Not sure why I haven’t mentioned this one before but The Center for Civil War Photography is a great place to find photos about the Civil War. There are numerous websites that offer images of the Civil War, but The Center for Civil War Photography is different in one way because they also offer 3D images. I especially like the analysis of Gardner’s Harvest of Death.
So, go grab a set of your red&blue 3D glasses and explore some really cool photos of the Civil War (requires a special browser plugin). If you don’t have them, you can always explore the regular photos. These images provide an excellent way for students to examine different aspects of the Civil War in great detail. As I always say, getting students to act like historians.
As you know, I love looking at Civil War era photographs and I have discussed the site Virtual Civil War before. Mike Lynaugh is a professional photographer who has created a collection of photographs of Civil War battlefields and reenactments know as Virtual Civil War.
And on this the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, I’d like to share one of my favorite collections. Mike’s Gettysburg Gallery contains some incredible photographs of the battlefield as it looks today. What a great way for you to tour the battlefield with your students. Or art teachers can use the photographs to discuss some of the techniques the Mike uses to create these terrific photographs.
Here are two of my favorites:
This is a close up of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (PVI) monument on Oak Ridge. This is Sallie Ann Jarrett, the mascot of the the 11th PVI who was present at Gettysburg and got left behind when the 11th fell back through the town. Sallie stayed on the field, behind enemy lives with the dead and wounded of the 11th. More on her for another post.
My other favorite is this one of an extreme close up of the Virginia Monument showing the details that go into creating such a magnificent monument.
Be sure to check out Mike’s other galleries such as Antietam, Harper’s Ferry and Manassas.
PS: I also have a special photo of the 11th PVI monument as my desktop wallpaper.
Here is something cool you can do with your students. Have them take modern photos and make them look old. For example, here is a photo that I took of some friends of mine from Sykes Regulars.
You can then take the photograph and put it into your favorite photo editor such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or GiMP.
Once you have it in your editor, start playing with the tone to make it look black & white using a sepia tone filter and then next you will want to blur the edges to give it that slightly unfocused look. Play with different filters to see the different effects they have on the image.
Now for some more advanced edits. If you know how to create layers in your editor, you could take the background from an old photograph and place the modern photo (that you have just revised) on top to give you the rough edges of the photo. This would require you to select a portion of the modern photo and then paste it on top of the new layer.
Here is what the revised image might look like:
Let me know what you come up with.