attached image shows this I hope a little more clearly. Using a curves (or levels) layer mask the ladies face, arms and dress down to her lap only. Pull the centre of the RGB curve upwards to lighten overall to get an acceptable result. Also for this a small amount of dodge on the lower part of the face helps.
All this of course is just my opinion and the way I may have applied 'improvements' should I have undertaken this work