A Look at Old Hampden Photographs

I picked up some old photos from a few antique stores in Hampden the other day.  As always, I'm inspired by local photographers, and try to take my own stab at things. oldHampdenPhotoWEB-1

I love the "meta" going on in this first photo.  This photograph has many layers.  First, there's the trio in the center-left seemingly posing for a photograph.  Second, there's the two men wearing white shirts in the background.  They're scruffier looking than the trio, as evidenced by their long hair and the ridiculous circular sunglasses.  Lastly, a woman holding a box camera, with a coat draped over her shoulders like a cloak, looks over the entire scene.

Examining this photograph, I actually feel like I'm the woman, in that exact moment, witnessing this event.  How can I connect with her so deeply?  It probably mostly due to her holding a camera, though there is something about her demeanor that reminds me of myself.  As a hobbyist photographer, I'm usually behind the camera, seldom in front of it.  I like how she's holding the box camera close to her waist, and how her arms aren't through the coat sleeves.  It's as if she's a ghost, always watching, but never seen.  I've been shooting in mainly in a documentary fashion lately, and this photograph hits home.

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What struck me with this photo is the aspect ratio.. Look how long it is!!  It's definitely not 35mm or 6x6 120 film.  Perhaps it's a film size that no longer exists.

I'll be honest, I picked up this photograph because the woman is cute -- she reminds me of someone I know in person.  Just kidding -- well, only a little!  As I look at this photograph, I wonder what the thought process was for the person behind the camera.

Lucy, can you pose with Fido in front of our bush?  Oh, and take off your hat!

I mean, look at her facial expression -- that's a skeptical smile!  Aesthetically, I like how there is a hat -- probably of the large straw variety -- cut off on the right side of the frame.  I feel it adds depth to the picture, my mind filling in what the rest of the hat would look like, or even what it would look like on the subject's head.

It's odd the photographer chose a vertical orientation instead of horizontal for this particular shot.  If shot in landscape, a whole lot more of the house (maybe even a front door) could be captured on the emulsion.  The straw hat would be encompassed in the shot, too.


I love looking at these old photographs.  It makes me wonder what the thrify folks of the future will think of my photographs.

These photos are also in great condition.  Of course there are apparent scratches, but the actual images are so sharp in person!