« Digging For Bones In City Cemetery | Main | New Year Wishes From Soon-to-be President »

Monday, December 26, 2016


Heh, he looks like an abercrombie and fitch model.

Perhaps it's me--and I know nothing about photography--but something seems off, as in anachronistic, in both photos. Obviously the colorized version is anachronistic, but the black and white one seems a bit "too modern" to me. But that just may be my lack of skill in the history of photography. It could also be a bias I have of thinking that things that happened in the 1800s actually happened in black and white. (It's a foolish bias for a historian to have, but when I think on it, I do tend to think of pre-1950'ish history as in black and white.)

As you may have noticed, I'm a vintage photography buff. I've got somewhere around 40,000 vintage(digital) that I've spent a lot of time with. This is authentic. It's a shot by Alexander Gardner at the Washington Navy Yard where Powell was held. There are a few shots of Powell. This one does have have an anachronistic look. I'd attribute it to the preservation of the portion of the photo used in the colorization (this is a cropped image), and an accident in the way it was lit and shot. There's more gentle shading than is typical of photos of the era. At the time, portraits were carefully set up and rigidly posed. This and the other Powell shots weren't posed. Powell also happens to have a hair style and sweater that could pass for a contemporary look.

I'm going to post a few more Gardener shots from the same day. I'll add them as an update to the post.

Thanks for the update and for explaining the technicalities (and for the other images).

The comments to this entry are closed.