Monday, 28 February 2011

What can You see in this Photograph?

As the weather gets better, I am looking forward to the chance of getting out and about with my camera again. Poking my lens into the nooks and crannies of other worlds and, possibly, other dimensions. I have seen a strange sign a few miles from here and will be looking to capture it and publish it here for your enjoyment . . .

In the meantime, here is a print I made yesterday evening from a glass plate negative. I see something different here each time I look at it. I was originally drawn to it through a view from a distance when I thought the child on the right had angel wings. However, what I thought was wings looks to be the sort of apparel that a choirboy might wear? Then I was taken by the setting. A wire fence that ends abruptly with what looks like the remains of a tree painted white. And what precisely are the young man and the girl looking at? The boy is doing something that attracts their attention. Perhaps it is a church outing or a summer picnic? To the right of the boy is some sort of frame wrapped in rope and topped by a cushion. Perhaps it is a TB sanatorium and the object is some sort of bed designed to be placed outside so patients can enjoy the fresh air?

I am reminded of mother and my aunt who, in 1923, dreamt up the idea of convincing the authorities that they had TB by coughing a lot so they could avoid going to school. They didn't have Tuberculosis but, as a result of their subterfuge, they ended up in a sanatorium with TB patients. It was six months before it was realised the two ten-year-olds were in good health. They were so lucky not to have contracted it.

So back to the photograph. I am not sure why, but sometimes I feel there is something sinister about what is happening, but most of the time, it looks fine. What do you think it going on here? Click on the image for a closer look.


  1. Very hard to say what is going on there... something like a vase of flowers on the ground the between the boy and girl's knees, of something else entirely. I guess the tree appears white due to the sun on it ? Mysteries, mysteries, you are a good one for raising mysterious questions...

  2. The lacey thing to the right almost looks like the sleeve of a blouse...someone sitting in the chair?

  3. Yes, that a lady seated in a wickerwork chair. You can see her left sleeve with a lace edged collar on her back. I would say the boy's smock is everyday attire but when was this photo taken. The early 1900's? I still am pondering your photograph of the criminal in the graveyard scene.

  4. Owen, as you say - mysterious, mysterious!

    Marlu, Thank you I see it!

    Rosie, again, thank you. I see more now. Next to the girl's hand is the head of a doll and lying on its back next to it is a strange creature! In terms of perspective, the seated woman must be a giant as she is huge in comparison to the man! I am glad you are still pondering about the criminal in the graveyard scene. So am I, so am I!

  5. It makes me think of the British in Africa at the turn of the century--on a picnic with all the accoutrements, carried by servants, of course. It looks as though they had been picking flowers and were weaving them into vines to make a wreath... I don't know, but I do love this photo!

  6. Other than the wonderful image I'm still smiling about what your mother did. Oh, I bet she had stories to tell about that unfortunate adventure.

    I have also mentioned your site in my post today in honor of one of those traveling online awards. I was tapped yesterday. You do not need to continue it, but it gave me the opportunity to send people your direction to see the great images and posts you do.

  7. Thanks, Margeret. I know what you mean about the British in Africa!

    TAL, I'll tell some other tales about my mother in future posts! Thanks for doing me the honour of highlighting my blog. Much appreciated!