Without the color, it tends more toward being just another black and white photo and more easily ignored - and that was clearly not what the artist and patron had in mind.
Interesting to think how many tintypes may be out there still, and what can really be done with them. Even just using the camera and strobe like he did, without the hours of touchup work, seems to do quite a lot of good. Perhaps that's a cheaper service people could offer over the 'scanner' solution.
Most good labs offer this service. Sadly, most also charge as much or more to take the shot as they do to scan. Often labs will charge based on digital resolution and ignore the ease or cost associated with obtaining that image.
If you were able to shoot prints in RAW and then again with the same camera and position only in IR you could automate a lot of the dust and surface scratch removal with minimal loss in fidelity .
Really, a modest investment in time and available consumer technology could allow an enterprising individual/company to outfit themselves very well for performing print archival/restoration at reasonable rates.
The blurring of the background is abysmal and destroys the notion it is a restored photograph. Even if the client demanded this, the restorer should have refused. As it is it makes his work look shoddy. I give him the benefit of the doubt it was not his decision. If it was his decision to blur the background that much, for shame.
The conversion to greyscale was also ill considered.
The loss of curls in the hair is a pity.
They have some other candidates for restoration if anyone wants to give this a try (though obviously the main thrust of this article was how to get the original image capture right, rather than the digital retouching stage):
Macro shots are another good way to pull out detail though I find my scanner does a better job in most cases (scanning 2400 to 3200 DPI helps, more is usually overkill for most mediums). The use of a polarizer is a great idea though.
1. Take a photo
3. Photo restored to amazing clarity!