Photos that I restore the most are those that have faded. Simple fades are simple to correct. Just a quick adjustment of the levels or a quick burn in with dodge and burn tools. Complex fades like the one below are not so simple.
This image could not be colour corrected by tweaking the colours, instead, it had to be converted to black and white, restored and then coloured. You may have seen similar posts by me before on this but each one presents different challenges.
In this case, the fades were corrected by multiple layers using “apply image”. Each layer was dropped on the next and masked in tighter to build back the tones. I had to stop when things started to look too grey. It then became evident the image needs more contrast but this introduced more bleaching, so more masking. Once the exposure was looking ok, it was treated as any other restoration and the coloured using my colouring technique.
Sometimes the tone just isn’t there to recover in the first place and the image looks a little washed out, a bit like this one. The improvement is there to be seen but is not 100% perfect. By using yet more “apply image” the tones gradually get muddied and no further detail is recoverable. Knowing where to stop is always a good thing but you never know if there is any more detail till you try.