Watching This Japanese Master Rescue an Old Photo Print Is Fascinating

He uses chemicals and craftsmanship instead of software

It sounds corny, but I get a little sad for photography enthusiasts who have never had the chance to work in the dark room. There really is something magical about watching a photo appear in a developer bath. The process in this video, however, seems even more magical.

There’s quite a bit of discussion surrounding the exact process that’s being used in the process. He takes a rather degraded photographic print, and using a variety of chemical baths, he brings back quite a bit of detail to the original image.

There are some truly fascinating moments, for instance, when the image disappears from the paper seemingly completely, things get bit tense. But, in the end, the print looks excellent. Some commenters around the web have been saying things like, “He could just use Photoshop,” but it seems like this process actually brings out more detail from the original image that wouldn’t be available from even a very high-end scan.

So, anyone have experience with this process and care to explain the steps? The whole thing still looks a bit too scary to actually attempt on a photo of any importance, but I would at least like to know how it’s done.

Here's the Reddit thread with some discussion.