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Thread: Colour of vintage photos

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    Colour of vintage photos

    Hi all
    So I am back working on my restorations and have one that is dated 1912.......a portrait that is quite quite a yellowy/creamy/browny colour if you don't count the fly dirt. Looks like it was shot against a marbled backdrop of some kind
    I wondered what colour is was originally? Is there some way of judging what colour they should be? Was the colour specific to the film or plates? or era?
    cheers
    Jan

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    Old Dog learning new Tricks nixworries's Avatar
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    i don't know how to find out what colours they would have been, i usually look to the era a see what colours were dominant and try to work out from there. unless you are lucky enough to have living memory of the photo from some one in it or who new them
    canon 5D mark III tamron 24-70 2.8 vc, 50mm 1.8, tamrom 70-200 2.8 vc, remote tripod
    perseverance

    Rob


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    Thanks Rob......I have been looking online but its a bit like the old saying....don't believe everything you read lol
    I cant work this one out........it is dated 1921 ( my grandmother and my father ).......such a central focus...
    cheers
    Jan


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    Ausphotography Regular
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    I don't know very much about printing processes of the time but they certainly had printing papers which were very warm on their own. I suspect that the image above is pretty close to how it was when printed, aside from the cracks and physical damage. An image won't necassarilly degrade on it's own, depending on many factors of course, so it's possible that some of your image may simply need repairs for physical damage but maybe not colour.

    There was a paper which was discontinued in the late 80's called Agfa Portriga which gave the above look on it's own, no sepia toning needed.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 14-06-2011 at 7:32am.

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    It may well be a print on a chloro-bromide paper, it may have been toned, in which case there is/was a huge variety of toners.
    Alive and still clicking - apologies to PSQ.
    Living and working in the Roaring Forties
    Assorted cameras of all sizes and shapes including Pentax K (the original), MX, Z1,K20D; 50mm 1.2, 35mm 2.0, 85mm 1.8

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    So I am probably better off leaving the colour alone......I have quite a few to do lol Thanks guys!
    cheers
    Jan

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    Sunrise Chaser
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    Hi Jan , Thought this may be of some help in your Restoration work - Bill

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...estoration.htm
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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