Some historians may well be horrified with this method of photo restoration but I for one love it! I dislike books which use unrestored black and white or color images. They simply tell a story of age but do not represent the intent of the photographer. I would be mortified to see my work reproduced in either a damaged state or with the color badly faded simply because the dyes in the film degraded with age and the publisher was too lazy to fix the problem.
Now with Photoshop, restoration is only a learning curve away and even vintage black and white photos can be made into color if you know the tricks. Here are few examples of vintage images I have recently restored.
This picture of Pinky Richards’ aka “Watson’s Wildest” Corvette was taken by George Barris. on Ektachrome color transparency film back in about 1960. Larry Watson had done some of his craziest flames on Pinky’s Corvette and George wanted pictures for his magazine stories. In the past fifty years the color dyes have degenerated, leaving the image with a red-cast and other tonal issues . Some of this could have been removed with the latest color scan software but the subtle correct colors are only regenerated by time with Photoshop.
The conversion of the black and white image of the Fiat was done in multiple layers. The colors are correct as far as I can tell to the original paint and wood colors.
These days when virtually everything is printed or seen on the web in color, this method makes sense not only for visual appeal but for its added interest and ability to convey more information for the viewer to enjoy.