Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ghost Photography of the 19th Century

Photo manipulation is nearly as old as photography itself, and what early photographers lacked in Photoshop, they made up for in ingenuity. Photographers identified nine different methods that could aid in the photographic imitation of “spirits”, including techniques like multiple exposure and combination printing. As David Brewster, in his 1856 book on the stereoscope, explained: 
For the purpose of amusement, the photographer might carry us even into the regions of the supernatural. His art, as I have elsewhere shewn, enables him to give a spiritual appearance to one or more of his figures, and to exhibit them as ‘thin air’ amid the solid realities of the stereoscopic picture.

William Mumler was the world’s first known “spirit photographer”. He photographed people who were morning the loss of a loved one and would superimpose their image on the photograph to show that they were still with them in spirit.
Mumler got caught with his fraudulent photography because of P.T. Barnum. He had captured an image of Barnum posed next to a ghost of an exceptionally notable variety: that of the recently assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
 During Mumler’s 1869 hearing for fraud, Barnum was called to the witness stand to testify against Mumler. Barnum would serve as an expert on “humbuggery.”
Spirit photography lived on well into the 20th century, fueled in part by the Civil War and, later on, by World War I. In the U.K., in the aftermath of the first Great War, the spirit photographer William Hope would develop a following for his work that included Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes’s creator supported Hope against claims of Mumlerian fraud and wrote a book called The Case for Spirit Photography in 1922. He would also end his friendship with the famous Harry Houdini when the magician publicly claimed that spirit photography was “farcical.”
(Source: The Atlantic)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Curious History Best Post Links for August, 2013

Curious History’s (odditiesoflife) Top Ten Posts for August, 2013
  1. Incredible 3D Drawing Illusions  -  48,403 Notes
  2. Ten Best Storybook Cottages Around the World  -  46,383
  3. Abandoned Cottages Overtaken by Animals  -  24,203
  4. Architect Student Converts Bus into Luxury Home  -  23,803
  5. Creepy Art in Abandoned Psychiatric Hospitals  -  14,064
  6. The Ancient Town of Fenghuang, China  -  11,400
  7. The Strangest Spiders Ever  -  10,234
  8. The Haunting Hill of Crosses, Lithuania  -  10,108
  9. Incredibly Elaborate Miniature Fairy Castle  -  10,069
  10. Finding Gold in Nature  -  10,014
Each item in the list is directly linked to the post in case you missed it or would like to see it again without searching.

Curious History's Best Post Links for July, 2013

Curious History’s (odditiesoflife) Top Ten Posts for July, 2013
  1. Life in the Woods - 20,678 notes
  2. The Abandoned Sanzhi UFO Houses - 11,274
  3. Growing Your Own Bridge - 10,696
  4. Rare Ethiopian Opals - 10,647
  5. The Case of Emilie Sagée & her Doppelgänger - 10,487
  6. The Amazing Colored Petrified Forest - 10,148
  7. Poveglia Island - Haunted, Abandoned & Terrifying - 9,348
  8. The Butterfly of the Sea - 6,277
  9. Becoming One With Nature - 6,005
  10. Underwater Secrets of the Ancient Maya - 5,003
Posts on Radar:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Top Posts for Curious History!

Curious History’s (odditiesoflife) Top Ten Posts for June, 2013

The following links will take you to the most popular posts for the month of June. Curious History had an excellent month. Or come and see what is new at Curious!
  1. Devil’s Bridge - 61,675  Reblogs & Likes
  2. The Astonishing Annual Red Crab Migration - 41,517
  3. Abandoned Enchantment - 29,153
  4. Montaña Mágica Lodge (Magic Mountain Lodge) - 28,095
  5. Dreams in Blue - 23,927
  6. Mount Roraima - 21,280
  7. Abandoned (Haunted) Hotel in Colombia - 15,954
  8. Living Plant Sculptures - 13,044
  9. Moving Through Color - 12,157
                1. The Ancient Ones: Oldest Living Organisms - 10,361

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Star Trails in Australia

Many photographers like to experiment with long exposure photography techniques, but an Australian Lincoln Harrison gives a new definition to the word “long”. The 37-year-old Victorian showcases a portfolio of mesmerizing long exposure star trail photography, with some of his photo shoots taking up to 15 hours. The photos are made at his personal favorite spot over Lake Eppalock, in the Australian outback.

The star swirls are the result of the rotation of the Earth, and makes you think you’re witnessing the stars traveling across the sky. “With no buildings for miles, the sky is so clear and it’s amazing to be able to capture the beauty of the night’s sky on camera,” says Lincoln.