Sunday, June 28, 2015

Confederate Soldier Pic of the Day

Here's an ambrotype photograph of a young, handsome Confederate soldier.  His identity is unknown.  He is wearing a forage hat and a shell jacket.  A forage hat is similar to a kepi, but deeper.  It was used as a kind of grocery bag to carry apples, eggs, corn or whatever foodstuffs the soldier could find while on campaign.

He also appears to have a secession cockade pinned onto his jacket.

An ambrotype photo is one that was made on glass.  These old time photographs had no negative -- they were the negative!  So  the photos were actually mirror images of the subject.  They also appear very dark when viewed, as they rely on reflected light in order to see the details.  I have used Photoshop to lighten the images, flip them horizontally so they show the subject as he really was, not a mirror image.  Finally, I cleaned up a few spots and imperfections here and there.

The photographer would often paint on a bit of color to make the image look more realistic.  This Confederate's buttons have been tinted gold, and the badge on top of his hat has also.  I can't tell what the badge is.  If it is crossed cannons, he would be in the artillery; crossed swords, the cavalry.  A bugle signifies infantry.

The photographer would often dab a subtle blush of pink on the subject's cheeks.  You can see that in this photograph.

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