Lost In Time

I saw a documentary last week, about John Wesley Powell and his  famous 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.

It was on the Second Expedition that the Powell hired photographer, E. O. Beaman, to take landscape photography (including stereoscopy). Beaman quit the survey in January 1872 and Powell hired another photographer, James Fennemore. Powell also hired an oarsman, John (Jack) K. Hillers who volunteered as an assistant to both photographers. Hillers learned the techniques of photography in the field and went on to complete the photographic mission of what became known simply as the Powell Survey.

You are probably wondering what that little history lesson has to do with this week’s Monochrome Madness entry. I blame it all on stereoscopy. Or as we call it these days 3D imaging.


Looking at those old 3D images of Powel expedition inspired me to try to recreate something similarly old-fashioned. This is the image of a gargoyle on the top of Notre Dame, with the city of Paris in the background. It was taken 14 years ago with an old Minolta film camera, I can’t remember the model. So, this is actually a scanned paper photo.

As usual, I can’t remember all the steps I took. I processed the image in PicMonkey, cropped it just a little bit, adjusted brightness and contrast, found just the right shade of sepia, picked a subtle vignette that would complement the image…My final step was applying Focal Soften, but only on the part of the background. The trick was to get the right radius, so I could fake a 3D effect. Considering my limited knowledge and the fact I was using PicMonkey, I am very pleased with the final result.

As always, I would like to thank Leanne Cole, the hostess of the Monochrome Madness Challenge. You can check more monochrome images on her blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. If you want to join us in our weekly fun, you’ll find all the necessary details there too.