Retouching Vintage Photographs

Vintage photographs for Find A Grave

Often when I’m researching historic cemeteries to photograph I turn to a website named “”
Recently, out of curiosity I decided to look up the graves of my grandparents on this site to see if and how they were listed.
Thankfully, someone had recorded a memorial within the site and a photographer had added pictures of the gravestones.
To my surprise there were no links from one family member to another, parents, spouse, siblings.
The natural progression for me was to then add these family connections then locate and upload a photograph of each individual.Colorado - mary margaret cunning - Trinidad - vintage photograph - historic cemeteries - retouching - post processing- monochrome - Continue reading

Light Reflectors

This last month I have been focusing on historic cemeteries using the Pentax 70mm DA. I’m specifically shooting for the bokeh affect achieved with f2.4 and 2.8 and given the limited flash sync offered by the Pentax system, I’ve been experimenting with collapsable reflectors for fill light.
The two reflectors used were a 24″ Creative Light Deluxe (sunlight/white) and a 36″x48″ Bowens (silver/gold). Continue reading

Historic Cemeteries

Cemeteries offer so much for photography. Art, sculpture & architecture, shadows and countless untold or forgotten stories.
The individual stories of each person interned, as well as that of the community. One can often see the economic and political eras of a community by the layout of the sections: fraternal orders, racial/ethnic, religious, pioneers, etc., as well as by the materials used: wood, iron, brick, stone. Everything within the cemetery tells the highs and lows a community has experienced.
This month I was photographing some of the pioneer graves at Benton Hot Springs. While processing the shots, I was trying to verify a name on a faded marker when I came across a story from another stone I had shot. Continue reading

Photographing Historic Artifacts/Locations & the Pentax 70mm DA Limited

One of the beauty’s about photographing historic artifacts and locations is the freedom which the subject matter offers.
History, after all is just a story – actually, several stories; some known, some not.
Often, most forms of commercial photography emphasize portraying the subject matter in a specific light – so to speak. Glamour, political consciousness/opinion, product desire or consumer awareness, etc., all while utilizing various art techniques like form/shape, light, texture, and individual expression.
I find documenting historic artifacts/locations to be free in the sense I don’t focus much on portraying my subjects to an audience in a specific light. Each artifact/place has it’s own stories, telling each individual audience member a different story.
This is the beauty. No focus of right or wrong, glamour or coarseness. The subject will always tell each member of the audience their own individual, unique story. Continue reading