Today's Sepia Saturday Suggestion
shows a pair of extraordinary examples of (probably) deliberate double exposures or perhaps just a bit of darkroom juggling of a couple of negatives.
LOST GALLERY updated a page of (probably) accidental Double Exposures just a few days ago. Here's a couple samples below and right.
So today, for Sepia Saturday, LOST GALLERY has some photographs of some other kinds of ghosts.
ALERT: If Memorial Cards featuring deceased individuals are distasteful to you, skip the first four photographs.
Or just click on one of the above photographs and go to the page about double exposures and skip this page.
The first examples are real live dead ghosts. The post mortem photograph or more delicately, the Memorial Photograph, was a popular idea starting from when camera's were invented back in the mid 1800's and eventually lost popularity near the end of the 19th century.
According to Mary Warner Marien, "postmortem photography flourished in photography's early decades, among clients who preferred to capture an image of a deceased loved one rather than have no photograph at all." (from Wiki)
Many of these "late" photographs were posed to make the deceased look still living. That didn't work usually but if it did, how could we tell now?
In the example at the right, if the sunken eyes of the seated man don't convince you that he's deceased, look at the expression on the woman's face.
This one is a tintype with a bit of a rusted corner and a serious crease in the metal backing.
One cannot help but feel the sadness in this one. The photograph probably was indeed the alternative to having "no photograph at all."
There were many opinions on whether this is a post mortem photograph or not. The little girl's face certainly tells how she feels about the whole situation.
One could argue this photograph might not be a post mortem memorial. The instructions to the photographer on the reverse seem to indicate a head/shoulders crop was the wish.
On the reverse:
Mrs C. E. Manning
Gennessee PA R. F. D.
If they were going to all that trouble for a head/shoulder portrait why not just take another picture? P0ssibly because the woman was no longer available to pose.
There's probably no doubt about this example. He's even lying down.
There is an additional sad element about this photograph. It was found, marred and wrinkled, in a pile of trash destined for the dumpster. So this youngster is not only gone, he's also forgotten.
Now lets look at a couple REAL ghost photographs. Okay, they are called "ghost images" because they appear on their own, unexpectedly. When old cabinet cards and mounted photographs are stacked together for a long time, sometimes the image of one photograph transfers to the back of the mat board of the photograph just on top of it. It takes a long time for this to happen.
The photograph to the right is not a photograph at all. It is the impression of a photograph on the back of the next photograph up in the stack.
Here is another example of the ghostly transfer, except the imprint has gone the other way. The back of a postcard (probably an RPPC) has transferred to the face of this photograph of three women. The ink on the postcard apparently leeched the emulsion from the photograph and left ghostly white reversed lettering that appears to be floating between the trio and the camera.
...and the girls appear to be reading it.
Go back to THE MAIN INDEX PAGEThere are now more than 8,000 photographs in the Lost Gallery. Or try out the NEW BACK PAGE INDEX
Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.
Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.
And don't missCabinet Card GallerySquare AmericaTattered and LostVernacular PhotographyThe bestFOUND PHOTOGRAPHsites on the web. And for postcards try POSTCARDY And see what's going on over at Sepia Saturday!
All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.
THE KIDS It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.