In our retail pharmacy business, the photo department is often presented with challenging images to copy or restore. Straight-forward copying is generally done by our partner lab but the more challenging ones, I like to handle personally. Very often, these images are very precious to the individuals and families involved and as a photographer, you really want to do whatever is possible to recover these photographs.
General image processing applications like Adobe Lightroom, which has become the staple of most photographers generally offer little in this kind of project - Photoshop still reigns king for precise image retouching and recovery.
The faded images that were presented on this occasion were themselves copies: early digital prints which faded substantially with time. The originals cannot be located, so the copies are now all we have.
The first step is to make as good a scan as possible from the originals; I scan at a much higher resolution than is needed for the final print, so that you have as much image detail as possible. Then Photoshop comes into its own with its powerful layers and tools and on this occasion, I myself was amazed at what could be recovered from images that had almost evaporated from the paper...