a picture for today 10/08/2014

so hiya friends old and new and for those who recently joined us thank you and welcome, todays picture is another that should not be judged at first glance but it is not in the same feild as yesterdays ^_^

here’s the picture for today

never a dull moment back in those good old days ^_^

never a dull moment back in those good old days ^_^

those that know me also know that one of the largest obsessions i have is anything victorian or indeed anything that can come under the heading of vintage, i just find it all immensely fascinating ^_^

here in todays picture we don’t actually have the daily life of your local axe murderer, nope, we have an actual fun pastime for your average victorian couple or indeed anyone with a sense of humour and some money to spare because back in the victorian photography was not cheap, but heck if you had a few pounds, or dollars, and a spare axe then pop off down to your local photographer bloke and he will chortle gladly as he explains to you his latest line in mirth causing pictures, oh how those long winter evenings must have flown by, ( a nod to blackadder there for those in the know ^_^)

i managed to find an actual photographer from around the year of 1878 practising his trade in brighton, england here is an excerpt

Samuel Kay Balbirnie’s predecessors at 33 Western Road, Brighton had been photographers who had produced conventional studio portraits in the popular carte-de-visite format. SamuelKay Balbirnie decided to specialise in novelty photographs, producing “Spirit Photographs” and other forms of “trick photography”. A newspaper advertisement placed by Samuel Kay Balbirnie in the Brighton Daily News on 23rd May 1878 publicized his strange repertoire of novelty photographs: “SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHS – Ladies and Gentleman taken floating in the air – in company with tables, chairs and musical instruments“; “HEADLESS PHOTOGRAPHS –Ladies and Gentlemen taken showing their heads floating in the air or in their laps” and “DWARF and GIANT PHOTOGRAPHS“, presumably combining differently sized portraits of sitters for humorous effect (Samuel Kay Balbirnie remarks on the “ludicrous” appearance of his dwarf and giant photographs).

It appears that visitors and residents of Brighton were not to keen to have themselves portrayed in such a light-hearted and silly manner. Within two years, Samuel Kay Balbirnie had closed his photographic studio at 33 Western Road, Brighton. By the beginning of 1880,Samuel Kay Balbirnie had left Brighton to enlist as a surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Samuel Kay Balbirnie’s departure from 33 Western Road, Brighton marked the end of this building’s association with photography. The business premises at 33 Western Road eventually became a draper’s shop.

brighton i have to say does seem to have more or less the same atmosphere as other english seaside towns – namely i strong sense of humour often quite dry but usually striving for making little of life’s more sour moments living in a seaside town myself for most of my life i can appreciate that this was popular along with saucy postcards and candy floss bingo and fish and chips there some things we are pretty much the expected norm of seaside towns in england indeed lately our town rather misguided in their efforts sought to change our sea front and placed an art gallery there and some strange piece of sculpture it has been ridiculed cursed and sworn at and downright rejected, as the town folk said this is a seaside town not some artsy fartsy city with ideas above its station, i reckon it shouldn’t be long before we have another bingo instead ^_^

The Victorians had a very different attitude to death from us. Many more people died at a younger age, and the risk of dying before adulthood was very high. Among the poor people disease spread quickly, living conditions were unsanitary and there were none of the cures that we have for disease and infection today. The wealthier classes also succumbed to epidemics of flu and diphtheria, amongst many other causes. so they were more accustomed to seeing it and dealing with it and often became fascinated with it, a surge in horror tales being told delighted the masses and were bought cheaply at newstands and other places, so considering all this along with a certain amount of morbid humour we can see why these pictures appealed to them, also at this point in time it was still a new technology not always understood and often marveled and to produce life like images was still considered a great talent a considerable skill and possibly akin to magic for others ^_^ they did love a good seance and other efforts at dabbling with the paranormal, but the photographer commanded respect among his fellow men and a great deal awe when he could produce images of life like detail yet showing a seemingly impossible structure, today we have photoshop, cgi and all manner f ways of producing any image we want from the depths of our imaginations and still we are considerably impressed by the almost magical productions of todays skilled manipulators of imagery think about going to see an action movie or a paranormal movie  – if it was good chances are you will hear people outside afterward saying the cgi was brilliant better than others i have seen good movie or indeed if it was crap how many are heard to grumble at the poor quality of the ‘special effects’ ?


so there you have it another of my cherished pictures from my victorian folder and oh there are so many the hard part is choosing which one to share with you all ^_^

love and peace be with you all






8 responses

  1. I rediscovered my interest in Victorian times by reading Dickens. He was a great social commentator. I can’t recall having read about such a photographer but I do like the image you have found. Dickens writes about a rather gruesome taxidermist in Our Mutual Friend. I think he would have loved the trickery here.

    1. aahh dickens is one of my first loves and brilliant and for all his wonderfully detailed social commentary did you know that when attending university studying for my degree in history dickens was not allowed to quote as a viable source simply because he wrote ‘noels’ and ‘books for entertainment’ we were allowed to read them and even discuss in class but never allowed to use a single quote from anything he wrote hope you have a super day love and peace be with you

      1. What a bizarre position to adopt. He provides superb insights and brings everything alive. That he wrote fiction is irrelevant since they are so grounded in fact. I hope the university has moved on in its thinking. Poor old you!

  2. We have something in common, Kezia. I love vintage everything and especially Victorian. Well, except the unsanitary conditions that many lived in. Love the photo. Have a great day. 🙂

    1. aww thank you for dropping by lovely to see your comment (i am still scared to go in my back garden! ^_^ )and glad i have found a fellow vintage fan in you i adore all things victorian but i also delve into other areas i am a huge history fan ^_^
      love and peace be with you

  3. As I sit here literally in such a beach town, I love the images of this kind of ‘high jinx’ and fun. Poo on the highbrows that didn’t ‘get it’…I was lucky enough to go through Brighton, wish I’d have had time to stop and stay awhile. It is very reminiscent of the seaside town here…no matter the body of water…it’s the shore that counts yes? xoxo

    1. yay brilliant to learn you made it to brighton it is like iws own little country sometimes a unique place definitely and yes i totally agree and i often tell the kids when we are on the beach living right on top of it as we do that they should appreciate it because especially on a nice sunny day you can walk along that beach and be anywhere in the world that also has sun and sand it is glorious only thing i would change about our beach is the sea itself i often want it to be clear like the waters around the maldives oh how i love clear waters lapping at my feet unfortunately here you have to use your imagination to attemt to see through the murky waters here ahh well
      love and hugs to you always

      1. wish I could bottle some of this from the ’emerald coast’ for you…it’s heaven. xo

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