Monday, April 30, 2012

More Investigative Fun with Photo Manipulation

If you have looked through any number of Civil War books that have lots of photographs, you have probably come across the above image. It is of three Confederate soldiers that were captured at Gettysburg and was taken by Matthew Brady or one of his associates some time after that battle.  

Almost every printed view of this image allows little chance to see intricate details. But, by downloading the TIFF file at the Library of Congress website and then increasing its size, details explode.   

For example, in the top image, it is almost impossible to see the eyes of soldier on the left. Although, when the image is enlarged, his eyes are clearly seen, which adds so much expression to the image.

The details that are attainable in these images can be useful to historians, museum curators and living historians to see up-close what equipment Civil War soldiers carried and used on campaign. The shoes of the soldier on the left are not so easy to see in the first shown image, but, blown up, it's clearly seen they are standard period soldier brogans.  The soldier in the middle had different shoes; they are low-cut tops.  

Want to know what a soldier's dipper or tin cup actually looked like? Well, you easily can by enlarging the TIFF file.

Likewise, in the top view, it is not clear if the canteen of the soldier in middle is a smooth-side, drum or "bulls-eye" vessel, but enlarged, it is easy to see it is a bulls-eye.

If you would like to try photo manipulation on this image you can do so very conveniently by visiting the Encyclopedia of Virginia website which has an interactive that allows this:

Bonus points to someone who can tell me what is going on with the little finger of the soldier in the center.

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