This is my contribution to Leanne Coles Monochrome Madness. Every week she publishes other photographers work in her blog and it’s always fantastic, to see, who different each of us works.
I picked this portrait taken about 3 years ago. My aim was, to create a look of a portrait shot in the 19th. A soft focus, slightly decreasing light at the edges and the soft brownish look of the used chemicals for the developing procedure (Ambrotype).
You can often see this in old photos, they are darker in the edges. That’s because the lenses were quite small and not at the quality level as most of the todays lenses are. Although, you can still get cheap lenses with the same problem today. Or, even by gear with this behavior with intention: i.e. Lensbaby or Lomography.
In this photo the edges are brighter and don’t have much information. That problem usually comes from a weak photographic enlarger in the photographers lab. The lamp in the enlarger was too weak to illuminate the whole negative to project it to the photographic paper below. In rare cases the photographer hasn’t prepared the paper careful enough, so that it wasn’t sensitive enough at the edges. Remember, in those old times the photographer had to do all of this on his own. Prepare the paper, assemble the chemicals prepare sheets of glass to act as a film and so on.
Every now and than, I like this look, in case it fits the the contents of the photo. But, I don’t like it, in cases someone overuses it.