When it’s Opalotype!
At least that’s what I learned recently while processing some of my Dade Battlefield Photos. I was wanting to get some different looks throughout the various images- antique, color pops, faded colors, HDR and black and white. Normally for getting Black and White or Antique looks I would have gone to Nik Silver Efex Pro my monotone standby. But remembering that I had recently picked up a copy of Topaz Labs Black and White effects on the cheap I decided to browse through the presets.
It was there I discovered a strange look under the section titled Opalotype. I liked it for the images I was processing, it had a retro feel. So I Google’d it and this is what Wikipedia had to say -
Opalotype or opaltype is an early technique of photography.
That was promising, the technique might match the same time period of the reenactment. Wikipedia went on to describe the work as photographs on white or opaque sheets of glass that were later hand tinted in color. Patented in 1857 by Glover and Bold of Liverpool put it a bit past the 1835 date of the reenactment, but close.
So I ran with it on a few images and kinda liked the result. I did some extra steps on a couple more for my version of digital opalotyping!
So there is more to Black and White Effects than grayscaled images, pretty cool.