Sunday, March 15, 2009


Sometimes you Get it........

Sometimes you D*O*N*T*.......



I love early photography, especially daguerreotypes. I have a bit over 100 or so here at the Museum, mostly of children. They are indeed windows into another time~ a special place in history, where we can become intimate with the sitter, and glean a rare glimpse of their every day lifestyles. But have you ever really 'looked' at a daguerreotype??? Past the obvious pose and gender of the subject being pictured???? Daguerreotypes are amazingly detailed~ of coarse some have weathered time better than others, but looking thru a loupe, one can see individual hairs....freckles....even individual petals of a rose in a vase on a table. I greatly admire the early photographers~ it was truly an Art to place a sitter correctly, with the light just right, to make a nice exposure. It could take up to 20 minutes to expose the silver plate....sometimes even longer if the person was of darker skin, or in poor light.....all the while, the sitter had to remain totally still.........as in motionless............n o t m o v i n g . . . . . . . . . .


I wonder how many plates were re-used, because the sitter moved? I bet alot!!!! Imagine....in comes this little sprite, like my Pippin, above. All happy and FULL of energy~ excited to have their picture taken!!!!!!!!!!!



Photographer says....OK~ now you need to be serious~ no jumping and hopping about~ok? 'Ok', says the little one.... as they compose themselves in as serious a manner as they can muster up... but do you see it? The corners of the eyes and mouth are hinting at a devious adventure to come...... I cant imagine how hard it would have been to get a child to sit still for so long, even with the neck brace most of the daguerreotypists used..........


So serene and serious~ so grown up and mature looking............ when in fact, this youngster was most likely the same age as my Pip~ and LOOK what I get......


ARGGGGGGGG!!!!!! What a little devil! I was trying to photograph an early 1840 little boys coat for my files....and Pip just couldnt contain her wiley little self! On days like this, one must just call it a day, and let them go out and p-l-a-y!

4 comments:

Barbara said...

Hmmmmmmmm.........her Mom was pretty seroius, but I'll bet her Dad wasn't!! Still have a hard time getting him to sit still, unless he's engrossed in a plate full of ribs or some such fare!
LY, Mom

Julie said...

Hi Rachael, your little pip is precious, I'd let her go play to, Julie p.s. I love those "Squinty Sisters"

Heather said...

Isnt she a darling? She reminds me of my little Audrey....no way that girl would sit still for 20 minutes. I'm lucky if I get a "cheese!!!"
I love old photos as well...my collection is of later photography though. I love how these seem so spooky though...I have a few dagheriotypes (Im sure I just butchered that spelling) I have a large one of two little girls in a huge black and gold frame (very goth, haha) and they are so serious and precious and a bit spooky. Love it!~

CARole said...

Hi Rachael. I really do have to take the time to visit more often. I enjoy your blog soooo much. It was especially nice to see and hear you on your little video, and your pippin is so darling. How is the mural painting going?
Carole