How to Create a Daguerreotype Effect using PhotoDirector
Each daguerreotype is developed with a complex process on a silvered copper plate producing a unique aesthetic look. Thanks to today’s technology, we can bring back many of its characteristics found in the Daguerreotype image just by using PhotoDirector. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how.
Step 1: Select an image
Back in the 19th century, the daguerreotype images were taken with long exposures, so if there are clouds or water in your photo, make sure they are blurred with movement. If there are people in the street, make sure they are eliminated. If you select a portrait, make sure the person is in a position that can be stable for at least 30 minutes. Yes, that was how long a photo was taken back in the days. No wonder, portraits had a solemn look, and in a sitting position. They simply can’t move much or the whole picture will be blurred.
So, if you are to shoot your image and emulate the daguerreotype, make sure to take long exposure images. In this tutorial, we will use the image of a portrait taken from a modern camera.
Step 2: Convert to Black and White
There is more than one way to convert a color photo into Black and White. There is another tutorial for this topic. In this example, I de-saturated the image and made further adjustment to the highlight, shadows and midtones to darken the overall look. The photo also looked too sharp so the Clarity is dialed down too.
There are lots of free texture images on the Internet. Google search “scratched metal texture” and you will come up with some pretty cool sites that offer texture images for free. Make sure you read the guidelines and instructions so you do not infringe copyright.
I downloaded a couple of texture files from the websites below. They offer some for free.
In this image, I applied 2 layers of texture, one for its scratch and blue tint and the other for its ragged borders and warm tint. To apply the texture:
- Go to the Layers module
- Import the first texture file
- Change the Blend mode to Overlay
- Re-size, rotate or flip the texture image by using the buttons in the upper right corner
Lastly, go to the Adjustment Module to add a vignette using the Radial function. The Radial function gives you an off-center vignette. Dial down the exposure and the borders will darken.