|The Virtual Vintage Image
|Case Study 1: A Civil War
I have arranged the site in a series of case studies, which, while easiest to follow consecutively, can be viewed in any particular order. The table of contents to the left provides access to all the pages in this case study (note, they are not necessarily perfectly sequential - some of the pages in some of the cases are sidebars on an issue of interest). I have tried to provide a rough table of contents to the case in the web page headings.
The Original Photo
This photo of John Ross was taken between 1862-1863 during his enlistment in the Union Army (My wife has to move her genealogy site, when more info is available on John Ross, I will add the link here). The photo was found in the leather-bound photo album shown on the copystand on the prior page. The photo was shot on the copystand with a Nikon Coolpix 950. The original file was shot as an uncompressed TIFF file, and for the web was converted to a 72dpi (i.e. monitor resolution) jpeg file with mild-moderate compression (I am trying to maintain about 92-95% quality in the jpg compressions, enough to look presentable but not requiring too much download time).
The original photo is a tintype or ferrotype. The photo consists of a black varnished iron plate covered with collodion (the light sensitive material used to make the image). As you can see, the photo has significantly darkened with age, and has taken on a distinct orange cast (this will become even more obvious later). There are also several pits and other marks in the photo. Much of the detail is either lost or buried in the dark tones - we'll get some of this back.
We decided to show the entire album page in the digital photo, including the album owner's handwritten label. The page itself has yellowed with age (and some of the pages are stained, or molding, or torn). We decided to keep the yellowish tone to the page to give it an aged feeling, but this could have been corrected by color balancing if we had wanted to.