Art, Fine Art Photography, Photography

Antiquing the Coast

Most of you know that I have been trying some new things with my processing.  I firmly believe that if you want to stand apart from other photographers, that you have to have something, or be doing something that makes you stand apart.  For me, that is about processing, taking great images and trying to make them into something unique.  Antiquing images, that is something new for me, and something that I am enjoying doing right now.

I have picked images that I have taken around Point Lonsdale and Barwon Heads.

LeanneCole-ocean-ant7567I am not going to lie and say that I think they are all fantastic, but I like the effect and how they turn an image into something a little different.  I have been spending heaps and heaps of time on the internet looking at vintage photos and studying them.  I need to do more though.

LeanneCole-ocean-ant8016Images from the beach seem to really lend themselves well to this kind of treatment.  I do like the idea of modern sort of images being made to look old.

Textures are so important to this kind of work, but you can’t just use any old texture, some work, some don’t.  You can put a texture on and think it is good, and then you discover that it looks horrible, so you delete it and then try another one.  There is a lot of trial and error.

I have more to show you and will put them all into a gallery for you.



  1. Lovely images! But they were lovely even before you antiqued them. Processing cannot make a poor image worthwhile. One must start with a strong image–and you have done so.

  2. leecleland says

    These look terrific, Leanne. The antique type of textures certainly add another element to the normal beachside image that’s in colour.

    • Thank you Lee, that is what I was hoping for, something that looks different to the usual ones you see.

  3. Nessy San says

    I also love vintage photos! Your processing artworks I think are really great, you fooled me there :) Did you use photoshop in your editing?

    • Vintage photos have a lovely quality to them. That is great to hear that you were fooled. I did use photoshop, I use it for everything. Thanks Nessy.

  4. hmmm something wrong with WP comments this am…sorry if this comes through twice

    I really like the way that you are treating each image differently, applying textures and working the process from the ground up so to speak. There are a lot of photos on the net that just have standard off the shelf filters or presets applied. Once a filter becomes popular it becomes jaded and you loose the edge that you were seeking in the first place.

    I have not gone down this route myself, but it is tempting. Looking forward to seeing more.

    • Mmm, only got your comment once, so it worked.
      I agree, I sort of have a formula, but each image is using different textures, so that helps make them all different, well I hope so.
      It is good for some fun, I don’t know if I will keep doing them, but would like to incorporate some aspects of it into my fine art images. Thanks George.

  5. littlepinkdove says

    Your contemporary photos now look like antique tintypes from the middle to late 1800s. I have a website dedicated to those types of images. You might want to check it out:

    • I have only recently heard of tintypes, I like some of the effects, they are pretty cool. I will check them out, thank you. I have had a quick look, do you sell the digital version?

  6. Good Evening: I like the sepia pictures a lot; they remind me of an Australian painter I know named Mandy Martin who has created paintings that echo the sepia landscapes of the 1800s. Just out of curiosity, have you ever experimented with cameras from the 19th Century or reproductions of the same?

    • Hello, I don’t know of Mandy Martin, I don’t think, sometimes I forget the name, but remember the work, so I will look her up. I have never had the opportunity to use cameras like that, not even sure where I would be able to. Thank you.

  7. cool idea..I think the first one (lighthouse) makes the best subject to ‘antiquate’ IMO.

    • I think it works for somethings, but not others, the trick is to work out what works and what doesn’t. Thank you.

  8. The antique textures you have chosen are so perfect for these images Leanne . I agree with son of sharecroppers you have to start with a strong image initially and build on that like you have layer upon layer . Love them .

    • Thank you Poppytump, it is an interesting process, working out what to use, what images to use. I don’t know where they are going to go, whether I stop doing them or keep trying stuff.

  9. Love the effect Leanne, I agree it works well with beach scenes. They really take your mind back to another time. The first two shots are fantastic.

    • The first two are my favourites as well. I might try some other things, but not sure yet. That is great to hear, that was the idea, to go back to another time. Thanks Ben.

  10. Human beans are crazy – they take old pictures and make them look new, and new pictures and make them look old! :)
    Works really well, though – as long as you don’t have a modern car or airliner in them! The lighthouse ones are particularly striking.

    • That is so true, we do that with lots of things.
      I agree, it wouldn’t work with modern type things in them. Thanks Colonialist.

  11. For me it works best in the second main picture (the same as the one on the far left of the middle row of 3 in the mosaic). Least enthused by the very creamy one, but that is just my very humble opinion. Just ordered Lightroom 5 to be able to do more post processing and have a play! MM 🍀

    • Some work, some don’t, some are better than others, I can see that. It is interesting, you start and never quite know what will and what won’t work.
      Sounds like you are about to start having a lot of fun yourself. Good luck with LR5.

  12. The motives here are so suitable for antique frames. Stunningly beautiful and of course the top one with the lighthouse is my favorite – lighthouses is so beautiful, romantic, strong and mysterious. Beautiful work here, Leanne.

    • Thanks Viveka, they seemed perfect for this kind of treatment. I think the lighthouse will be very popular with many people, funny how they are so universally loved by people.

  13. i think you are right, the beach does lend itself to this very approach, it looks stormy and old and a ever-changing like the sea.

  14. Thoughtsfromthesummerhouse says

    Stunning photographs! Now I have mastered how to download an image, maybe I can attempt to master the art of taking one. Watch my space!!! I love your blog.

  15. I think the beach images lend themselves so well to this technique because they’re timeless…the snaps you take today of docks, cottages and lighthouses could have been taken any time in the last 150 years without much change. When the rest of the world goes Modern at an alarming rate, the coast is (almost) eternal…it’s comforting.

    Love your experiments with the antiquing…you’re obviously having fun, too :D

    • I agree Marie, they really do lend themselves well to this kind of treatment. I like what you said about the coast being eternal, it really is like that. Great observation.
      I am having fun with these, looking forward to seeing what else I can do with this technique. Thank you.

  16. Maggie Beck says

    I enjoy perusing these very much, Leanne. As a shore person, these harken back to images I have seen of the seashore here at the very beginning of its popularity as a destination at the turn of the last century. They are new photos, but feel familiar and welcoming. Well done!

  17. I really like the one with the trees, also the pier. They look a bit remote without being sentimental.
    The others are a bit too dramatic for my taste. They remind me of background music in films – when you become aware of it’s emotional pull it’s somehow weird.

    Of course, it may just be the proliferation of olde worlde images flooding the internet since the advent of one-touch processing that’s put me off the style a bit.

    • It is always good to hear what others like, so thank you.
      You could be right, though this is by far not one touch processing, I do know what you mean. Instagram are helping to kill processing.
      Thank you.

  18. Interesting! I´ve just been looking at the complete Camera Work photographs (the Steiglitz photo/art publication from the beginning of the 20th century) and thinking about going down that road with a few ideas. Funny though – we give out a load of cash on modern cameras with amazing imaging capabilities and we screw them up! :o)

    • It is an interesting process, you would think it would be easy, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is so easy to be too heavy with the textures. It is funny, and sad, so many people with great cameras, and no idea how to use them. Or people don’t bother learning things because their phone app will convert it for them. :)

      • Cameras used to be a box with a lump of glass on the front and a film at the back – that was it. The photographer needed a certain knowledge to get a result – even Kodak´s you press the button and we do the rest” left a certain craftmanship open. But today, point press, that´s it. The huge bundle of software that´s in even the most basic of cameras today can be totally ignorred.
        We need to keep working on our craft – that´s good!

      • I have to admit, I ignore most of the stuff in mine, I use it like I used my film SLR, the thing I love about digital is being able to see the image straight away and taking many photos. Though I suppose there are some other things I like, but they are the main ones. I can remember using a pinhole camera once, that was really basic and a lot of fun.
        Thanks Charles.

      • I still have my old MPP 5×4 inch, 1953 – great camera! I have all my digital cameras neutral – that give the most room to play.

      • I used it a couple of years ago – but it still looks at me as if to say – “you still have the film, use me!”. Which I will do in the near future.

      • I would imagine that film would be getting hard to get. I can remember going into film stores and seeing film everywhere and now there is hardly any. Let me know when you do take some, would love to see what images you get.

  19. I’d call them fun. At first glance, entirely authentic – but then the decor-store print quality comes out. Not a bad thing. In a world where black and white movies are colorized for mass appeal (sadly), it’s nice to see images go in the opposite direction.
    Perhaps some of these are ‘overdone.’ Not every old photo is water-stained, creased, flaked and faded. One might try less affect in order to achieve greater effect.

    • At this stage, that is all I would call them, fun, it was fun trying something different and it is good seeing what works and what doesn’t.
      Perhaps not overdone, if I had not done something to every photo then I wouldn’t learn anything, and I wouldn’t get to try out stuff to see what works and what doesn’t. Some work, some don’t. I can accept that, I know which ones I like and which ones I don’t. Thanks

  20. wow, Leanne!
    You’re about developing yourself more towards a painter than being a photographer!
    I like these pictures.

    • Haha, maybe a frustrated painter lives inside. Thank you, I like playing with the images and this is a different way of doing that.

      • :-)
        I also like playing with filters somtimes ( in case it suits to the photo)
        I.e. Trimming a photo to look like shot back in the 1970s or in the old bw times (1920, 1930s)

      • Filters can be wonderful and very useful, I use some a lot, but I am very wary of using them too much, like the textures, I guess, it is so easy to overdo them. But as you say, it can be very helpful when you want to do something specific.

  21. I do like the effects – I think that as much as the processing plays a part, the subject matter does as well – a modern scape would not fit with the vintage effect. I have done a lot of the original historic processes and the same hold true for these as well – but it sure is nice NOT to have to lug out the 8×10″ camera to get these effects!

    • The subject matter is very important, I think for the reasons you said, it is so true. I have never done any processing like this in a darkroom or with an old camera, great that it can be done on a computer, but probably harder to get accurate. I definitely wouldn’t want to lug around one of those cameras. Thank you Robert.

  22. nicely done. i disagree though that processing can’t make a bad image worthwhile. i’ve been tasked with editing my folks vacation photos. there are some really bad shots in there but with creative processing i’ve been able to save more than a few.

    • I don’t know without haven’t seen the originals, but are they bad because the colours are crap or what not? I think if an image is out of focus, badly composed, then there isn’t a lot you can do, It sounds like your folks photos were okay to start with, I don’t know. I have no idea. Haha. Thanks

      • There are many things you can’t do much about, though good photoshop or editing skills can help a lot with some things. Though, as you said, things like out focus, not much you can do. You can fix colour balance and poor exposure, though it really depends on how poor it it. I looked at the ones you said and it was a great way to fix them. I imagine they were taken with a instamatic camera, which many people used back then. I find many photos taken in the 70’s, especially, the colour is changing on them, I need to scan a heap of photos, or eventually there will be nothing left of them. I am hoping that I can fix the colour balance in PS.

      • all the photos i’m working with were taken this spring with a $400 digital point and shoot. my folks just have no clue with photography and refuse to read the manual. i do a lot of work with found photos- 1900s-1960s, they tend to scan up pretty well and a quick auto adjust works wonders. good luck scanning your pile.

      • It is hard when people won’t read the manual and don’t understand what they are doing wrong. I think the key to using any camera, whether your phone, or a good DSLR is all about composition,if you understand composition, then you can take great photos. I have lots of photos from my mother in law, family ones of course, from the 40’s up to about 10 years ago, I really should go through them and see what is there. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.

  23. Truly superb work, Leanne!!! It’s good you also have varied the tones, as ‘real’ photos tend to age differently, depending upon the cleanliness of the developer used.

    Totally agree re: the beaches a perfect for aging images…something about the ‘timelessness’ is extremely thought-provoking!

  24. Your photo processing is excellent and not overdone … it is a shame when some over process their photos. I also have to say that I’m so impressed that you are always stretching, reaching, trying new things.

    • Oh thank you, it is so easy sometimes, and then you come back a month or year later and you get that massive cringe reaction and embarrassment because you showed people those photos. I get that reaction when I go back and look at my early HDR attempts, oh not good. I have to keep trying new things or I get bored, I like to see what else I can do. I don’t think I would continue with this sort of thing, but you never know, I might take aspects of it for another type of work.

    • Thank you, that is great, it was a lot of fun playing with them, I just want to see what else you can do it for now.

  25. I really like the effects on these!!! Can you uplease just send me a tiny bit of your talent in the mail…. LOL. You are just SO talented and awesom! I miss your post when I’m not able to stop by!

    • Email me your address Keli and I will see what I can do. :)
      Oh shucks, you are embarrassing me now, I love it when you can stop by, but I understand how hard it can be to do it all them time. Thank you Keli.

  26. This collection is “FANTASTIC” Leanne. What a wonderful idea you have, and these lend themselves perfectly to what you’re doing. Fabulous.

    • Thank you Emily, it was a lot fun doing some research and working out how to do it. I don’t know that I would do a whole series of them, but they are a different way of doing beach photos, hopefully a little different to what everyone else thinks.

  27. Not a big fan of textures! For me, they’re a bit like HDR, you have to be very careful not to over do them!

    • I agree, I probably do over use them at the moment, both in each image and on many images, but I am experimenting, so I think that is okay, I do go back and look at them and try to work out what I should do differently. It is important to use them wisely and with caution.

      • Experimenting is the only way you will find out what works and what doesn’t. But don’t listen to me, I just don’t like textures, except for the odd one here and there! Its nothing against your work, just personal taste!

      • I heard an artist say recently if you don’t experiment you will get stuck in a rut, so true. I know what you mean, there are things that people do, like adding too much saturation to their photos that I really don’t like. It is all about taste.

  28. Suzanne says

    There is a wonderful mood of nostalgia in these photos. I think my favourite is the trees on the hillside.

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