Photoshop Part 2

So this week I focused on then engraving and vignetted photographs. After getting extremely frustrated with the engraving task I finally got it to work and I am quite satisfied with my outcome.

On GuardBlue-Guard-Engraving


As an art historian visual evidence is a major part of my research. The various editing techniques we have learned must be used sparingly and with the right notations and intentions otherwise one may loose the very backing the evidence  was supposed to give. Colorizing can be fun, but should be used cautiously in regards to research.

Something that was brought up last week in class that I want to address is the use of partial images. Sometimes all that one has is partial drawings or photographs of someone of something. It was asked how much one can restore a photograph. I think that as far as using an image as evidence the only restoration we can do is cleaning up scratches or spots. If there are chunks missing either do not use that image or use the information you have within the image and later if other documents are found that may change an interpretation, go from there. In art history we are not always lucky enough to find completely whole wall engravings or paintings, but if we were to add or complete what appears to be a missing line we are misrepresenting the information we have. Sometimes that means if further scientific advances allow for more details to be uncovered interpretations may change. Otherwise the interpretation and analysis is done with as much of the image as one has.


I commented on Theanna‘s and Annie‘s blogs.



2 thoughts on “Photoshop Part 2

  1. As a public historian, I also have to use photographs and paintings for what I do. Often , someone will try to show that my museum is wrong about something, and the best way to prove that we are correct is with a photograph. Often, photographs are the best evidence. An example is that a writer might say that LVT (landing vehicles) carried Marines to shore at Okinawa. But which type? There were at least 8 different types at use through WWII, so photographs might help uncover important information.

    I think that photo restorations can be useful to hash out the certain aspects of the photograph. Colorizing is especially useful for humanizing old black and white photographs. I can use examples of uniforms or paint analysis to recreate in a photo a color from the past, and as long as I’m honest with the viewer, I think that is reasonable.


  2. Goatherd

    That engraving clip is fantastic!
    I also lean toward a more conservative approach to altering photos, but I have to admit that I’m looking at old photographs with an eye toward the colorization possibilities these days. I think that you could use a colorized image in an exhibit where it meets some criteria, such as humanizing the subject, or highlighting an important part of the photo that might otherwise be lost in shades of grey.
    One of our classmates colorized the subject and then vignetted it by leaving the surrounding photograph black and white. I think that could be an effective approach for an exhibit.


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