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GEISHA RETURNING THROUGH THE PARK IN THE SNOWFALL OF A WINTER STORM -- A Scene from Old Meiji-Era Japan | by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
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GEISHA RETURNING THROUGH THE PARK IN THE SNOWFALL OF A WINTER STORM -- A Scene from Old Meiji-Era Japan

On a 17-inch computer screen, this link will display the photo a bit smaller than actual size :

 

www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2529662073/sizes/o/

 

The photographer / artist added falling snow by flicking white specks across the photographic print until he achieved the desired effect, probably by pulling his thumb across a small, stiff brush dipped in white paint. He had started by sponging some red maple leaves onto the print, and added some color to the Geisha's kimono. The dark-brown trees were done using transparent dyes. Once the "snow" was applied, the small work of photographic art was finished.

 

It is now a one-of-a-kind photo using only the above-mentioned primitive "special effects".

 

The dark, low-hanging clouds of winter and the real falling snow that was too fleeting to catch on his slow, glass plates, were, by this bit of white-speckled artistry, brought together again. It probably looks just as the photographer remembered it from the cold, dark day when he dragged his camera out to the park.

 

Over 120 years have now passed. Both the photographer and the Geisha are gone, but the image of that cold and snowy day remains.

  

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At this link, you will find a deeper and more poetic analysis of the above image :

 

venatiocreo.com/capstone/The_Visual_Culture_of_Meiji-era_...

  

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This ca. late-1880s photograph by an unknown and forgotten photographer was just a bit larger than my scanner. I have added the black bars around what I could fit, which is (fortunately) most of the image.

 

It is another rare SALT PRINT from another world. No emulsion, No baryta layer, and no coatings of any kind --- the photographic image being saturated directly into the fibers of the fragile paper.

 

Perhaps the paper was salted by dipping it in a bucket of sea water during the summer months. The sliver nitrate was brushed on the paper and dried before sandwiching it with a huge glass negative. It was then printed under the sun for 10 minutes to half-an-hour as the above image slowly appeared on the paper.

 

In the world of hands-on photography, there is almost nothing nicer than a well done Salt Print -- either plain or tinted.

   

RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/random/

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Uploaded on May 28, 2008