Macphun tools will make photos look like ferromagnetic relics

I keep telling myself that I’m going to buy an old wooden camera with a brass barrel lens and participate in one of these workshops where I learn some 19th century photographic processes. But I do know myself. The steps are demanding and tedious, the chemistry complicated, and my patience and attention to such detail could fit in a pixel.

So when imaging software company Macphun developed a nice set of one-click presets that emulate tintypes and other old photo finishes, I felt like I found a process I could master.

The presets offer a range of features distinct from a photography period of roughly 60 years, starting in the late 1860s and ending in the early 20th century. Macphun has created 14 different presets available for Luminar users and two for its black and white application, Tone.

A tintype is a direct positive on a thin piece of metal coated with a dark lacquer to support a light sensitive emulsion.

Usually, a photo would be taken, developed on the spot, and delivered to a client within minutes, the first version of today’s instant shoot and share culture. These first impressions have distinct tonal characteristics. The flaws in the technicians’ work, like chemical stains, and the work of time, like scratches or damaged edges, add an incidental beauty to every image.

This story is my test with Macphun’s Tin Freebies, but I have to disclose how this project got started. I’ve written in the past about Macphun’s powerful software, how easy and intuitive it is to use with its series of scroll bars. If a person has little experience with imaging software, Macphun’s preset styles encourage a kind of exploration that makes you forget about being intimidated.

The winning pitcher of the Afton club.
Photo: David Pierini / Cult of Mac

A reader emailed me regarding the tintype emulation software and wondered if Macphun had any tools, so I emailed the communications manager. Maria gordienko request. It was a yes or no question, to which Gordienko replied “good idea”.

Like that, a project was underway.

I offered to test them on an unfinished personal project from last year. I made iPhone portraits of members of the Minnesota Vintage Baseball League last summer using Hipstamatic’s Tintype app. They play by the first rules of baseball from the 1860s. They wear blouse shirts and square caps, drink ice water from pewter cups during games, and forbid outfielders to wear sunglasses, the everything in order to be as authentic as possible.

Hipstamatic’s Tintype app worked fine but didn’t allow me to control the focus point. So when this chance to work with Macphun presented itself, the timing coincided with the opening weekend of the 2017 season (“Striker to the line!” Was the precursor to “Batter up1”).

I used a conventional DSLR with a lens that allowed me a wide aperture to give me the kind of shallow depth of field typical of an old portrait lens. To match the look of an old photo, I made the players stand in the rigid, formal poses of the time, but also mixed in with a few candid shots of players.

Macphun TinType presets
Emulation of old baseball and old photographic processes.
Photo: David Pierini / Cult of Mac
Macphun Tintype presets
Member of the Balts of Mankato.
Photo: David Pierini / Cult of Mac

By the time I got home from Saturday’s games, I had five Macphun presets to play with. Macphun Marketing Director Mark Jacobs embraced the idea, researching old images online and reading the processes themselves to find the tonal characteristics and textured overlays of each preset.

Some are very contrasting while others are washed out and shiny. There is a preset for old paper with a sepia tint.

“(There is) a reason behind some of the presets, including a scratched metallic texture, because the original tin print was created on that surface,” Jacobs said. Mac Cult. “It’s also the inspiration behind the damaged edges and almost wet texture of others due to the way the surfaces had to be prepared and developed in place as the chemicals wouldn’t be effective otherwise.

Macphun ferro-type presets
“Attacking him to the end!” “
Photo: David Pierini / Cult of Mac

“Also, since the process and the images are so old, many reference images have been damaged in some way, which is another justification for the gross appearance of some of them. they.”

I tried them all and found myself more drawn to the rougher presets. These usually have rough or damaged edges. You can bring an image through Luminar, click on the Tintype preset you want, and have something beautiful in 30 seconds.

But true to Macphun’s non-intimidating user experience, the presets are just the start and the tools on the side invite you to play. I sometimes increased or decreased the intensity of the vignetting in the corners or I played with a scroll bar to blur the shadows a bit. I guess I was going into some of the finer details.

Maria and Mark were very receptive. I mean, for starters, Maria didn’t take yes or no for an answer. They wanted to see the work and wanted my opinion on how the presets looked.

Presets are free to download for photographers already using Macphun software but Mac Cult readers can get $ 10 off with a coupon here on Luminar or Toality as part of the release of these tintype presets.

You don’t need vintage baseball players or Civil War reenactors to appreciate the looks created by these tintype presets. Textures and tones can easily add weight to the ambiance of a psychological portrait or bring a dreamlike or ethereal quality to a landscape.

Macphun ferro-type presets
A preset looks like an old printout.
Photo: David Pierini / Cult of Mac

About Debra D. Johnson

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