Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sepia Saturday 258: 13 December 2014


Alan from Sepia Saturday says:
Our Sepia Saturday challenge this weekend is a little different. What we are asking you to do is to forget the foreground and look into the background. Take, for example, this pedestrian snap of my Uncle Harry, Auntie Annie and Unknown Man. The centre of attention is the three figures walking down some seaside promenade, but the interest in such a shot is probably limited to those fascinated by the everyday history of my family (a small and select group of people). But if your move your focus to the background there is a wealth of interest. Note the sailor in uniform, suggesting that this might have been a wartime shot. But there are still cast-iron railings on top of the wall and later in the war all such things were taken down and melted to make gun barrels or some such thing. Look at the hats, look at the sensible shoes : there is enough to keep you busy for a whole Sepia Weekend.

This has been a great exercise for me in working out which photos work best for focusing on the background etc.  I played with about four or five photos but have settled on this one.

Here are my mother's mother Kit and her twin sister Belle with, I think Shirley, on the beach.  But which beach I wonder.  

Kit and Belle and Shirley (?) on beach c1940


If you zoom in at the top of the photo you get this...I think it says Ocean Baths...but what do you think?




When I searched Ocean Baths on Trove, my eye caught Newcastle by chance and I reckon this photo was probably taken at Newcastle.

Have a look at this photo and others of Newcastle beach and baths on the Hunter photo bank.

At first what I loved about this photo was looking at the gentleman's swimming trunks just to the right and behind the twins.



As I looked more closely at the photo I realised that my mother was in the photo...asleep on her mother's lap.  It was her sandal that I spotted first!



Then I saw the ginger beer and what I thought was seaweed but now I realise is sandals again.


and the hat at someone's feet.


Shirley's trowel....




and the ever useful Globite suitcase...


For more focusing on backgrounds go here.

17 comments:

La Nightingail said...

I think, after viewing several posts this week where photos have been separated into their various parts, I'm going to be a lot more vigilant about viewing pictures. I never realized how much we miss when we focus only on the main subject(s). This has been a really good exercise for us. And fun, too!

Ann ODyne said...

Nice hat. cute sandals. happy family. big day out. all wonderful - keep 'em coming.

Alex Daw said...

This is so true. I am amazed how much I miss.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Ann!

Bob Scotney said...

How could I have been so blind? I didn't see half of what you have shown us.

Postcardy said...

The sandal was an interesting discovery.

Mike Brubaker said...

This was a great choice. The phrase "hiding in plain sight" seems to be the exercise this weekend.

Alex Daw said...

Bob....I didn't see it either...until I really looked. I tell you seeing my mother on her mother's lap was the biggest surprise!

Alex Daw said...

Wasn't it just?

Alex Daw said...

Indeed Mike indeed. Such fun.

Alan Burnett said...

You have captured the theme wonderfully - a perfect example of taking an image and shaking it to make all the wonderful historical interest fall into focus.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Alan. It was a great exercise and I never tire of it.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

An excellent point Alex...I often find these days that the background provides clues that were not at all the intention at the time.

Wendy said...

This is so fun, Alex! I didn't even see a baby until you pointed her out. This post is like a little tutorial on how to find the story or solve a family mystery with an old photo. A+ for you!

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Pauleen. And yes I forget to indicate who probably took the photo and I'm guessing it was cousin Joy, Shirley's sister.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Wendy - Thank you. I'm glad you didn't see the baby either. I felt so awful not seeing her.

Little Nell said...

Another clever image choice; by focussing on the detail you’ve brought that group to life.