Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sepia Saturday # 278: Margaret's mother blew her top!



Here are the suggestions for this week's Sepia Saturday: Our theme image for Sepia Saturday 278 - post your posts on or around Saturday 9th May and add a link to the list below - is a little old and tired. It comes from the Flickr Commons archives of the Romanian photographer, Costica Acsinte. I thought it would provide a suitable prompt to remind us of those old and tired images in our collections. Images that are past their best or in need of a little care and attention. You might want to share images that have faded, images that have disintegrated or even images that have been restored. Or, as always, you can ignore the theme and just share any old image you want.

Margaret in her CGIT uniform, Margaret's mother - bald with sunglasses, and the pastor, oblivious to the mystery.

It was the summer of 1954 and a fine warm day. Margaret's mother and many of our parents had come to CGIT (Canadian Girls in Training) camp for the Sunday visit. My friends and I were all attending the camp. Like the rest of the parents, Margaret's mom was dressed up and wearing a hat for the small church service the pastor conducted. After the service, my father took the pastor's photo. Margaret and her mother were captured in the background. 

In this developed photo, Margaret's mother's hat AND HER HAIR had vanished. Not only does she appear to be hatless, she looks bald! Examining the scene with a magnifying glass, I can see smudgy things and odd patches of light in the lattice fence behind her. Could that be her hat and her hair? Everything else in the photo seems to be in place - Margaret's hair is in place on her head; the pastor's hair is on his head. What kind of photographic hiccup might cause such a specific boo-boo to occur? I can remember my father and I looking at this shot over and over again hoping something would suddenly strike us and explain the situation. The best we could guess, it was some kind of double exposure where the second exposure just happened to eliminate both hat and hair. Any better ideas?

For more old, tired and sometimes mysterious photos and their stories, visit Sepia Saturday.


15 comments:

  1. Great contribution, Helen. The key may be in the flare of light at the upper right of the print, which could be caused by "in camera" light leakage, but I think is more likely to be from a reflection off a shiny part of the roof, causing over exposure. I wonder about the material that the hat was made from. Margaret's mum appears to be walking with head bowed down, perhaps to better hear what Margaret was saying, and it may be a reflection from the top of the hat.

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    1. I think you're right...it's the angle of her head. I thought she was wearing sunglasses and didn't realize the black was part of the hat!

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  2. I think she might have lifted or moved her head just as the photo was shot.

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    1. Yes, the blurriness adds to the illusion.

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  3. It looks like Margaret's mother is wearing a close-fitting hat with a black banding at the edge & she is looking down. What confuses the issue is the white fluttering thing on the lattice work behind her which looks like a hat, but maybe isn't?

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    1. Yes...you and Brett are right . Mystery solved after 50 years or more.

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  4. I thought the same, that it must be a cloche type hat. Always good to get other people's ideas, especially here through Sepia Saturday. :-)

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  5. I'm glad someone figured it out because I couldn't make it out well enough to offer an opinion.

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  6. Boy, she DOES look bald, doesn't she? I'm with the others...she's got her head tipped down...

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  7. I bow my bald head to those of you with better eyesight than mine - I couldn't make out a hat at all.

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    1. Once I saw it, it seems so obvious. I rigidly clung to the idea that she was wearing sun glasses...and that defined the image and her baldness. Goes to show, even when the "facts" are right in front of your eyes, you may be seeing them differently than the next persons.

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  8. After squinting and changing head position, reading glass on, reading glass off -- and just totally ignoring the pastor -- I just see a woman who appears to have her head down. She may or may not be wearing a small hat, or a scarf folded to be worn headband style. I have a photo of my mother and grandmother with the glare on the right also. I'm loving these old photos.

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  9. At first glance it does seem as though she's bald but upon closer look, after Brett's suggestion, I, too, think we're seeing the top of her hat with her head bent down. Will Margaret be pleased to learn this? I hope so!

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  10. I'm glad I'm late to the party to benefit from all the interpretations. How funny that the minister is not nearly as interesting as Margaret's mother.

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  11. Although I liked the "great hiccup" explanation, once I stopped seeing the alien with sunglasses, I could also see the mother with her head tilted down, and even the ribbon or braid on the hat. Of course, my version may be just another hiccup.

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