Monday, April 28, 2014

Creepy Victorian Era Photographs

(My Steampunk Ghost costume)

What was up with the Victorian Era? The period from the late 1800s to early 1900s were fraught with very dark, death-and-spirit-oriented artistic expression in their photography. It was morose and at the same time, carried a good deal of humor and magic. Queen Victoria set the pace with a 40-year mourning period for her lost love, wearing black, and setting extensive mourning practices for the people of the time by setting a trend to basically fear and never get over death or let those who died truly pass on.  Mourning etiquette was laid out officially to know how to mourn depending on the relationship. Funerals and memorials were elaborate and the wearing of mourning clothing could last for extensive amounts of time depending on who had passed on.

 Let's look at some of the weird trends -

Headless pics - this was a preoccupation with photography tricks. 

The Victorians also enjoyed humor and costumes in their photos - they were extremely eccentric and quirky and sometimes had a very creepy effect -

They were also archivists of their dead. Sometimes, the only time a person in this new era of photography got a photo done was when they were dead - the last way for the family to remember them.

They were preoccupied with death in every way and also the excitement of the age of "enlightenment" and spirituality. Ghost photography was the rage and capturing apparitions and "ectoplasm" were the trend, especially when wanting to sucker in those who wanted to believe or pay to see proof. With photography not being common among the masses, many did not understand the kind of trickery that could occur. They saw something in a photo and believed it must have actually been there.