« The 'Magic Sorting Hat' Worked | Main | Congratulations to Daniel »

Friday, 14 April 2017


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

Rarely- well, maybe RARELY is too strong a word- do I see photographs that instantly make me desirous of having a copy for hanging on the wall. This one, though........Spectacular! It is hard for me to imagine a better photograph. Thanks.

I know that Autochromes are done and gone, but this photo, and others done in Autochrome, have a look and a beauty about them that could well be emulated by digital, and I think we would be richer for it. They certainly have a wonderful look all of their own.

With best regards.


I have seen some of these prints and can say that they are chillingly timeless. Almost contemporary...but not quite. The combination of dress, color, location, and gesture make them just a bit surreal. I guarantee that nobody would guess their age cold. Taking a step back, these images stand as good lessons in how photographs communicate.

When I first saw the picture I thought "Bah, someone's applied a digital filter to make it look old". Then I saw it was an Autochrome and liked it better. It's really hard to look at things without assumed context and bias, isn't it?

Mike wrote, "They're tolerant subjects ... "

Not when they're two years old.

If only digital could be so pretty!

A timeless image. Could've been shot a week ago.

You will probably be inundated with links to this and it pains me to cite The Daily Fail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3119976/The-mystery-lady-red-solved-Philosopher-s-daughter-died-without-marrying-34-years-ago-named-blonde-teen-ethereal-1913-colour-photos.html
It seems Christina was not his daughter but that of a friend and died in 1981 aged 84.

I think the current theory is that the subject was not his daughter. As far as I know this is based on there being no evidence that he had children: she may have been his niece.

Mervyn O'Gorman died in 1958 which means he lived well into the Kodachrome era: another process which was good at red. Probably Autochrome would be easier to revive though...

I enjoy looking at old pictures, but -- maybe because I recently turned 50 -- lately pictures like this remind me of Robin Williams in the movie Dead Poets Society - the carpe diem scene - where he's showing the students photos of their predecessors who already lived their lives and are now gone. Pictures like this make me wonder how the people in them lived their lives and what they did with their lives (I don't mean careers, material possessions or whatever - I mean what they really *did* with their lives).

Sometimes, it even reminds me to stop and smell the roses.

Lovely photo! I have a technical question. On my screen, I'm seeing color banding in the sky. Is that an artifact of Autochrome, or something introduced in digitizing, or just me?

@ William Tyler: Autochrome prints are generally pretty creamy so the banding must come from this image's history, probably from repro? Note also the reflection of what appears to be an arm, probably the photographer's.

Regarding old age, a 117 year old Italian woman died yesterday. She was the oldest person in the world and the last known person alive who had been born before 1900 (she was born in 1899).


Responding to Ken's comment about Dead Poets Society: When I was a high school literature teacher, I used to tell my students that everyone dies, but very, VERY few people ever really live.

@Richard Parkin: Hopefully the Daily Mail is better with names than locations.

I've just "visited" Lulworth Cove, courtesy of Google Maps. The photos don't match what I can see in the O'Gorman photos.

But I have identified one location for sure. The first photo in the Daily Mail article shows Christina alongside the row boat. She's looking to our right; but the photo has been flipped and she's really looking to our left (with the sea on our right). In the background is Durdle Door, a natural rock formation. This is around 2km west of Lulworth Cove.

Perhaps any TOP readers - who have [actually] visited this stretch of coast - can pinpoint the location of the other photos?

Regards from Adelaide, Australia.

Following my previous post on this topic, the "headline" photo of Christina wading in ankle deep water was taken at Bat's Head, with Durdle's Door in the far distant background (directly behind Christina).

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007