« Random Excellence, Dog Lovers' Edition | Main | Barthes & WTF »

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Only 49 are hard to explain.

#35 is a young Sarah Palin.

Wonderful! Thank you.

In addition to our 13 kids we have 60 chickens. I'm not sure but we might be outsisde the curve. : )

Superb surrealism. Made me smile. A lot.


Those buzfeed images remind me of the black and white photos on the Black and WTF site I mentioned in one of my posts. Apparently our photographic forefathers weren't so staid after all.

"A collection of the most confusing/unexplainable photos from my Tumblr blog, Black & WTF."

Thanks a lot Mike. There goes my weekend!
Went to the Black & WTF site. There are 75
pages of hundreds of photos. The photos
are fascinating. Couldn't you wait 'till
March Madness was over? :)

Great bunch of fun fotos -- have some of my own like them.
Are we afraid to create silly photo's like these.
Would make a great contest.

"I don't think chickens are as common a part of everyday life for most people as they used to be."

...and apparently black bears...

Mike you made my day. I especially love #32, the portrait with the diving suit. And perhaps I should be looking around for a skeleton.

These photos prove that people have been cutting up in front of cameras ever since there were cameras. And that Grandma and Grandpa weren't nearly as stodgy as we thought.

"Mike, Those buzfeed images remind me of the black and white photos on the Black and WTF site I mentioned in one of my posts."

Yes, that's where they're from (see fine print at Buzzfeed link.) I added that to the post.


Am I the only one who was more than a bit worried that an old photo from MY family might be there? Fortunately, I was able to take a deep breath and relax after checking out all 50 pics.

Some strange images indeed.

Sort of reminds me of the American Gothic one from a few posts ago.

The first thing I thought was Halsman Dali. If you do a Google Image search on those terms: http://www.google.com/images?q=halsman+dali&biw=2560&bih=1251 you see what I mean.

#26, best of the bunch. Good quality shot and you have to appreciate the early version ATV attempt.

I just submitted one of my own. Let's see if it will make the cut.
After coming back from late wedding photo jobs in the early 1980s I used sit drinking in the window of the studio I worked in, which was in the nightclub area of Perth Western Australia, with a Nikkormat and Mecablitz on a tripod with a quick release and take shots of inebriated passers by. This drunk man with a cast threatened to break the window.


Number two looks suspiciously like the old custom of displaying the sheets after the wedding night. There was supposed to be blood on the sheets to prove that the bride was a virgin. OTOH, this looks more like an arterial wound...

Number 18 - looks like an offshoot of the memento mori (remember that you'll die) movement. You know, the guys who photographed the recently deceased. 19th century.

Nr. 23, or the first photo here, looks like a German on the Russian front in WWII, not WWI. Note the helmet.

Nr. 30 - "the tallest man in the world", from a circus. Most probably with "the shortest man in the world". Also most probably, taken by Georg Auger in 1905.

40 - the same guy, photoshopped. IE what was then used for photoshopping. :)

44 - a group of tuba players from Seattle in Snoqualmie Pass in 1938.

Nr. 46 looks like it depicts a concept. Somebody who has problems with maths, apparently.

BTW, the kids with cigarettes are apparently either photoshopped or the collage was done on film. Note the discrepancy between the cigarettes and the rest of the photos.

BTW, number 31 is apparently a (baby?) armadillo. Either "naturally" deformed or somebody used the head of a dolphin to create a photo-monster.

here are some quirky celebrity photos


An image that has always puzzled me is this Cartier-Bresson shot:

What on earth is going on??? ;-)

On the veiled matron wearing boxing gloves: She is not just veiled, she is grieving, probably the loss of her husband. If she was to wear a veil for another reason it would almost certainly not be a black veil, since in many parts of the world wearing something associated with grief outside of periods of grief is considered extremely unlucky.
The boxing gloves: In many places and times it was custom that those nearest to the departed were forbidden from doing any manual activity during the period of grief. And wearing boxing gloves will prevent you from doing anything at all.

Now, I'm of to look at the other 49 photos there really are some strange ones among them...

Oh, come on, no. 31 is signed by Dora Maar, and is is clearly a portrait of Picasso.


Number 49 is easy. It's from the Overlook Hotel


#18 belongs in the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. ;)

Re: no. 35: Wasilla 2nd Grade yearbook, 1970?

Quite honestly, given the week I've had, I didn't think anything could make me laugh out loud, but number 12 did it. I'm not sure what that says about me, however, and it's probably something I don't want to explore too deeply.

Mike, as the kids would say...OMG! Thanks to you and Jay for finding this amazing collection. Initially, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of going through all 75 pages of the blog. Then I hit the link for the archive:


Keep scrolling down and the page will fill with hundreds of photos like a mosaic. Each photo is a link to the original post.

And here I thought I'd get something practical done today.


What is so strange about the photo of Eva Braun disguised as Al Jolson aka "Jazz Singer"? After all, she was a normal young woman who liked to enjoy herself. What's more, we know she used to work in a photographic studio and was an accomplished photographer.

"I wonder how hard it would be to try to invent stuff like this?"

This reminded me of a remark Todd Papageorge made in an interview with Alec Soth:

"the IMAGINATION of the photographer ... is generally deficient compared to the mad swirling possibilities that our dear common world kicks up at us on a regular basis."


having earlier posted a very tongue in cheek comment about a young boy and a cockerel, this view is from the polar opposite of that. I do agree that posting anything remotely to do with Adolf Hitler (your linked photo in the addendum) leaves you as a hostage to fortune, and risks taking your blog into very murky waters. You are the only arbiter of what goes on here on TOP, and I fully support that.

I'm also painfully aware that should you publish the paragraph below, I could also be accused (by those who read plain text through biased eyes) of some "sympathy" with a political philosophy that I feel a total anathema towards. In truth, I'm very proud to have served what I see as the cause of freedom through the last 15 years of the Cold War, and the first 7 or so difficult years of a new western view of "democratisation". I would have been so much more proud to have served, as my father and grandfather both did, in two hot and bloody wars against totalitarianism.

That off my chest, and forming a possibly ineffective shield, I think that Eva Braun is an interesting figure, both historically, and also within the niche of photography. It is academically fair to note that she had remarkably little influence on Hitler's views on just about anything, least of all the subjects of race and identity. Photographs of her and the few written records from the time before she met Hitler show an unusually unrestrained young girl - almost a flapper in the late 1920s/early 1930s. She was self-taught in photography, and is the photographer of much of Hitler's relaxation in the Bergdorf in the late 1930s. She also shot the colour films at the Bergdorf. There is little reliable or credible evidence that she had a great interest in politics, indeed the opposite is indicated in Goebbels and Speer's diaries in which she was noted as either a (modern vernacular) airhead or as being dismissed from the room when the men came to talk politics. Traudl Junge (Hitler's main secretary from 1944-45) makes similar points, while still professing to like her as a "funny person" and someone who enlivened what was a dismal atmosphere in the bunker in the last months.

All of that said, there is still something very disturbing at an image of a blacked up Eva Braun.

No. 8 may have been taken in Edinburgh. Until recently the zoo there took the penguins for a walk about every day. Not sure they still do but I remember it as the highlight of a visit in the seventies


#16, the girl with the umbrella and piggy bank:-

Everytime it rains it rains pennies from heaven.

Every time it rains, it rains, pennies from heaven
Don't you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven?
You'll find your fortune's fallin' all over the town
Make sure that your umbrella is upside down


Mike Chisholm:


No, it's Pere Ubu. It's apparently not deformed.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007