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Vintage Photography

What is Vintage Photography?

Vintage photography is a style which photographers adopt to get pictures which resemble images that were clicked when photography was evolving. Vintage pictures are clicked in the ‘now’ but are meant to imitate pictures of the yesteryears. They have subjects which denote a different era, such as vintage cars or people in retro clothes. Not just that, even the processes used to produce vintage photographs are different. Some may argue that vintage photography implies photography done through non-digital cameras, others settle for post-production effects to give it a vintage look and feel. Either way, the end results can be muted yet charming.

Characteristics of Vintage Photos

To achieve the muted, flattened look of retro photo prints, photographers employ many techniques to get vintage pictures, most of which have the following characteristics:

1. Low contrast: Old photos are not vibrant. To achieve a vintage look, photographs often underplay the contrast of the picture.

2. Blur: The blur effect added to a digital photograph of today, can help it get that not-so-sharp look of a vintage photograph.

3. Saturation: Lowering the saturation levels down a bit and playing with the hues imparts that muted effect to a photograph.

4. Vignettes: Due to the light fall-off around the edges of the lens, the lesser sophisticated cameras of the retro world would produce pictures with a 'vignette', an effect which is now popular even in filters.

5. Filters: Photo-editing applications have a range of easy-to-use filters with adjustments. The popular ones synonymous to vintage photography are the likes of black and white, sepia, fade etc.

6. Elements: The content of vintage photography must be carefully chosen. This means no ‘modern’ elements such as gadgets, or new vehicles, clothing styles etc. in the frame.

Using Vintage Photographs in The Decor

Everything vintage, especially retro photo prints, has a quaint beauty which is hard to ignore. Not a surprise, there are many who choose to dedicate a space in their home or office décor to the vintage era. To do up a space the vintage way, a good idea is to have a gallery wall with differently sized retro photo prints such as quintessential black and white vintage photographs, washed out, technicolor prints or sepia-toned vintage photographs, framed in black or white. Even in contemporary homes, having a vintage corner can have a charismatic effect to the aesthetics of the space.