Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sepia Saturday - Lurking

For this Sepia Saturday Suggestion we have a snapshot that could take us in several directions at once.

It looks like Robert Kennedy pitching pennies with the boys out in the dirt yard in front of a lovely, depression-era, bungalow style home. That's all rather harmless but if they continue working on that bottle out there in the hot sun they will eventually be trying to change the shape of the aurora borealis by flapping bed sheets in the back yard.

Now some of the things suggested here were looked at before in the Sepia Saturday series. We have collected People In Doorways and had a glance at (possible) Famous People and Events both in March of last year.

We already looked at some people with a drink in their hand (like the one just below) on a Sepia Saturday page called
"On Top of Things"

Bernice smiled.

Today for Sepia Saturday lets look at some photographs where the "lurker" becomes the unintended feature of the snap.

Now the "Lurker" category has been defined in photograph collection circles in various ways. It seems to stretch from photographs that include people who were accidentally caught in the snap, to photographs that include people who deliberately slipped into the frame unbeknownst to the intended subject or the photographer.

So we find lurkers to be a varied breed.

One man

Here, a bunch of the boys include themselves in a guy's portrait that he probably intended to send to his girl. Note that the photographer managed to include a bit of himself also.

In this one, the rest of the family awaits in the wings for their chance in the picture. The photographer included them anyway.

Two men and lurkers

It may take you a minute to find the lurker in this frame. He won't be in the picture with the girls but he is in this one.

Tint Job

Child on a Pony

Here is a parent trying NOT to be a lurker but is anyway.

Two girls

Findley vowed that someday he too would get a new dress and get his picture taken.

In this snap, Gladys obviously did not want to be included so she got up out of her chair and slipped around the corner of the house. Then, maybe she changed her mind a little bit.


They didn't want us in the picture so let's just sit here in the swing and keep cool.

Five in the yard

girl with sun hat

It's hard to decide if that's a lurker back there behind the tree or not. Let's say it is.

Almost Nude

I don't think that guy in the doorway intended to get into the picture at all.

We didn't know we were poor.

We didn't know we were poor.

I doubt that kid back there even realized he was in the picture.

Girl on the running board.
Civil War lineup

This must have been quite an event. There are spectators in the windows and doorways.

While we are on the subject, let's differentiate between an ordinary lurker and a photobomber. A photobomber is someone doing something to spoil or augment the snapshot.

Now of course that disturbance can be done by one of the intended subjects of the photograph or by someone who just slips into the frame as a joke. So there is a gray area where a lurker can really be called a photobomber too. But, certainly the photobomber intended to be there.

Here is a LOST GALLERY page of photographs featuring
real photobombers.

Teacher's pet.

Two children and a lurker

This is one of my favorites. Just look at it and let it tell you its own story. It is perhaps a long one and a particularly sad one.

Now slip on back to the
Sepia Saturday home page
and see what else is lurking there.

Can't get enough?
Here is PAGE ONE!

Or maybe you'd prefer just a list of all (well, most) of the categories and subjects and album pages in LOST GALLERY! Well, here it is!

A to C

Advance to the Rear The Rear View
Aircraft – Biplanes
Aircraft – Connie, the Lockheed Constellation
Aliens and Mystery – Area Fifty-One and a Half
Animals – Gone to the Chickens
Animals – The Pets by themselves
Animals – Posing on a Pony
Area Fifty-One and a Half – Don’t Look Now
Automobiles – Car Bumpers
Automobiles – Car Running Boards
Baby Buggy
Beach – Itinerant Beach Photographer (page 01)
Beach – Itinerant Beach Photographer (page 02)
Beach – The Old Days
Beach – The Slide Show
Beach – The Girlfriend
Boys in Dresses
Bumpers – Car Bumpers
Cabinet Cards
Camera – Photographs containing a camera
C'est la Guerre – Photographs about the wars
Chain Chain Chain – People doing the same things
Chair, Fringed
Chair, One Armed
Chickens - Gone to the Chickens
Children – Boys in Dresses
Children – A Child on the Front Steps
Children - Girls and their Dolls
Children – Kid in a Tub
Children – Mobile Toys
Children - On Running Boards
Children – Slide Show
Children – Trios - In groups of Three
Christmas – in found photographs
Cities – Unknown Street Scenes
Class Pictures – School Days!
Clothing – Bows
Clothing – Costumes
Clothing – Cowboy Outfits
Clothing – Boys in Dresses
Clothing – Furs – The Dead Animal Society
Clothing – Grass Skirts
Clothing – Hats
Clothing – Jodhpurs
Clothing – Saddle Shoes
Clothing – Sailor Tailored Fashion
Clothing – Swimwear – At the Beach
Clothing – Uniforms – Girl & her Guy in Uniform
Clothing – Uniforms - Our Man at the Front
Connie, the Lockheed Constellation
Couples – A Girl and her Guy in Uniform
Fake Fight

C to P

Fringed Chair
Furniture and Props – One Armed Chair
Furniture and Props – Props and Backdrops
Furniture and Props – The Fringed Chair
Furniture and Props – Wicker
Girl in a Boat
Girlfriend and the Car
Girlfriend at the beach
Goat Cart
Gone to the Chickens – Snaps including a chicken
Grass Skirt Gallery
Groups – Chain Chain Chain – People lined up
Groups – Class Pictures
Hats – Where everyone is wearing a hat
Hats – Really Big hats
Homes – We Call it Home
House – Our House
Itinerant Street Photographer
Itinerant Child Photographer With PONY!
Laundry – People and Clothes Lines
Music – Trombones
Music Makers
Novelty Photo Booth – Collection
Novelty Photo Booth – Examination
The Office Typewriters and business
On a Bumper
On a Car
On a Rock
On a Running Board
One-Armed Chair
Parade – Parties, Parades and Picnics
Parties – Parties, Parades and Picnics
People Stacks
Personal Pinups – the best girl. (Page One)
Personal Pinups – the best girl. (Page Two)
Personal Pinups – Girlfriend at the beach
Pets – The animals by themselves
Photo Mask
PhotoBombing – Pranks to ruin a photo
Photography – Photographs containing a camera
Photography – The Photo Mask
Photography – Tinted Photograph
Photography – Polaroids
Photography Errors – Lurker
Photography Errors – photographer's Shadow
Photography Errors – The Double Exposure
Photography Errors – Unauthorized Photographs
Picnics – Parties, Parades and Picnics
Places to Go - More about where than who.
Places – Our House - With people in front
Places – We Call it Home - More houses
Pony – Posing on a Pony

P to W

Poses – Advance to the Rear!
Poses - Belly Down, Heads Up! (A really odd pose.)
Poses – Cheesecake
Poses – Fake Fight
Poses – Girl in a Boat
Poses – In a Tree
Poses – Kid in a Tub
Poses – On a Bumper
Poses – On a Car
Poses – On a Pony
Poses – On a Running Board
Poses – Out Sitting on a Rock
Poses – People with Signs.
Poses – Personal Pinup
Poses – The Rear View
Poses – Sleeping people
Poses – Stacks of People People on People
Props and Backdrops
Rock – People out sitting on a rock
Running Boards - Automobiles
Running Boards with Children
Saddle Shoes
Sailor Tailored Clothing
Signs – People posing with signs.
Sleeping People
Sneaky Snaps–People not posing at all
Telephone - About telephones and operators
Things – Typewriter – A Modern Antique
Things – Telephones
Things – Watermelon in the picture
Tinted Photograph
Toys – Children and their Mobile Toys
Toys - Girls and their Dolls
Transportation – Aircraft
Transportation – Automobile Bumpers
Transportation – Automobile Running Boards
Transportation – Baby Buggy
Transportation – Biplanes
Transportation – Lockheed Constellation
Transportation – Wheelbarrow
Tree Thing
Types of Photographs – Cabinet Cards
Types of Photographs – CDV (Carte-de Viste)
Types of Photographs – Photobooth
Types of Photographs – Polaroids
Types of Photographs – Tintypes
Typewriter – A Modern Antique
Unauthorized Photographs – Sneaky snaps
Uniformed Man – Our Man at the Front
Vehicles – Biplane
Vehicles – Lockheed Constellation
Vehicles – Wheelbarrow
Washday Blues – Of Love and Laundry
Wicker Chairs
Wicker Furniture
World War One


  1. Funny! We also have photos with children sulking and not wanting their picture taken.

    1. Thanks Jackie McGuinnes. Funny about that. Children are seldom ambivalent about having a photograph taken. They either detest it of love it.

  2. Always love your witty & humorous comments to go along with your pictures! I had a grandson who would run & hide whenever someone wanted a picture of him or the family together. None of us ever knew why? So far as we knew nothing terrible had ever happened when someone did manage to take a picture of him. Thank goodness he outgrew his adversity.

    1. Thanks La Nightingail. You know, I have known people who were camera shy, more than that, they were positively terrified whenever a camera was around. They could never explain it.

  3. Great selection of lurkers, especially that 6-legged horse!!

    1. Thanks Wendy. Nice shoes on that horse too.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Alex Daw. Some photographs just tell their own story.

  5. We usually don't even notice the lurkers in photos as we are so concentrating on the main people in the photo. But it's a great word.

    1. Thanks boundforoz. Yes, the condition never occurred to me either until I began noticing the word used in photograph collections.

  6. I loathe having my photo taken. wonderful collection of photos with so many lurkers :) they call them "photo bombers" today don't they?

    1. Thanks Kerryn Taylor! I am glad you asked that! The difference between a "lurker" and a "photobomber" is a subtle one. I added a row to this page and a link to a page of photobombed snapshots. Thanks again!

  7. I can think of one photo in my collection with an unidentified lurker in the background, but from now on I'll have to keep an eye out for more. Definitely a lurker on a horse behind that tree.

    1. Thanks Jo Featherton. Lurkers are a fun category to watch for. Some of them are downright funny. And I agree, someone is back there.

  8. A great collection and I enjoyed seeking out the lurker in each shot, but please lose that word verification.

    1. Thanks Little Nell. I had to turn the word verification back on for a while because of the flood of spam. I turned it back off now.

  9. Sometimes the lurkers spoil the picture; other times they make it unintentionally amusing.

    1. Thanks Postcardy. Yes that is true. I think a true lurker is someone that wanted to be in the shot but is asked to stay out of the picture, then doesn't get far enough away. But in snapshot-world, it seems to include anyone who is not the main subject, no matter how they got in the frame.

  10. Loads of lurkers- I especially like the almost-hidden parent. Hadn't heard the expression photobomber, but pleased to have it as I particularly dislike that habit....why DO people have to do that?

    1. Thanks Cassmob (Pauleen). I don't know where the expression came from but it seems to be well imbedded in photo collecting. Back in the day when each snapshot was rather expensive, ruining a photograph was indeed in poor taste.

  11. As always a lesson that there is never a bad photo. The lineup of old bearded men is certainly a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) reunion. The habit of long beards with Civil War veterans is curious tradition and seems to have been a mark of pride.

    1. Thanks Mike Brubaker. Civil war vets was my guess too. They do seem to have great beards.

  12. A great selection of photos with or without the lurkers. I wonder how long it took you to find all these.

    1. Thanks Bob Scotney. I have treasured old photographs as long as I can remember. The serious collecting and cataloging started a couple decades ago. I use Flickr's tag system to keep them sorted and to find groups of the same subject.



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