Friday, January 20, 2017

Sepia Saturday 351 : A Life In A few Thousand Pixels


Our Sepia Saturday theme this week features the same person at two stages in her life. The ability to look at young and old side by side is a unique view available to the lover of old photographs (it is our "sepia bonus") and such a comparison opens up a wealth of possible lines of speculation. We can view the effects of time, we can isolate those aspects of a face - or indeed a personality - that remain constant irrespective of age. We can tell a life story in a few thousand pixels.

I am using for my example, two pictures of my mother - Gladys Beanland who went on to become Gladys Burnett. The first photograph (which is such a fine photograph I am reproducing it in full below) must have been taken when she was in her late teens - so that means around the end of the 1920s. At the time she was working in one of the many mills in the Bradford area, but she gathered together her very best clothes and went to a local studio for her photograph to be taken. The second photograph was taken in May 2004, when she was 93 years old and within a few months of her eventual death.

There is probably almost seventy-five years between the two photographs but what unites them far outweighs what divides them. That hint of a knowing smile makes you almost believe that she could see a long and fulfilled life in front of her in the first photograph just as clearly as she could look back on it in the second photograph.



TO SEE WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING WITH THE SEPIA SATURDAY THEME THIS WEEK GO TO THE SEPIA SATURDAY BLOG AND FOLLOW THE LINKS

10 comments:

  1. Alan, I liked your thought provoking introduction. In the full length portrait, Gladys looks so proud to be wearing her best coat and stylish shoes. It occurred to me that the popular use of props saved that awkwardness of what to with your hands when standing to be photographed.

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  2. Beautifully presented! And goes right along with the prompt.

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  3. Such a nice thought about looking forward in the first photo and looking back in the second. I recently made a new friend who is 90 and listening to his memories has been fascinating. I'm sure
    your mother was too.

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  4. Inspiring in both words and images, Alan.

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  5. I agree Alan, that’s a fine photograph and worth enlarging to pore over the detail. I’m glad I’m not the only one to spot that ‘looking into the future’ expression in old images.

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  6. Your mother's a grand soul, Alan -- the teenage shot is so good; her shoes, her coat, her haircut. And your mother in her 90s has all that knowledge right there in front of us...

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  7. I see a youger teen in that coat but a very pretty one full of self confidence. And the elderly Mom photo reflects her as an elder knowing her life's journey was eventful.

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  8. I find it interesting that you can look at a photo of a young child and if you know them when they are older you see the same person. Yes there are dramatic changes, but you can see what will eventually take the place of youth. Then same for when someone has aged towards the end of their life. If you study the face you can still see those youthful features.

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