I tend to cheat with old photos and converted them to greyscale, there i could really get to grips with the contrast issues ( I could go into numbers and values but as long as your lightest area is around 4pc and the darkest 94pc and the subject looks balanced it should be fine )
The benefit of greyscale as you can really get in with the burn tool to bring out those faded areas ie RHS elbow/ door in background / hair etc. I also burned the shadow values by about 10-15pc on the floor areas to bring them out.
I changed back to RGB to do some selective sharpening on the doc and then changed to LAB to sharpen the lightness channel globally.
I deleted all channels except the lightness
and changed back to greyscale where I then added the yellowy background using colourise in the hue/saturation dialog box
My explanations are vague, I know, but I hope this has been helpful
Hope you don't mind me dredging this one up but I tried a new technique tonight.
opened the image
used the blue channel to provide the basis for a new grayscale version
upsampled to 300 dpi to give more room to work
copied the layer
gaussian blur the new layer to provide a blob of tones - all detail should be obliterated but there should be a range of light and dark tones
invert the blurred layer ctrl-I
change the blurred layer to overlay blend mode - this should combine with the original background image to even out the fading significantly
merge the layers
burn and/or dodge where needed with a medium size soft brush to further even out the fading
levels or curves to help with tonality
I took this a step further and USM the boy, blurred the background, converted to RGB and added a sepia look.
thanks for providing an opportunity to practice!
Glad to see it was a good practice image for you. I must say, it hasn't been an easy restore, I thought you had some good results but possibly a liitle much in the USM dept. The blurred background is nice and is a good idea over having to repair it.
Colin, the blur was just something I like to do sometimes. Wasn't meant to be a cover-up although it serve as a cover-up at times. I mainly was playing around with evening out the fade. Thanks for the picture...
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