example. It depicts a pair of Balinese dancers and dates from 1929. The photograph also has a lot of other distracting elements, so let's fast forward to the completed restoration and then concentrate on a few points. Here's wishing the actual editing went so quickly; it actually took a day and a half.
The next phase of editing didn't try to create a totally even background. I didn't want to alter much adjacent to the dancers themselves. One of the few areas where background absolutely had to be patched near a costume element, though, was that darn flower. Used the clone stamp at a low hardness setting to get a natural effect. Afterward several brightness adjustment masks reduced the starkness of the differences between portions of the image. Also enhanced contrast at the rose, which ultimately meant re-cloning the background in that area.
The final result on that flower might be a smidgeon too contrasty. Yet considering what there was to work with, it was a pleasure to see it come this far.
Another aspect of this restoration was really gratifying at the end, although it's subtle enough that it's scarcely the first thing to catch anyone's eye. In the original photograph the face on the dancer at right is slightly overexposed.
To see the difference a curves adjustment makes, here's a view of her as she looked after all the edits except for the curves adjustment had been completed. There's a blandness and flatness about her; it's hard to catch her expression.