It turns out that the goth makeup we associate with the 1920's-- heavy eye makeup and dark, almost black, lipstick-- aren't period-accurate. Instead, most color magazines and makeup guides of the time show bright red lips, lots of rouge, and pale eyeshadow in blue, green, violet, and brown. The look I was going for was Ms. Shaping The Brows here.
I made a Lightroom preset off of the color wheel provided at the link (see bottom of post for details). Applied to my photo above, we get the photo below.
|Orthochromatic film simulation, ca. early 1920's|
In the mid-1920's, a new type of film came into effect (panchromatic film), which was sensitive to the entire spectrum. I made another Lightroom preset off the provided color wheel, and here again is what my portrait looks like.
|Panchromatic film simulation, ca. late 1920's|
It still looks a little flat, though, so here's my own B&W version of the image, postprocessed in Lightroom.
|Postprocessing in Lightroom|
There are several points to be made here. First, we generally assume that photography necessarily gives an accurate representation of the world around us. This is not the case. Photography is always governed by the technical capabilities of the recording medium. This is no less true today. For instance, this is the RAW file of my portrait with no postprocessing applied-- this is what my camera sensor saw.
|No postprocessing applied to the RAW file|
Let's be a little generous and say that the camera got the white balance wrong. Here's what Lightroom thinks the white balance should be:
|RAW file with white balance fixed|
Maybe we can't expect a cold, hard machine to nail something as complex as JPEG processing. Maybe we need a human touch, an artist's touch. Here's the image postprocessed by me in Lightroom:
|Postprocessed by me in Lightroom|
Forget the question of whether a photo depicts reality or not. Instead-- do you like the art? Do you like the message the art conveys? If not, why not? And, if you don't like the message, criticize the people making the artistic decisions, not the tools. The tools will always be a necessary part of the mechanics of photography. Photoshop is just a smokescreen distracting from the larger issue.
Orthochromatic film simulation in Lightroom:
Panchromatic film simulation in Lightroom: