Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Multiple explosures - further examples requested for the online exhibition

We are progressing on the "Multiple Exposures" online exhibition for Luminous-Lint and I thought I'd share some examples that have arrived in the last few days as each is a fascinating part of the history of photography and may not be well known.

Southworth & Hawes
Seated Gentleman, with Brattle Street Church seen through window (Edward Everett ?)

Daguerreotype, whole plate, double exposure
Collection Matthew R. Isenburg

The first image is a whole plate Daguerreotype Seated Gentleman, with Brattle Street Church seen through window (Edward Everett ?) by Southworth & Hawes which has been provided by Matt Isenburg (President of the Daguerreian Society). Seemingly the only way this Daguerreotype could have been created on the plate was by double exposure - the first part being focused on the seated gentleman and then removing the curtain and refocusing on the church through the window. This important photograph is reproduced in American Daguerreotypes from the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection Exhibition and Catalogue prepared by Richard S. Field and Robin Jaffee Frank. Introduction by Matthew R. Isenburg. Essay by Alan Trachtenberg (Yale University Art Gallery - New Haven, Connecticut, 10 November 1989 - 3 January 1990) plate 121, p. 103, 115. It is also included in Robert A. Sobieszek & Odette M. Appel The Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes (Dover, 1980), p. 94.

Mike Robinson

Daguerreotype, double exposure
Provided by the artist - Mike Robinson

On rare occasions contemporary Daguerreotypists have a taken double exposures. In the example Valentine (2006) by Mike Robinson (Century Darkroom - www.centurydarkroom.com), a specialist in taking Daguerreotypes and their conservation, he captures a rose within a jar on the positive metal plate.

Mark Osterman
Two-headed Boy
[Amnesia Curiosa]
2006 (ca)

Salt print from a collodion negative
Provided by the artist - Mark Osterman

Mark Osterman (Process Historian - George Eastman House International Museum of Photography) must have experimented with almost all, if not all, of the early photographic processes and this salt print from a collodion negative was taken for the vaudeville act Amnesia Curiosa created and performed by Geoffrey Sobelle and Trey Lyford and directed by Andrew Dawson.

A.N. Hardy (Boston)
Portrait of a sitting gent with a ghostly figure

Carte de visite, double exposure
Private collection of Andrea Cesari

The final image is a carte de visite (CDV), kindly provided by Andrea Cesari, that shows a portrait of a sitting gent with a ghostly figure. For an excellent volume on this type of photography buy The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult by Clement Cheroux, Pierre Apraxine, Andreas Fischer, Denis Canguilhem and Sophie Schmit (Yale University Press, 2004). This is a remarkable and fascinating book.

FINALLY: An online exhibition on "Multiple Exposures" is in preparation and I'd welcome intriguing examples from all periods and regions using any photographic process. Thanks to Matt Isenburg, Mike Robinson, Mark Osterman, Andrea Cesari and all those who have provided examples so far. Best, Alan.

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