My experiment


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 18, 2014
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have been trying to push myself as a photographer. I had this idea of trying to find settings in nature that elicit certain feelings outside of the normal sunrise/sunset type pictures. My goal on this day was to create a image that gave me feelings of despair, anguish etc.
I decided to try and create a post production look reminiscent of old civil war photographs to add to the effect.
Obviously, it's not a particularly interesting subject. But for me that wasn't the point of the exercise. My ultimate goal is to hone my ability to extract emotion from any setting. My thought is that if you can do this effectively with a mundane subject the effect will be even stronger when dealing with a more interesting subject.
So what are your thoughts? Do you feel this a worthwhile endeavor or a waste of time? Do you do something similar and if so, what?
It doesn't remind me one bit of a conflict that's 150 years in the past.

The first thing that stuck me was the appearance of a fallen tree, and how an opening in the canopy has created a pool of light.
I should have been more clear about that. What I meant was the treatment was inspired by old civil war photos. Black and white, blurred muted background in contrast to a sharp foreground. Not that the photo itself should make you think of the civil war. When I look at the work of Mathew Brady there is a haunting feeling to his photos that isn't there in the colorized versions. This is what I was after, subject matter aside.
Razor-thin DOF is what you're looking for. This is easy to do with large-format camera, but not so easy with a DSLR, especially with normal to wide-angle lenses.

You may want to look into the Brenizer Method.
Thanks, I'll give that a look.
The processing looks more modern digital than old photo. You have gone for a sharp contrasty look with lots of deep black, which is not really how old photos look.
You have to divorce yourself from using the modern processing tools such as sharpening and positive clarity because if you use them in the same way as you do to produce your digital images then that is what you'll get.
The older emulsions tended to be more sensitive to blue/green than red so burnt out skies, and sometimes odd contrasts because of the darker tones of reds. Then the lenses were uncoated which led to flare that really did boost the shadow values by acting as a sort of pre-exposure, (I have a 1910 Tessar that does the same thing), so really soft shadows rather than any harsh or sharp ones. Highlights in film tend to roll off quite smoothly. Large format film, especially early stuff is more an excersize in smooth gradation and texture and not micro-contrast and sharpness.
I would start by giving a slight boost to the blue and a slight cut to the red when doing the B&W conversion, this will give you the slightly odd contrasts, then some negative clarity. I think that the overall depressing feeling comes more from the muddy depressed tones than any crisp black.
Please excuse the re-work, I am just trying to show more of an old photo look.


Most reactions

New Topics