What Once Was

Uploaded 22 Apr 2011 — 25 favorites
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© Regenia Brabham
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Photo Info
UploadedApril 22, 2011
TakenJanuary 9, 2005
ModelCanon EOS 20D
Exposure1/60 sec at f/3.5
FlashRed Eye, Compulsory Flash
Focal Length22 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

When I see old pictures like these, I always wonder about the young men in them. Did they survive the war or are they missing somewhere? Did someone cry for them? So many questions...

I wanted to play with this image a bit so I did a little selective desaturation using a sephia action in PS then toning back the red tones in that action. I added a texture layer and some grain. I then burned in the edges a touch to give it that antique feel. To do a total desaturation would have been an injustice to that beautiful red frame that someone once treasured.

In the History photo essay.

22 responses

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (22 Apr 2011):

    Excellent questions, especially in view of the American Civil War's sesquicentennial, which offically began on April 12. And your processing could not be more appropriate, in view of the subject matter. The soldier in the middle (third from right) is 16-year-old Edwin Jennison, a private in a Georgia regiment, killed at Malvern Hill, near Richmond, Virginia, in 1862. He was someone's son. Jennison's haunting image came to symbolize America's "lost generation." So sad. Well done, little sister.

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (22 Apr 2011):


  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham said (22 Apr 2011):

    Thank you so much Big Brother. I do love all things history!!!

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (22 Apr 2011):

    Outstanding work! What a wonderful capture, and the treatment is perfect!

  • Robert Sand

    Robert Sand said (22 Apr 2011):


  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (22 Apr 2011):

    A wonderful commemorative type shot! Beautiful treatment, Regenia! So artistic.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (22 Apr 2011):

    Judy said what I wanted to say!! This is excellent.

  • Linda Houghton

    Linda Houghton   gave props (22 Apr 2011):

    Beautiful, you done good. Of course that is not surprising.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham said (23 Apr 2011):

    Thank you so much everyone. It is fun to play sometimes. I have some reeanactment images I may post after I get caught up.

  • Maurie A

    Maurie A gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    Love this shot.......thank you for explaining how you achieved "the look", very artistic!!! and Thanks to Dick to that piece of History!!

  • Lynda Jeffers

    Lynda Jeffers gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    I love this and the layering really adds to it!!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    Excellent shot and post editing. The bit of history that Dick supplied adds life to the history.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    Very creative and successful Regenia!

  • Jim Thomas

    Jim Thomas gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    This reminds me of my great grandfather, who fought in the civil war as a young boy of 14. He lived to be 62 and survived it better than many did.

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (23 Apr 2011):

    Wonderful, warm processing, Regenia. The Civil War was such a cruel war. I lost two cousins from OH who died as prisoners of war at Andersonville, and Dave's great-grandfather died there as well. It's always hoped that we learn from history. Magnificant photo!!!!

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   said (23 Apr 2011):

    Awesome Regenia!!! Richard is awesome when it comes to history... This is an amazing shot ... Both my sons were Military and I wonder the same when I see old photographs....

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt   gave props (24 Apr 2011):

    I love anything about the Civil War and this is a wonderful shot!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (25 Apr 2011):

    Beautiful effects and a wonderful image.. the history attached to this is so sad, as it so often is.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (26 Apr 2011):

    Lovely treatment in your work...Skillfully done including the history lesson.

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (26 Apr 2011):

    I like the way you've shot and processed this. Lovely aged colours.

  • Mary Brown

    Mary Brown gave props (28 Apr 2011):

    Regenia, you did an excellent job in PH, and thanks for the explanation of how you did it. I too feel the same way about such photos...so many questions. Thanks to Dick for providing more history.

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (11 May 2011):

    Great work on such a difficult undertaking...the overal end product is wonderful...what stories have been lost forever...

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