October 6, 2008

Pay No Attention To The Mother Under The Blanket

mom_blanket_tintype_anon.jpg

The things people collect. In order to get 19th century kids to sit still long enough to take a photograph, moms would hold the baby on their laps--while being completely covered by a blanket. The effect: a baby all by himself, sitting on an eerily human-shaped beanbag chair.

See more 19th century "hidden mother" photographs at anonymous works [anonymousworks.blogspot.com"> via reference library]

6 Comments

I thought the blankets prevented the camera from stealing part of the mother's soul?

My cousin just used this trick for new baby pictures, but they're closer up, so it looks like the baby is lying on a really lumpy blanket instead.

that is just bizarre

I don't get why it wasn't cropped tighter.

Matthew, I'm going to dig into my fuzzy memory of art history:photography course from university a dozen or so years back and guess that they probably

A) didn't have a lot of options in terms of framing and distance with the lenses available at the time (ie. portrait photographers probably owned one or two lenses appropriate for shots of a group of people at a fixed distance) and

B) since these were likely no-negative shots directly on to positive paper and they had no good way of making enlargements later, they stuck with the whole photo rather than trim it down into something super-tiny

Cropping seems kind of obvious now with all the tools we have though, yeah; I guess the analogy would be choosing not to crop a photo taken on a 0.3 megapixel cell phone camera...

All of that work and the kids still doesn't smile.

I hope they used a coupon.

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