Sunday, June 12, 2011

Victorian Photo Fakes

I feel as though I've been away from blogging a lot lately. It must be the summer weather! I'm out in the garden every weekend, and have been accomplishing a lot AWAY from the computer!

Our House, front

Something I did manage to do recently involves messing around with some old photos I'd taken in the past. I wanted to get them to appear to have been photographed in the Victorian era.

Our House, back

Do you think these look old? I'm a bit of a Photoshop geek, so I was able to tweak these to my liking. I took each photo, vignetted the edges, sepia toned them, blurred the focus in certain areas, and added some grungy scratches and edges.


The first and second photos above are my house. I always wondered what it looked like back in 1873, and now I kind of do! There's one of my chairs. And here's my cat, Penny! Or is it her ancester?


This is our town's historical society.


In order for these to appear even more like they could be from the Victorian era, I chose subject matter I knew the Victorians liked to photograph. I picked some photos that were actually old buildings, furniture, etc. To me, the photograph below looks like it could be the great Ferris Wheel from the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. But it's really the famous London Eye, built for the Millennium!


And here's a view of London from atop the Eye! Most of these buildings existed back then as well. See Big Ben?


One of the many old London pubs and restaurants also made a good subject for my deceit!

The Albert

As did these street shots in Edinburgh!

Edinburgh Castle Street

Edinburgh Close

This is outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. But it could very well have looked the same over 100 years ago, with the horses and carriage.


OK, these buildings are many centuries old! This shot could have been taken any time! This was taken in Rothenburg, Germany.

Rothenburg Street

This is Eisenbach, the little town in Germany where my great-grandma was born. Except, what's that modern car doing there?


I hope you enjoyed my little exhibit of Fake Victorian Photography! It was a lot of fun to do, and you very well might see more like this in future posts!



Blogger Sea Witch said...

these are fantastic. If you hadn't mentioned that you created these yourself, I would have thought they were antique photos. Love the ones of the homes. Sea witch

June 12, 2011 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

So are you saying I would get more stuff done around the house if I would get off the computer? I think I've heard my husband mention that also. I loved this post. I think the cat photo and the "ferris wheel" ones are my favorites. Great idea.

June 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Thanks, Sea Witch! I'm glad I almost fooled you! :-)


June 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Pam-

Ha ha! But as I was getting other stuff done, I was wishing I was at the computer! I know, crazy me. Glad you liked the photos. :-)


June 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Photos look fantastic - love the Edinburgh "close" - they are so atmospheric, even now! Favourite photo is the chair at the window - don't know why, but it appeals to me.

June 13, 2011 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger The Dusty Victorian said...

Hi Pam,
I know what you mean. Summer is so short and there is so much to do outside while it last. But your fake photos are amazing! Very much enjoyed them.

June 13, 2011 at 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are GREAT! I can't wait to try it. I'm taking an online Photoshop course in a couple of weeks so maybe I'll be able to approximate these someday. I love the ferris wheel. It's your choice of photos to alter that make them look so authentic. Really fun.

June 13, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Liz-

LOVED Edinburgh, and want to go back one day. Scotland is such a beautiful place, and great people! Somebody told me they thought the chair photo looked like a ghost had just gotten out of the chair. :-)


June 13, 2011 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyes-

You definitely know the summer chores that need to be done, especially with all those shutters you're stripping on your beautiful old house! Thanks for stopping by!


June 13, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Georgene-

If you get some good results, post your photos! I'd like to see them! It's true, the subject matter has a lot to do with it. Good luck with your class. BTW, I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's passing.


June 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Richard Cottrell said...

I LOVE them. You are so smart. I never even thought of such. I am afraid I might have to copy. Copy cat! Copy cat! Thanks for sharing the fun photo's. Have a great week, Richard at My Old Historic House

June 13, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

You're so funny! Glad you liked them. Go ahead and copy... I'm not the first one to do this! :-)


June 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Historical Ken said...

Seriously, these photos are fun to look at. And what a beautiful house you have!
As you know I love to do the same type of "enhancement" to my living history photographs as well. I also do my best to get rid of all things farby. Well, sometimes. There are other times when leaving in the modern things such as cars etc., gives a nice contrast.

June 13, 2011 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Ken-

Thanks! I love what you do with some of your living history photos. They look so authentic! It's probably hard to keep the modern things out sometimes, even at your events. Maybe you should play "Spot the Farby" using your photos that have something out of place... see who can get them all right! :-)


June 13, 2011 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Cass @ That Old House said...

Great shots! They really do look vintage. I recognize Edinburgh Castle --have a pic of my daughters there, when one was a student at the Univ of Edinburgh. And that narrow street shot looks as if it's near where she lived!

What fun to tweak modern pictures till they look like something your great grandfather might have taken. Lovely!
These would make beautiful greeting cards.


June 18, 2011 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Cass-

Thanks! We really loved Edinburgh and want to go back some day.

I've been enjoying your posts of your daughter's upcoming wedding plans and your house sprucing-up! How exciting! Yours is truly one of the wittiest, best written blogs I've found. I really enjoy reading it! :-)


June 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger The Sweetbrier Cottage said...

Absolutely fabulous! You always come up with the best ideas. I'm going to go and do some similar treatments to my own house (circa 1998), just to see what it would like.

Thanks for commenting on my last post. I've been on vacation and away from the computer. Kim from the Victorian Parlor came back with us and is visiting. She's sewing up a storm!

Lizzie and Cassie send their regards.

June 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

That's a great idea! You never know, it might look a lot older because of all the flowers and pretty touches you've added!

Hope you had a fun vacation. It's so great that Kim is enjoying all that sewing! She's so clever with all her reenacting garments. Tell Lizzie and Cassie hello, LOL!


June 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Mrs. D said...

Clever Pam. I love your website. I'm always learning new things. Thanks for showing your amazing photos from yester-year; or yesterday???

your buddy,
Mrs. D

June 27, 2011 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Mrs. D-

Thanks! And I always learn new things from yours as well! If I was nearer, I'd be taking one of your painting classes. :-)


June 27, 2011 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Miss Sandra said...

Dear Pam,
Just getting to read this post and all I can say is wow!!! You did a fabulous job. Had I not read the post I would have thought these were authentic. What program did you use? It would work wonders for my Edwardian affairs.
I so understand becoming so busy that blogging takes a back seat. I guess there is so much more to do in the summer there is no need to sit by the comp.
It's always lovely reading your posts and having you visit Harmonie House. Blissful tidings to you my friend! xo!

June 27, 2011 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Mss Sandra-

Your Edwardian photos would indeed look great if done in ths style! I used a combination of an app for my iPad called Instagram, then brought them into Adobe Photoshop for further vignetting and those grungy edges. I have the professional version of Photoshop, but I bet the more affordable Photoshop Elements might be able to do something similar... if you enjoy messing around with photos!

Have a great summer, Miss Sandra! :-)


June 27, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger victorian parlor II said...

Gorgeous! I want to try this too:)!



June 29, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Kim,

Your photos would look great this way! I know you've had a few of your reenactment portraits done in sepia tone. It would make a nice collection if you could display your photos in an original Civil War era photo album!


June 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger The Blackwood Cottage said...


July 1, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Thanks, Machelle! :-)


July 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

There we are...I could not get thir format at first. I REALLY think you have done a wonderful job of making your images look old..don't you love textures ?


July 6, 2011 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Rose,

Like you, I love altering photos, but rarely find the time! And, of course, making things look older than they are is the most fun! :-)


July 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

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