Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt inspires a look at spirit pictures and double-exposed photographs. As a product of the Polaroid One Step and Kodak Instamatic age, I enjoyed fairly clear pictures for many years. That is to say, people and events are easily recognizable even if poorly framed. It wasn’t until I purchased a REAL camera requiring me to load the film myself that the potential for double-exposures emerged. And emerge they did, and always at the most inopportune time.
It was May 1982 and Baby Sister was graduating from college. Surely if any milestone should be preserved, it was this one. We brought the GOOD camera that day.
We also used the GOOD camera in July when we visited the grandparents and showed our year-old daughter her uncle’s hunting dogs. In September, we captured her joy in playing in the dirt in our little square-foot garden.
All on the same roll of film.
|Jordan peering in at the dogs|
Mary Jollette either reading the graduation program
OR praying we get good pictures
|Mary Jollette receiving her diploma |
sandwiched between views of Jordan playing in the dirt
|It took me awhile to figure out Mary Jollette was not walking|
toward the back end of some cows.
It's Jordan's legs -- a vertical shot turned horizontal --
her head is in the previous picture.
Sometimes I shake my head and wonder why anyone kept them.
Nancy Messier of My Ancestors and Me knows why. In looking at a group of pictures from a day spent with her daughters and grandchildren, she noticed the poor framing, the light and dark, the poor focus. Yet despite their poor quality, she kept them. After all, the point of the photo wasn’t to highlight technique. It was to capture forever those precious hours blowing bubbles and pulling kids in a wagon. With a calm recognition of how quickly children grow up, Nancy concluded that a bad picture is better than no picture.
Maybe that is something I knew but had forgotten, explaining why I carefully inserted all those double-exposed pictures into an album for safe-keeping. The pictures are a goulash of parental pride, a young woman’s accomplishment, a baby eager to pet that happy dog, a smiling face smudged with garden soil – stories flowing in and out of each other.
But they still make my sister look like she graduated in a dog kennel.
If you visit the bloggers at Sepia Saturday twice, will you be double-exposed?
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.