330. A muggle-born girl is abused at home for being a witch. She doesn’t have many friends. They make a friend with one of the talking portraits who helps her become happier and more confident. Until it’s nearing end of school and the panic attacks return but her head of house informs her , she no longer needs to return and she is happy but wonders how they knew. It turns out her portrait friend helped her not liking seeing a witch abused just for being a witch, the painting is Salazar Slytherin.
Neon & Night come together in these moody double exposures:
Camera: Canon EOS 3
Film: Cinestill 800T
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Scott on this Series:
“An ongoing series of mine titled “This Must Be the Place”, has a focus on the night-time through double exposure portraits of friends and fellow photographers with neon signs. Being able to combine two separate moments into one has mostly unlimited potential for composition as well as the ability to at times create openly interpretive stories. I am heavily inspired by cinema which is one of main motives for shooting with Cinestill 800T as I often want to create that cinematic vibe in my images. With the night time, I am incredibly drawn to the dramatic lighting visible during the night through brightly lit store fronts, empty streets and finally, glowing neon signs. I do various amounts of research to discover unique and hidden neon signs in the Melbourne area which has oddly at the same time sparked a weird hobby for myself as I’m often on the lookout for interesting neon signs both day and night. In a rather ironic fashion, I’m actually quite afraid of the dark which I find pretty funny as I’m usually out very late.”
In the 19th century, death was trending. The newly invented medium of photography became a way to cope with death, and post-mortem photography offered a popular new way to preserve the memory of loved ones.
The invention of photography also coincided with the increasing popularity of hauntings, seances, and mediums during the rise of the spiritualist movement. Photography was a perfect way to connect with the spirit realm…or so it seemed.
William H. Mumler cashed in. A jeweler’s engraver by trade and the accidental inventor of “spirit photography,” Mumler figured out how to produce images with double exposures, giving one of the figures a ghostly quality.
His first ghostly image taken in March of 1861 was a total accident. He took a self-portrait in a friend’s studio using a plate that already was exposed. This image was circulated as a gag, and then fell into the hands of somebody at The Herald of Progress, a spiritualist journal. And from there his popularity exploded and his story began to change.
Soon, accounts of Mumler’s first self portrait were embellished with stories of his arm feeling numb. Some stories claimed he couldn’t take more than two or three spirit photographs a day, for connecting with the spirit world was exhausting work.
For just shy of two years, Mumler worked as a medium, taking portraits of living folks and “capturing” the spirits of their lost loved ones or sometimes lost strangers from beyond the grave.
These ghostly renderings became so popular that spiritualists hailed these photographs as scientific evidence of their beliefs. Even Mary Todd Lincoln had her photograph taken by Mumler.
In February 1863, a doctor sat for a portrait and when his spirit photograph developed, he recognized the spirit as a man who was very much alive. He was outraged and led the crusade to oust Mumler as a faker. Mumler was sued and acquitted, but his reputation was ruined.
The Getty owns an album of 39 Mumler spirit cartes-de-visite bound in a leather album. See each of the 39 spirit photographs here.