Reply To: Museum style

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1890-1910, like Monkeybort suggested for sure. Definitely sepia with discolored spots. Also maybe some scratches, tears or folds in the picture. You could probably use old family pictures and clone the scratches etc in from them for authenticity.

I’d also consider making the photo oval mounted in a rectangular frame to mimic the photos of the time, which were usually mounted in a folded cardstock folio that you opened to see the picture. The photo was on the right hand side when you opened it, and the lefthand side might have had the photographer and city on it in fancy type of the era. I can get you some of my old family photos I scanned in this year to use for inspiration if need be. Background/backdrops could be varied. It was often just whatever room the photographer set up in, so it could be obvious house walls with ornate flocked wallpaper of the time. People were often posed in dark chairs or standing with a hand on a table, and the table might have flowers on it. The overall scene was elegant.

1930-1945, more of a true b/w and less sepia. Slightly soft focus with “classic” lighting, a definite strong key light and softer fill. Background/backdrop was often plain, but could be a house room as well.

1960-1970, Again Monkeybort called it. It’s the blue that faded in cheaper film of the era and left a lot of pictures very red, orange or magenta. I have some family photo examples of this too. When posing, think Olan Mills or Generic Department Store Studio stuff. Especially in the 70s (less so in the 60s) the backdrops were often of rather obviously fake outdoor scenes.

Can you tell I did a lot of photo restoration work this year? lol Anyawy sounds like you have a fun project on your hands 😉