Vintage Tuesday: Looking Back

family vintage photography

When I look back at 1900s photography it’s always with great fondness and admiration, however it’s a whole another thing to ‘know’ the people in the photos. I’ve never really had a close relationship with my family, especially my grandparents on either side so I really missed out being able to go through their photo albums and in their later years discovering more about them as an adult. The only impression about my grandmother’s side of the family besides knowing they were German famers in Alberta who lived in a mostly Ukraine populated area was the cameo portraits my grandmother had in her room of her great grandparents I believe. I loved look at them so much because they were very striking and regal and very much of a moment of history, that moment before photography became the way we captured ourselves instead of oil on canvas. Much to my delight I was given a few scans of that side of the family, dating from the early 1900s, like the above photo of my grandmother’s grandparents. There aren’t many photos from the war times so the ones below will be from the 1940s to 1950s but I thought I’d show the great photography of my one side of family today.

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My grandmother, who is in most of these photos is a small child with her older sister Trudie and other family members like her parents. Mostly taken in Southern Alberta where they lived.
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I will definitely be sharing some more another time, as I love these. The one of my grandmother and the bear that close is surreal. She always love camping and I can see why now. Let me know in the comments below if you have any great photos to remember your grandparents or great grandparents by.

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Vintage Tuesday: 1900s Photography

vintage photography collectionIn the last two weeks I’ve went to a local flea market, Marche Aux Puces a few times and without fail (and not intending to buy any) brought home with me a few pieces of vintage photography to add to my collection. Victor scolded me while he was waiting for me to go through the piles and piles of photos this one storefront had, saying “why do you need more?” and it really struck me. Vintage photography beyond just being wonderful to look at and good for admiring it’s beauty, should in theory be meaningless if you don’t know the people or even what landscape is in the photo…however that’s not the case to me at all. I find each piece has its own draw and reason why I’d like to own it. Not to mention as a photographer I like the idea of preserving vintage photography on top of when I see what poor conditions some sellers keep it in I  feel a little like I should ‘rescue’ it.  Beside the two points I already mentioned – there is actually a ton of other reasons why I like old photography so instead of just showing what photos I choose to buy I thought this time I’d share why below each to give more context why I pick certain photographs.

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Landscape photography is harder to find when thrifting so anytime I find it’s almost always an immediate buy each time. I prefer landscape photography over portraits in fact, but it’s wasn’t common pre 1950’s for people to take it unless they were professionals The left appears to be a lake, and there is an anomaly in the photo between the waves that I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is – and it’s definitely not damage (enlarge and have a guess in the comments if you want because I still have no idea).  The right is from 1958 and appears to be Niagara Falls. 

vintage photography 1900s montreal (10)Never really fond of wedding photography but I was struck by the detail on her veil and the crowd around them. Plus I am a sucker for square photos being a long time Holga fan.

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One of the first ones I was drawn to while searching through the piles was this blurry group shot due to its distinct character. Normally I avoid bad photography but this blur of wedding guests or church goers or snappy dressers is very intriguing to me. 

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Is it bad if I say I bought this one because she’s wearing a swimsuit and/or no pants? She has a wonderful rueful expression on her face and a part of me really needs to know what she’s doing up there on the post.  The left over tape is a negative but the quality of the seller’s photos in general was really poor – not shown a lot of love.  

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Children are another one of my favourite subjects when it comes to vintage photography. Something about the black and white, style of clothes and often weird expressions combined that I find unnerving. Nothing beats a spooky photo of a child. This photo is just a really nice shot but I like how the over exposure also makes her look like she only has one arm.

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Finding double exposures give me great joy, I don’t have many but slowly I want to build an entire collection of just interesting double exposures.  This shot almost looks like a nice view of a lake and boat until you realize the sky has waves on it.

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The stoic stance and hair style are a must. When it comes to men I am all about a good moustache but I love finding good fashion and hairstyles of women.

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1928 at a parc I can’t put my name on but I am sure I’ve visited myself here in Montreal (who knows what flight of fancy that is). The 1920’s was a great time for fashion, you don’t find many from that time period, 1940’s-1950’s are more common.

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Small photos and square photos are some of the photos I am always tempted to buy, this one was developed to be exposure only in a heart shape which makes it’s 1×2 inch size even more precious. The first non standard developed photo to my collection.  

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Although extremely over exposure what Canadian can say no to a photo of a hockey team? Secretly hoping there is someone famous in the photo who will make it worth the big bucks, lol.

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Sailor hats and an ass joke – men are always boys aren’t they?

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Patterned paper I believe is from 1940’s during the popularity of art deco movement, I buy almost any I can find because I love the detail. This is my creepiest children photo from the set.

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A postcard style photograph from around the 1920’s of what appears to be an all boys school. This photos has amazing details, I included a close up of their faces so it’s easier to see the details as I downsize the quality of my scans for the website.
  Continue reading %s

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52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Rip My Heart Out

46/52 Rip My Heart Out

52 weeks of self-portraitThere was no way I was leaving my house for this week’s 52 weeks self-portrait as it’s been -30 all week, so instead I decided to play around with Victor’s laser pointer and make heart shapes in my living room. It seems every time I do black and white self-portraits that I do them in here, something I didn’t realize until I went to post this. I notice a lot of patterns when it comes to photo project, not matter how hard you try sometimes you just default to similar themes, locations, ectera. This week’s inspiration song btw makes me crack up. I think I’m the only person beside Victor who didn’t know about this amazing song. I heard it last weekend when I went to see my friend Derek dj and it’s been both of our’s jam since. Give it a listen if you haven’t heard it either. I’m in love with the coco…

Inspiration:

“I’m in love with the coco
I’m in love with the coco
I got it for the low, low
I’m in love with the coco

36, that’s a kilo (aqui)
Need a brick, miss my free throw
I’m in love, just like Ne-Yo “

O.T. Genasis “Coco”

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Tell me how does it feel when your heart grows cold…

citizen erased photography (1)My beautiful friend Lisa-Michelle’s birthday is this week, she is the best model I have had the experience of shooting so I thought I’d share some old portraits I took of her from 2007? 2008? It feels like yesterday to me even though I know it’s been a long time. I miss shooting her. I mean I get to every time I visit Vancouver which is every 2-3 years but it’s not the same. Before we use to go on adventures and just walk around Vancouver together shooting along the way. Both times I’ve shot her in the last 5 years it felt so rushed, mostly my fault since I try and cram my schedule full when I’m in town visiting.  I also haven’t gotten any more use to other people take photos of me (she’s a photographer too) so I feel like I’m letting her down with my terrible posing and permanent awkwardness.  There is always next time though, I will have a whole collection of her over the years. These to me are some of my favourite portraits, she is just the best.

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Vintage Tuesday: French Landscapes

All the landscapes photographs I am sharing today were taken in the 1950’s and feature France’s coast line. I usually buy all my vintage photography in person but I couldn’t resist buying these on Etsy as most common photography from this era were portraits. Sadly it was not a good experience, all the photographs were glued onto the folder they came in which I didn’t know until it arrived. You can see the 2nd photo there is a rip in the middle from when I tried to release it and others that have a circle in the middle because of the glue attaching it to the folder. Regardless of the bad experience I still enjoy these and I can’t help but dream of visiting the French coast at some point. The waves make me miss the ocean, but it’s interesting how different the coast line is from what I’m used to. I’d love to get vintage photographs from around the world of the ocean as it’s amazing to see.

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52 Weeks of Self-Portrait: Theater

42/52 Theater

52 weeks of self-portrait (19)Am I nerd because I enjoy this photo simply because it has a Plague Doctor mask in it? Well it’s not %100 that mask but it does have the correct beak for it. It’s actually some cheap theater mask from Dollarama that I bought a few years ago in the hopes of transforming it one Halloween. Me and best friend Ana in our early 20’s always had a desire to dress up as Plague Doctors together but never did. I found it last night in my kitchen cupboard while organizing and wanted to wear today. I do love the silhouette of me and the mask as it’s hard to tell this is a self-portrait. Double exposures are great for that. If you wanted to see me wearing the mask, here is a silly shot of me on my balcony:

52 weeks of self-portrait (18)Haha. I have a few more double exposures of me wearing this mask that I might just share at some point and time. I have a real trouble with this 52 Weeks of Self-Portrait project simply being satisfied with one photo. There is more black and white photography coming up this week, enjoy!

Inspiration:

At the Drive-in “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk”

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52 Weeks of Self-Portraits

13/52: Blending In

52 weeks of self-portraitsI just had to make this the self-portrait for this week. I had too much fun last Sunday at the Malting Silos to not include the double exposure of myself that I took there against the buildings large graffiti filled silos. I must be missing taking photos with film because I keep converting photos I’ve taken with my digital and trying to process them to look like black and white film. I just love how this shot turned out and is really excited by how much I blend into graffiti on the building. Tomorrow marks the last day of work before I am on an almost two week vacation from my job so I am hoping to really try and capture some amazing shoots then. Perhaps explore some self-portraits without using double exposure? Hahaha, it’s been my go to lately but I’ve really been enjoying taking them and trying to capture unique situations but I have a few things I need more time to dedicate to them so they will be perfect to take now that I’m on my vacation.

Inspiration:

“Sails catch any wind that they can
Through any ocean to any land
There’s no worries
Power carries no concern
Silhouetted by the fields as they burn
There’s no worries

You’re falling straight into our hands
No compromise,and no demands
You’re falling straight into our hands
Into our hands,into our hands

Still water hides an undertow
You can’t fight what you can’t control
There’s no worries “

Sparta “Red.Right.Return”

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Double Exposure: Assemble the Empire

dada double exposures (6)dada double exposures (10)dada double exposures (9)dada double exposures (2)dada double exposures (7)dada double exposures (5)dada double exposures (11)dada double exposures (4)A collection of portraits of my best friend Ana taken while I was in town (Vancouver) last summer for a week. We managed to take these on my very last day there at the school yard where we spent way too much of our early 20’s in. I know you’re thinking “why did you hang around an elementary school in your 20s?” ….well for 5 years it was the only thing in between my apartment and her’s and we really liked midnight walks. It’s pretty hard to imagine that I went from living less than a block away from her to seeing her twice in 5 years. Have to admit I miss her face so much, but going through and editing these photos really made me happy. The perfect birthday gift for me would be to spend it with her, but another year passes and that’s just not in the cards. Hope you enjoyed these, and if you want to see some non-double exposure shoots I took of her I posted some awhile back, here!

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52 Weeks of Self-Portraits

05/52 Shadowplay

52 weeks of self-portraits (1)This week’s self-portrait was created using my projector and a photograph I took in Vancouver of cherry blossoms (from this post actually). It hasn’t felt like Spring at all in Montreal with its continuous dark skies and gloomy weather so I decided to create my own Spring backdrop. I’ve had my projector for almost 6 months and haven’t really found the time or patience to learn anything, so if you have any links to good tutorials let me know in the comments because I am hoping to start using it a bit more. Me and Victor want to create a duo where he dj’s live and I do the visual. I love that idea, merging both of our passions together. I’ve included another one of me below, it’s hard to decide which photo to use!

Inspiration:

“To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank, searching for you
I was moving through the silence without motion, waiting for you
In a room with a window in the corner I found truth
In the shadow play, acting out your own death, knowing no more”

Joy Division “Shadowplay”

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Holga in the Snow

It is starting to snow here so I thought I’d share some Holga photographs I toke back in 2011 of me and Victor walking around our old neighborhood to visit our friends in the Basement. The ones of the masks were taken on our old apartment’s back porch that went down onto an open rooftop. I miss that house and being able to walk a few blocks to visit friends, it feels like such a long time ago. I look so grumpy in the one Victor toke of me, lol. I have lots of photos to share with you guys coming up in the new year taken by this guy, it’s been really nice starting to use my CFN version more and getting back into the feel of it. My profile of me with it went up last week if you haven’t check that out, here.

Holga (17) Holga (23) Holga (19) Holga (7)

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