Making the Old Look New Again
After scanning the image at a high resolution (600dpi worked well for this small print) I brought the .tiff file into Adobe Camera Raw to take a closer look. Not only were the colors off, but the subject was blurry. This may have been partially due to the motion of the subject, but the focus was also more on the background and less on the subject. added some selective sharpening to my list as well.
The third item to be addressed is any dust, scratches, or other details that were not a part of the original scene. There following is the order in which I went in to make the fixes to the finished photo. You may have a process that works better for you, as this is just one way to approach this type of digital restoration.
Color Balancing and Contrast
From here, you can make some adjustments to overall contrast, saturation, and sharpness, but I am saving those steps for later since I need to make some changes to local (affects specific image areas) parts of the image before I make any more global (affects the whole image) adjustments. For this I opened the image in Photoshop CC.
Cleaning up Unwanted Artifacts
These three images are various samples from the trees, water, and shoreline. These areas of the image do not feature many important details and are easily fixed by the Spot Healing Tool. Fortunately, there was very little in the way of blemishes on the little girl or her horse. If you do need to remove blemishes from the subject of an image, just take your time and try out the Healing Brush Tool for better results.
Selective Sharpening, Blurring, and Finishing Touches
I copied the original image, and then used a mask and the brush tool to "paint in" the parts of the copied image I needed to be in focus. Then, I applied the High Pass filter to my selection and blended this top layer with a Soft Light blend mode with the original layer. Then, I went one step further and blurred the background layer with a Gaussian Blur filter to make the subject stand out even more. The final image also has some slight exposure and contrast adjustments made to the subject to help her stand out as well. You can see the difference in the three images laid out below. Click on them for a larger resolution image.
Printing and Result
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