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Selfie by GBS in todays AP

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by RogerMac, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    A very interesting article by Roger Hicks in the AP that I received today. I have no doubt that it is exactly what Roger describes - a selfie, however I think that quite a lot of apparent Victorian / Edwardian selfies are not that at all. In my case I have an apparent selfie taken by my great-grandfather in 1894 featuring himself and his seven year old son. I still have the camera it was taken with and firmly believed it was a selfie until I went to a talk on Victoria photography recently and found that very many photographers from that era were in fact women, then it became obvious that this was a photo taken by my great grandmother of the two men in her life. I suppose that puts me down as prejudiced but at least I admit it!
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    Thank you for the kind words - and I am as sure as I can reasonably be that you are right about your highlighted assertion.

    Our dear late Queen Victoria was of course an enthusiastic photographer, and our current dear Queen seems quite keen too -- as was Queen Alexandra. Not so sure about kings.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I certainly have scans of a number of albums going back to 1909 of photos largely taken by a female photographer (for those old enough to remember him, Jo Grimond's aunt). At least one has both mother and daughter clutching cameras, and with the occasional mirror shot showing one off and one photo taken on Autographic 127 film it looks as though she owned several cameras between 1909 and 1919.

    If any Dundonians are reading this, they included photos of the interior of Carbet Castle... disk of images lodged with Broughty Ferry museum!

    Adrian
     
  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Roger
    You may be amused to know that that selfie has just inspired me to take one myself, as a thank you, using a present just given me be a grandchild.
     
  5. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Let's see it then.
     
  6. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Well if you insist, but in fact I had already used a small version on my avatar. The joke is that I am not reading a book at all, but that's a Kindle cover made to look like a book for snobs.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Ah, but can we be certain whodunit?
     
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I think you are right, Roger, in that the cameras and films of the time would have meant long exposures. Hardly conducive to setting a clockwork shutter release timer, dashing across the room and settling oneself in a chair and getting settled in the neck clamp without any blur. I cannot remember when pneumatic releases came into being which might have been tripped by a carefully posed & poised foot. Perhaps the historians in our midst will comment on that. Cheers, Oly
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Neck clamps were well out of use by the 1870s, and pneumatic releases certainly date well back into the 19th century -- not that long after the introduction of shutters -- so I think you may be over-egging the pudding here.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Roger, You are probably right but the occasional bit of richness in the diet adds a certain something to life. Had a notion that the pneumatic release was a very old idea although it has been resurrected almost once a decade during my adult photographic lifetime. I know GBS was a keen photographer and is likely to have constantly upgraded his kit - funds permitting - but were not films still slow as were portrait lenses until well into twentieth century? A 'fast' Petzval portrait (also now making a comeback :)) @ f3.6 apparently still required exposures of many seconds outdoors on the plates of the Victorian era. Cheers, Oly
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    "The Victorian era" spanned over 60 years, from before photography to the advent of cinematography. The situation in 1902 was rather different from that in 1836.

    By the late 1880s "detective" or "instantaneous" photography was popular: hand-held exposures with lenses that might be as slow as f/11. The first Kodak appeared in 1888; did not require a tripod; and certainly didn't have a fast lens.

    Cinematography dates to the 1890s: clearly each frame did not take "several seconds" to expose. By the time GBS was writing for AP, although an indoor "selfie" with a typical f/7.7 Rapid Rectilinear type lens might have needed a second or two, we're still a long way from neck-brace territory.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Just to keep this thread rolling I thought I would post a photo montage of the view that Mary would have had in 1894. I doubt that neck clamps werew involved
    [​IMG]

    Apologies to anyone who has seen this image before
     
  13. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Oops sorry 1884 of course
     
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I like the photograph. I like the natural window light and you are he perfect genteel distinguished model in casual mood.
     
  15. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the compliments, but I do not think I deserve them all. Anyway the lighting was very demanding and I had to use all the DR possible to get an acceptable print. With almost any other camera I would have needed a reflector on the RHS to lighten the shadows.
     
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Roger, Made me muse upon the thought that the late-1950s & 1960s were perhaps one of the most settled periods in photography. The pace of development in the Victorian era was probably as frantic as the digital burn up of 2002-2010. Cheers, Oly
     

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