Photographing The Other
J.E. Whitney Studio, MA-ZA-OO-NIE
(The Little Bird Hunter), 1862. Carte-de-Visite











In 1888, George Eastman introduces the "Kodak #1 " Hand-held Camera
Sold for $25, more than $450 today
Included Eastman Kodak's newly patented transparent roll film
By 1898, an estimated 1.5 million roll-film cameras had been sold to amateurs

Kodak #1 Camera











Brownie Camera ad

1900 first Brownie camera released and is sold for $1
150,000 cameras sold the first year
Kodak Brownie Ad. 1900.











circular snapshots










Artist Unknow, The Kodak Girl, c. 1910.











At a time when people were beginning to feel the alienating effects of modern urban living, the hand-held camera gave the individual a means of expression and a voice

Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Bois De Boulogne, c. 1890.











snapshot = to shoot instinctively without taking aim


Photo-Revolver de Poche c. 1882.











Snapshot introduced new ways of seeing:

Informal framing
Unbalanced compositions
Skewed angles
Strange perspectives
Banal subjects
Out-of-focus objects
Unknown Photographer, Two Young Girls, c. 1890.










Jacques-Henri Lartigue
1894 - 1988


Jacques-Henri Lartigue, My Hydro-glider with Propeller, 1904.











Jacques-Henri Lartigue, My Cousin Bichonnade, 1905.











Delaye Grand Prix

Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Delaye Grand Prix, 1912.


Lartigue's photo "...was taken with an ICA camera in 1912 on a 4x5 inch glass plate with an f4.5 lens, fast for those days." "The effect came about because Jacques Henri used a large camera which he panned to follow the car (but not quite fast enough) and he used a focal plane shutter of which the slit moved from top to bottom. In this way we see different moments in time projected on different parts of the film. In the image the slit of the focal plane shutter moved upward because of the bottom-up projection of the lens." - Large Format Photography Forum











Jacques-Henri Lartigue, The ZYX 24 Takes Off, 1910.











The Scientific Portrait

Phrenological Head

Phrenology = the study of the shape and physical features of the skull and head that is based on the belief that these features can determine character and personality traits
Physiognomy = the study of facial characterisitcs based on the belief that these features can determine character and personality traits
Buchanan's Organology
Spurzheim’s Phrenological Head from Phrenology or the Doctrine of Mental Phenomenon, 1832.











Positivism = popular philosophical approach during 19th century that proposed that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and that all things are ultimately measurable
Positivism supported the 19th century belief in photographic objectivity
Charcot demonstrating his patient's hysteria











Ways in which photography met
19th century science's needs:

  • Used to document and preserve visual data
  • Used for identification purposes
  • Assumed to be "truthful,"
    used as evidence of the "real"
"Only photography, as truthful as a mirror, could attain such desirable perfection." - Duchenne de Boulogne
Duchenne de Boulogne, Study of muscles in the face and emotion, Fright. 1852 - 1856.











Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, Patient, 1855.
Hugh Welch Diamond, Seated Woman with Bird,
c. 1855.  Albumen print.
transparency = a direct translation of reality in which subjects are not suggested, as in the calotype and daguerreotype, but are clearly stated and defined without overt intervention
"The picture speaks for itself."  Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond











Diamond believed that photographs could be useful aides in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness
  • Sought the physical symptoms of madness
  • The project expresses a belief in "normal" vs. "abnormal" character
Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, Asylum Patient, 1855.











hysteria = a nervous affection, occurring almost exclusively in women, in which the emotional and reflex excitability is exaggerated, and the will power correspondingly diminished, so that the patient loses control over the emotions, becomes the victim of imaginary sensations, and often falls into paroxism or fits.
Charcot used hypnosis to induce hysterical state in patients believing that hysteria was a neurological disorder
Charcot Hysteric
Made weekly public presentations of his patients who would act out the symptoms of mental illness
"I stand here merely as a photographer, I write down what I see."  - Charcot
Photographer Unknown. Attitudes Passionelles plate 21 from Charcot’s P’lconographie photographique de La Salpetriere, 1876.











Albert Londe, Hysterical Yawning as shown in Jean-Martin Charcot’s
Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière c.1890.










Photographer Unknown, Hysteria Induced Epilepsy from photographique de La Salpetriere, 1876.


more on Charcot


Hysteria and the Long Strange History of the Vibrator











The Other = refers to that which is 'other' than the concept being considered. The term often means a person other than oneself, and is often capitalised. The Other is singled out as different.


J.E. Whitney Studio, Cut Nose, 1862. Carte-de-visite.


caption: Cut Nose: Who in the Massacre of 1862, in Minnesota, murdered 18 Women and Children and 5 Men.












J.T. Zealy, Jack (driver), Guinea, 1850.  Daguerreotype.
J.T. Zealy, Renty, African born slave, 1850.  Daguerreotype.


Harvard zoologist, Louis Agassiz intendedthese photographs to be read as scientific evidence for polygenesis, the idea that human races had separate origins and were thus inescapably and irrevocably different.
theory of special creation = belief that races were created at different times and in different parts of the world












J.T. Zealy, Delia, American born, daughter of Renty, Congo, 1850.  Daguerreotype.