Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Time Machine - Part 2

On one of my recent posts, Time Machine, I messed about with some of my photographs in Japan, attempting to create some images of Old Japan from the 1920s or 1930s. I used various photoshop processes, including different types of sepia, faded vignettes and some roughing up with some grain.  The results were quite good, although of course any Japanese person would be able to spot all the glaring anachronisms and mistakes.  But it was a fun project to try.

A few fellow bloggers suggested I show some of the original images, and maybe some real old Japanese images. So here are two of them:

Hiroshima Castle, taken in 2006. In my Time Machine post, I tried to create an image of the castle as seen around 1920, by using a dark brown sepia (traditonal plate style) with darkened sides and a slightly rougher grain. I also cloned out the white tourist information sign.  Of course, I have to add that the original castle would have suddenly disappeared on 6th August 1945, and has been completely rebuilt since.

 This is a back street from Nara, which I gave the sepia treatment in my Time Machine post. I had to remove the motorcycle on the left hand side, which was the biggest obvious give-away.  All the overhead electrical cables have been used like this in Japan since the 1920s, although they are now very dense in comparison to yesteryear.

It was also suggested that I show some real vintage images from old Japan. I have to say that I could not find anything I could post which would not infringe somebody's image copyright. (I do respect copyrights to images found on the net).  I do have quite a few images in hard copy books on my book shelves, but I have no scanner. If you are interested, I reccommend you take a look at

So onto my latest adventure with my photoshop time machine...  This time I stayed closer to home (Colchester, Essex, UK), and also not quite so far back in time.  I finally settled on the early to mid 1970's; possibly around 1974. Last summer I took a shot of an open air music festival in my local town park. The actual content in the photograph had nothing which linked it to 2011. In fact, it reminded me of a folk festival from the 1970s. I pushed the image through my photoshop time machine, adding some bad over exposure, hopeless focus, leaking film flare, blue-green process tones and a white border; all reminiscent of photography from cheap kodak instamatic cameras from my early childhood.

This is rather like the hipstamatic apps available on the iphone, which are incredibly popular with iphonographers. I just wanted to go through the process myself...   just for fun.


s.c said...

I must admit you make great photo's. This is the first time that i can give a comment. Great blog Bill

Michael Gatton said...

Cool, Bill. I feel a bit more of the late 60 psychedelia here, but the stylistic "decades" don't actually arrange themselves into nice neat 10 year packages...

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks s.c. I've always enjoyed your blog from Netherlands.

Mike... thanks, you might be right about the decades... my time machine controls do stick a little bit. They are probably accurate to +or- five years. This could be 1968, but I was only 3 years old back then. LOL

Michael Gatton said...

Hey, I was only about 6 at the time, so most of my "memory" of it is through pop culture images :-)