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Opinions wanted on faded, damaged photo
I've attached a photo which is giving me a moderate amount of grief.
As you can see, it is severely faded and speckled with damage (mold?, foxing?).
My basic problems are
1. When I adjust contrast via curves, the damage becomes pronounced. Correction with the clone or patch tools would be a Herculean effort.
2. Use of a "salt and pepper" filter to help eliminate the spots causes sharpness to suffer too much.
I'm inclined to increase contrast, but less than optimally to minimize the apparent damage.
How would you approach this restoration? I believe there may be no ideal solution, but rather a good compromise.
Thank you very much for any suggestions.
The photo you uploaded has a lot of JPEG artifacts (i.e., it's highly compressed), so it's a little difficult to see the detail of the mold damage through the compression. You might want to try uploading just a section of the photo with less compression.
That said, I took a look at the individual RGB channels and it appears that there is more damage visible in the blue channel than the other two. So, I would start by eliminating the blue channel. (Specifically, I would probably use the channel mixer and use some combination of the red and green channels.) That will make the image B&W rather than sepia, but that's OK b/c you can add the sepia tone back once you've restored it. This won't completely remove all of the damage, but it should reduce it some.
Sorry about the file quality.
I've now uploaded a detail from the pic along with a levels adjustment.
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