An Antique Look At Yosemite Granite Cliffs

May 9th, 2011 at 5:33pm

While talk on a few blogs of late has been about altered landscapes, dark foreboding scenes with little of no visual appeal to myself, I still love my landscapes where mother nature and the grand landscapes she provides continue to inspire and fascinate me. There is nothing quite like standing at a location, looking out at the scene before you and thinking WOW this is just stunning. With that one has to go back to Ansel Adams, the photographer that brought stunning majestic breathtaking scenes into our lives through his camera and lens. While I pour over his work weekly and never tire at looking through his eyes at the beautiful landscape photography that he took.  I thought it was time I went back through some of my images to work a few a black & white landscape prints this time trying to better represent the scene within the zones and some with an antique look/feel.

The photography period I was recently looking through of Ansel Adams was his American landscape photography works circa 1916 through 1930 and while I do not own a camera that I have to use glass plates and messy chemicals etc I still wanted to see if I could achieve a similar look to an image while using a digital camera. Playing around with this landscape print from Yosemite National Park for a few weeks on and off I think I have managed to show an antique look while preserving the clarity of a modern day camera … In the end the process was quite easy, getting the look right was a little tougher though … A few simple layers where certain parts I sharpened and others I blurred and a couple of blended layers of a burnt orange and then a vingrette blend of 2 or 3 and some white wash blends and finally so very light opacity rub ins of the original black and white image to the finished image  and it starts to look pretty good. I gained a lot of enjoyment working through this image especially after I had completed the Black & White steps and was ready to take on the next step of trying to achieve this antique look and feel.

I chose this image for a few reasons, the 3 diagonal lines of different light to the strong ridge line that gave form and contrast to the sky, the way the shadows played against the granite I knew I could get some colour into certain parts and then wash out the colour parts and the tall straight pine trees that I darken to become a frame instead of a an item within the frame of the image … Now just to print is up on some old textured paper and it should come out very nice.

Here is my final proof at a photograph taken yesteryear, but with todays technology …

I think this would look crazy good printed around 30*20 inches  … Something I’ll have to get printed for the office …

Back to color soon … maybe ;)


  1. Great result Neal, very antique looking indeed. I’m with you about the altered landscapes vs beauty of nature thing as well!

  2. Cheers Tim, this was just an exercise in seeing what I could do to resemble the master … I am now on the lookout for a scene that I can show more shades of grey and less white and black … And yes I’m with you … give me a stunning scene everyday, even without the camera … I was watching Wild RUssia for the 6th time I think earlier, man that place is just stunning …

  3. Very sweet image mate and your photoshop skills are shining through mate…well done….you coming to the Kimberley next year mate?

  4. Cheers Mark …. yeah I read that about a hour or so ago on CF Facebook posting … sounds damn sweet … All boils down to cost at the end of the day though for me unfortunately … I will let you know as soon as I can, but my guess it will fill up inside a week and I’ll be too late when i would know …

  5. We have a few cabins at present mate, so a bit of time to go. I will send you a text!

  6. Beautiful! I think the black and white just adds to the enormity of the subject. Great shot.

  7. Thanks Eden, I am glad you like it … While it is not something for everyone I really like the look of this image … cheers Neal

  8. Hi Neal,
    I have just been perusing your website, you have some quite stunning works… well done!
    This image reminds me of Ansel Adams.

  9. Thanks Sam that is very nice of you to say ….

  10. Beautiful nature photography! I hope to visit Yosemite soon!

  11. Thanks Adam … Cheers for checking out my blog and work … JUst booked mark yours for a better look through soon … cheers Neal

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