Category Archives: Traditional architecture

Beautiful Walls

In this post I’ve collected together four images of walls, each from different eras, cultures and places.
Each building is beautiful in its own way. I also like how people feature in relation to the architecture.

Plain and imposing, with art – Built 1970s*

Solid and homely, with carriage lights – Built 1930s*


Intricate and lovely, with arches – Built 1890s*


Ancient and crumbling, with pillar – Built 100 BC*


* Okay, I admit it, I have completely guessed when they were built!

Before and afters






Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Mysterious, Traditional architecture

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Splendid Building

This wonderful building, in a classic style is from an unknown location and date. Given the green lawns one is tempted to think English country school, but I really have no idea where it is!



Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Traditional architecture

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Postcard Oddity

We have here a man in a net being raised (or lowered but I prefer to think he’s going up) to a balcony off a cliff in a postcard on a wall in Iran (its a feast of prepositions). From a rich collection of holiday pics taken in the early 1970’s, this traveler was in Iran and spotted the postcard on a wall at their hotel. The region contains several traditional villages built right on the edge of a cliff such as this one.


I made the background black and white and worked on the postcard to bring out color and details.



Roadside Cafe

This rundown, rough and ready roadside cafe was snapped from a passing tourist bus. I believe it is the Middle East somewhere, perhaps Iran. It is a classic scene with those rickety tables and chairs. I wonder what is in the glass cabinet.


A bit of a challenge this one as it was blurred, tilted and had window reflections from the bus. However there was enough pixel data to recover and enhance the scene. I corrected the deep shadow in the veranda, grabbed back all the colour and added a deeply saturated vignette.

Before and after.


Click for big.


Mountain Top Village

I have no clues as to where and when this awesome scene was captured. Its from a collection of slides circa 1970s, but feels timeless. The landscape and village are dramatically connected to each other – of course the location must have been chosen for a strategic reason but one can’t help admiring the large, creative vision that gave rise to this choice. I do hope this village is still there today.


This was a real challenge to restore and took 2 attempts to get the right color and depth. The photographer was probably using a zoom lens and this resulted in a flattened perspective. It was also grainy, overexposed and faded. The sky was completely whited-out and had to be recreated.

Before and after


Click for big


Cool down walkway

Some time ago I came across another slide of this beautiful walkway, both pics having been taken from the same spot, which I think is somewhere in Rome. I loved the setting but the first slide was a ruin: dark, blueish and moldy. So imagine my joy when this far better specimen turned up. That’s the great thing about travel photography; the chances are good that with enough material, many shots of the same places will appear. This one was lighter and more colorful, giving me plenty to work with.


The strong contrast between the light and dark sides of the pathway needed evening out, a new sky was added and the fountains were highlighted. I also applied an artistic filter to accentuate edges.


Before and after. Click for big.


For comparison, here is the original too-dark one. Its kinda cool that the woman is walking along the fountain edge, where its wet, and not on the path.


Old Row

The date is 1966 and that’s all we know about this old row. I love the forecourt with its flowerpots, hunks of wood and washing line. Mom and kids perch on a doorstep; this is their everyday life. The buildings are dilapidated but ornate with their broken plaster, old clay brick, and richly colored, fading paint.


Those old walls fascinated me and I knew that restoration could bring them back to life.


Before and after. Click for big.


Gritty Florence

This image of a gritty Florence, with its dark, brooding sky and old walls, was taken in the late 1950s. I visited Florence in the nineties but was disappointed. It was unfriendly, big and dirty. I had a bad cold and spent the day alone at the hostel where I was staying (as there was a curfew for everyone else). In the end I got better and escaped to a wonderful villa in the hills just outside Florence. I didn’t miss the city much.


This was a dramatic rescue as the before and after pic shows. The sky needed to stay dark and to keep the drama; I increased the sun rays, for example. The buildings needed lightening and brightening. I used several filters and blending modes with masks to create the final, which I am absolutely in love with.


Before and after. Click for big.


Wild West Adobe Building

Grand Canyon area, USA 1971. This adobe and stone building is possibly an old fort built in the 1800’s and is probably still standing today, although I haven’t been able to verify that. Read all about adobe buildings here. Love that old seventies sedan tucked into the shade.

I did a number of things to this image to correct problems and enhance the atmosphere. Dirt was cleaned up, lens distortion was corrected and the contrast was reduced. I worked on coloring and texture to push the atmosphere, adding noise, sharpening and bringing out the warm tones.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on March 5, 2013 in America, Traditional architecture

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A Lavish Facade Somewhere in Italy

I came across a little stash of slides taken on a trip to Italy in the late 1950s. Here is the first of many treasures. The traveler was in Rome and Florence but I have been unable to confirm the location of this building. Somewhere in a small, rustic courtyard stands this lavish, almost silly facade. The moldings look like cake icing or candle wax but I think they represent grapes or leaves. If we could identify the mythical figures I’m sure it would help. Please do get in touch if you know where this is.

Straightening immediately gave the building more weight. I then reworked the color a little and sharpened it.

Before and after. Click for big.


Two Quarters in Jerusalem

I’ll put two pics together in this post as they were taken by the same photographer in old parts of Jerusalem, in 1964. One shows a souk (market) in the Arab quarter, and the other a street in the Jewish quarter. Two sides of a society ever in conflict, but to a visitor in 1964, equally interesting.

Street in the Jewish quarter

Souk in the Arab quarter

These were great to work on as there was so much texture and detail to bring out. I love how old walls and stonework come back to life with sharpening and re-coloring.

Before and afters. Click for big:


Romantic Mykonos

So many holiday resorts have tried – and failed – to mimic this magic. Its a Mykonos sunset, in Greece 1964.

This was a delicious job getting the color just right.

Before and after. Click for big.


Charleston Row

This row of old houses was photographed in Charleston, South Carolina, USA in 1959. A note on the frame reads ‘Tricyclist of 90’, referring to the old man making his way down the road on – yes! – an adult sized tricycle. I also noted the brand new, shiny parking meters, looking like they had just been installed.

I enjoyed working on the colors and textures of these old buildings.

Before and after. Click for big.


Traditional Wooden House

This traditional wooden house is in Skansen Open Air Museum, Stockholm and was photographed in 1964. Consider the notion of time here. The park was created in the 1800’s and this scene probably looked much like this back then, as it probably still does today. For 150 years this has looked the same! While all around it context and meaning have changed. You can read more about the park here.

I selectively brightened up the green (perhaps a tad too over the top!) to bring this scene back to life, and added several filters to warm and sharpen it.

Before and after. Click for big.


Modern Establishment

Modern establishment – 1961. I’m guessing its a restaurant in a park and wish I could see more of this super mod building and its interior.


The ruined original suggested a black and white solution and I first went in that direction, but ended up recovering and reworking the washed-out, bubble-gum colors. A cartoon effect was given to emphasize the clean lines of the cars and building.

Before and after. Click for big.