Editing the Image
Now that we have several images to choose from, it is time to edit to improve the image. I'll spend less time on this part for the photo at hand, since I cover the image editing in detail in the first two cases. It never hurts to see the general approach, though. For this photo, I chose to use the scanned image, to try to maintain the higher resolution. To remind you of the image
To get rid of the speckled appearance, I'm going to do the same thing I did in case 2: apply a blur. Specifically, I'm using a Gaussian blur, radius of 1, 75% of full effect. I got this by trying several settings, and choosing the one that gave the sharpest underlying image while still getting rid of the annoying texture pattern. Here is how it looks post blur:
I'm happy with the color cast since it is close to the original. We did also make a copy for ourselves with the color cast removed (the sky is annoyingly white in that copy, though). While the contrast is also close to the original, I prefer it with a little more contrast. As previously done, I used the brightness curve command. There is no pure black in this photo, so I set it so that the few darkest pixels were pure black, and I set the skin tones a few shades above middle gray. This resulted in the following photo:
I like the higher contrast here for the image. The children stand out a bit more. It is a bit more noticeable that the horses moved (long exposure time, you can see movement artifact for all of the people on close inspection of the photo).
Once again, I hope that this case study was helpful. Please feel free to contact me with comments.