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Civil War

Runtime - length of the film: 21m12s
Language: english
Skill level:
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In this film curator and photographer, Michael Ebert shows us select images from the outstanding Civil War Photographs Collection, which he meticulously digitally restored to their original quality. During the challenging restoration process, Ebert reveals to FotoTV the previously unknown details he discovered about the everyday life of the people who lived and worked around, or fought in the American Civil War more than 150 years ago. To arrive at the best results possible, he used a Wacom Cintiq 21UX with interactive pen display, one of the industry’s most intuitive image editing tools. “The Civil War was the world’s first major event to be documented in photographs, which makes the database of images a genuine treasure trove”, Ebert tells FotoTV. “In addition, the so-called collodion process -a flammable syrupy solution- was used at this time. This was a complicated process that posed great challenges for photographers at that time. It produced photographs of a very high level of technical quality on plates, allowing a high degree of enlargement. Nonetheless, over the years, many of the plates were broken or damaged. For the project, the Library of Congress provided Ebert with original scans at sizes of more than 100 MB. Working with Adobe Photoshop on his computer and, using a pen applied directly onto the screen of the Cintiq 21UX, Michael Ebert then painstakingly restored the damaged images to their original quality. At the same time he enlarged individual details from the images to create entirely new perspectives on the nostalgic photos shot by American Civil War photographers, Mathew Brady, Timothy Sullivan and Alexander Gardner. The retouched images were part of Ebert’s exhibition “The mirror with a memory”, which was on display as part of the Visual Gallery at the 2008 Photokina in Colgne, Germany.