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What kind of photo is this?
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Nov 18, 2022 11:30:14   #
PhilS
 
I recently came into possession of some old family photos after my mother moved into an assisted living facility. Among the more interesting photos is one of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day. It was in a small frame and measures 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It's sepia toned. The note on the back of the frame dates it from 1926.

I've attached 2 photos of it. The one on a wooden desk surface is just a cell phone pix taken to show the rather odd metallic look in the dark areas. Looking at the photo straight-on (as in the scanned version) doesn't show the metallic aspect, but it's obvious as soon as the angle changes. The substrate (on the back) looks and feels almost like a smooth Kraft paper, although the color may be the result of aging. There is no manufacturer's watermark in the paper, and no photographer's imprint on the front.

Does anyone know what kind of process this might have been? I don't know where to begin other than with the knowledgeable people here.

Scanned version
Scanned version...

Note metallic reflections in dark areas (cell phone version)
Note metallic reflections in dark areas (cell phon...

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Nov 18, 2022 13:01:24   #
Frayud Loc: Bethesda,MD
 
The Sepia toning may have incorporated a Selenium toning bath applied to the black and white silver print.

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Nov 18, 2022 13:04:36   #
13 Loc: I am only responsible to what I say..not what
 
PhilS wrote:
I recently came into possession of some old family photos after my mother moved into an assisted living facility. Among the more interesting photos is one of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day. It was in a small frame and measures 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It's sepia toned. The note on the back of the frame dates it from 1926.

I've attached 2 photos of it. The one on a wooden desk surface is just a cell phone pix taken to show the rather odd metallic look in the dark areas. Looking at the photo straight-on (as in the scanned version) doesn't show the metallic aspect, but it's obvious as soon as the angle changes. The substrate (on the back) looks and feels almost like a smooth Kraft paper, although the color may be the result of aging. There is no manufacturer's watermark in the paper, and no photographer's imprint on the front.

Does anyone know what kind of process this might have been? I don't know where to begin other than with the knowledgeable people here.
I recently came into possession of some old family... (show quote)


I thought I'd colorize it for you...just to see how it looked. Hope you don't mind.



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Nov 18, 2022 13:35:39   #
Zooman 1
 
interesting, why is he setting, and she is standing?

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Nov 18, 2022 13:53:16   #
elee950021 Loc: New York, NY
 
PhilS wrote:
I recently came into possession of some old family photos after my mother moved into an assisted living facility. Among the more interesting photos is one of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day. It was in a small frame and measures 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It's sepia-toned. The note on the back of the frame dates it from 1926.

I've attached 2 photos of it. The one on a wooden desk surface is just a cell phone pix taken to show the rather odd metallic look in the dark areas. Looking at the photo straight-on (as in the scanned version) doesn't show the metallic aspect, but it's obvious as soon as the angle changes. The substrate (on the back) looks and feels almost like a smooth Kraft paper, although the color may be the result of aging. There is no manufacturer's watermark in the paper, and no photographer's imprint on the front.

Does anyone know what kind of process this might have been? I don't know where to begin other than with the knowledgeable people here.
I recently came into possession of some old family... (show quote)


PhilS!

Back in the day (we retired in 2008) my custom lab did hundreds of old photo restorations and we came upon this condition quite often. It's a condition called "silvering" for oblivious reasons due to age and other conditions. It's a conventional silver halide print that's common to this day.

See for further explanation: https://restoreoldphotosnow.com/silvering-photos/

Prints made today are inkjet printed but there are labs that will project a digital image onto conventional silver halide paper and develop it in a chemical darkroom if desired.

Be well! Ed

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Nov 18, 2022 13:57:27   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
Zooman 1 wrote:
interesting, why is he setting, and she is standing?


It shows the relative "rank" in the society of the time. The most important person seated, like a throne, and the other person standing in a supporting position.

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Nov 18, 2022 13:58:40   #
Amator21 Loc: California
 
13 wrote:
I thought I'd colorize it for you...just to see how it looked. Hope you don't mind.


Who says that magic is dead! :-).
Poul.

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Nov 18, 2022 14:11:54   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
The photograph was made on chloro-bromide paper and sepia-toned. The "silvering" is caused by aging, possibly storage under less the ideal conditions, and. residual chemicals that were not adequately washed out weh they were processed. Some burnishing occurs on prints stored in albums or stored face-to-face for long periods of time.

In the olden days, the toners were sulfur based and if not washed through they were more likely to stain.

To rest the image, copying with polarized light and filtration,d a bit of contrast increase, and some retouching will make the image more displayable. Obviously, the copy will not suffer further fadeing or deterioration.

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Nov 18, 2022 14:29:49   #
bebop22 Loc: New York City
 
I have photos from the 70s that are exhibiting that reaction. I almost like it better than normal. Gives more mystery.

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Nov 18, 2022 16:37:35   #
Stardust Loc: Central Illinois
 
Zooman 1 wrote:
interesting, why is he setting, and she is standing?
I have a similar photo of my grandmother taken in 1921 and actually asked her why she was standing. Told me dresses then were usually silk or satin and brides did not sit in them to avoid wrinkles or wear. That was her story and I can't challenge it, she has been gone too long.

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Nov 18, 2022 17:05:04   #
joecichjr Loc: Chicago S. Suburbs, Illinois, USA
 
13 wrote:
I thought I'd colorize it for you...just to see how it looked. Hope you don't mind.


Great results - and kind of looks like a guy who is in control of his life ✨🔆✨🔆✨

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Nov 18, 2022 17:06:27   #
joecichjr Loc: Chicago S. Suburbs, Illinois, USA
 
PhilS wrote:
I recently came into possession of some old family photos after my mother moved into an assisted living facility. Among the more interesting photos is one of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day. It was in a small frame and measures 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It's sepia toned. The note on the back of the frame dates it from 1926.

I've attached 2 photos of it. The one on a wooden desk surface is just a cell phone pix taken to show the rather odd metallic look in the dark areas. Looking at the photo straight-on (as in the scanned version) doesn't show the metallic aspect, but it's obvious as soon as the angle changes. The substrate (on the back) looks and feels almost like a smooth Kraft paper, although the color may be the result of aging. There is no manufacturer's watermark in the paper, and no photographer's imprint on the front.

Does anyone know what kind of process this might have been? I don't know where to begin other than with the knowledgeable people here.
I recently came into possession of some old family... (show quote)


Sure love these oldies but goodies

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Nov 19, 2022 06:40:03   #
Eleazar Loc: Ballymena
 
You transformed it !!

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Nov 19, 2022 08:44:17   #
AzPicLady Loc: Behind the camera!
 
I have lots of old photos that display that silvery look. It's sort of part of their charm, I think. The paper mine have is quite heavy - almost as heavy as cardboard. I kind of like it. They're not mounted.

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Nov 19, 2022 08:57:09   #
Bill1453
 
13, What program are you using to colorize this photo? You did such a great job. I just started to color a wedding photo from the 1940s using Photoshop CS6, I thought I was doing a pretty good job until I look what you did, yours is so much better. Is there a tutorial so I can see how this is done?

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