ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photographing the New and the Old

Updated on February 3, 2014
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

"An antique (Latin: antiquus; "old", "ancient") is an old collectable item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.

It is common practice to define "antique" as applying to objects at least 100 years old.

Antiques are usually objects that show some degree of craftsmanship—or a certain attention to design" Wikipedia

Sometimes when we look at something new perhaps a piece used for some sort of sports or perhaps recreational in nature, even kid's toys, we tend to focus on how shiny it may look, how well done or notice even how expensive it may be or how technologically advanced it has become.

What we tend to forget is that almost everything had earlier beginnings and here is where we can turn to that past and bring it together with the present in a photography / scavenger hunt / fun project.

I like to take photographs of old antique items that were often used in sporting events or diversions like ice skating and doing so often gives me a sense of appreciation for times when things took longer to make and were really made to last, unlike many modern stuff.

This particular photographic project is really not difficult and it won't cost you much if anything except the time to research and go from location to location unless you are fortunate enough to find one place that has both present and past, which by the way is highly unlikely.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

How do you like this idea?

See results

So where should you start? The first things is to make a list of things that you want to focus on, although doing this randomly can work it is best to have some ideas in mind and be specific.

But the best place to look would probably be in an antique store, call first and ask if its OK to take pictures. Yes you can go and use the pretense of taking pictures for a client but why lie? Besides you may get away with it once but unlike twice.

Many antique stores near where I live have a wide selection of antique sporting good, recreational goods and others and the owners really do not mind if I take pictures of their wares although I always provide them with copies of my work and they often use them as wall decorations, which gives me an added bonus in the way of free publicity.

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

Once you have located your particular items try to photograph them at angels that clearly show their age and used conditions.

Also avoid taking a picture that show the article next to a brand new one or displayed in a brand new well lit glass display case.

These distract form the theme and takes away from the nostalgia that the pictures themselves can evoke. Crop judiciously to focus the attention solely on the subject and not much else.

Also pay attention to the lighting. It should not be too bright or too dark. A photography snoot works quite well since it aims a narrow beam of light on a specific spot.

Consider using black and white or even sepia film since by their very nature subjects photographed using these mediums look "old".

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Your gear should include a tripod and a mechanical shutter release to minimize camera shake and a macro capable zoom lens that will allow you to take close ups but at a comfortable distance away, remember "you broke it, you bought it".

Good to have is a ring light which is nothing more than a flash unit in the shape of a circle that attaches to the lens and is excellent for macros and close ups.

Do pay attention to reflections since many subjects especially those made from any sort of metal will be highly reflective.

I rarely recommend using the automatic mode for any photography since I believe that you will grow in the art the more you keep control of what you do but for this project it may be the best alternative.

However to be sure take at least two shots; one on auto and one on manual or better yet take several shots at various speeds, angles and perspectives.

Also keep in mind that since the main point of attention is the subject and not much more, you should use a large aperture in order to trow any details behind the subject out of focus and this also helps showing any distracting elements.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

These images can be submitted to antique collectible publications and to industry specific ones so long as they show new perspectives of things that have been photographed many times before.

Aim to be as technically flawless as possible and try to capture images of rare items whenever you can. In other words try to give old subjects matter a new spin and make these images your own.

Photographers who distinguish themselves and gain a reputation as the best in their field are usually those that can present a subject in a new "light". Aim to do the same.

© 2014 Luis E Gonzalez


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)