History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

04 December, 2013

"Outside" in the "Snow"

Having your photograph taken in a nineteenth century studio didn't necessarily mean you had to look like you were standing in a studio (at least, with a bit of imagination). Usually this was accomplished by backdrops, sometimes with the addition of props. Sometimes a bit of dress-up, too. 

For a while Montreal photographer William Notman (whose photographs of people "tobogganing" we've already seen) went one further. Notman was well-known for his composite photographs, where the figures from hundreds of individual photographs were carefully cut out and pasted onto a painted backdrop to create a group picture, which was then re-photographed to create the final product. However, the composite model wasn't restricted to group. A figure or two from a studio portrait could also be cut out, and pasted onto the backdrop the sitter desired. 

In very snowy Montreal, apparently a very snowy backdrop was popular. Sitters dressed up in their winter clothes, sometimes even with skates, snowshoes, or curling stones. Fake snow for clothing was also an option. 


Musee McCord Museum

Messrs Crake, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Mrs. Davidson, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

J. Wilson, 1876. Source





Musee McCord Museum

Mr. Binks, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

C. H. Wade, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Mrs. Pereira, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

John Fulton, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Sir Robert Abercromby and W. Dudgeon, 1876. (Keep an eye out for this background in the images below...) Source




Musee McCord Museum

Master Wotherspoon, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

T. Campbell and friends, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Miss Arnton, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

W. Dudgeon, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

W. K. Ankersmit, 1876. Source



Musee McCord Museum

Mr. Idler, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Miss Taaffe, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Miss V. Allan and Mrs. Russel Stephenson, "curling", 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

W. Birks' children, 1896. Source





Musee McCord Museum

Mr. Butler and Mr. Hosmer, 1876. Source




Musee McCord Museum

Mrs. John Moss' children, 1876. Source


1 comment:

beate grigutsch said...

love this!
who needs photoshop :-)

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