Family of three, parents seated

By: usermattw

Jan 04 2013

Tags: ,

Category: Families


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo measuring slightly less than 7 x 10 inches.

What I know about it:

There appears to be some sort of notation by the photographer in the original negative appearing in the upper right corner, but I can’t decipher it.  Otherwise no information.


This is another one that my mother gave me.  It is silvering somewhat, so I’m pleased it scanned so beautifully.  The edges are crimped in a way that suggests it had been framed.  I’m assuming this is a girl and her parents, but as always it’s just an assumption.  The girl looks quite proud in her luxuriously large bow and long hair, and the whole family appears serenely confident.  I like the way they are positioned so that all their faces are on an even level.

10 comments on “Family of three, parents seated”

  1. What is silvering Matt?

    • Hi Charlie. Maybe somebody with more expertise can add to this, but my understanding is that it’s a degradation of the chemicals in the finished photo, resulting in an increasingly silvery look over time. Basically, the old photos are tarnishing, and you can especially see the effect when the photo is held at a slight angle. I’ve read that this is a result of improper storage, and I’ve read that it’s the result of the photo being improperly (or incompletely) finished in the first place. I’ve seen silvering in newer photos, too, lending support to the theory that it has to do with the original finishing. As for the word “silvering”, I’ve heard it’s called that because it makes the photo look silver, and I’ve heard it’s a reference to the silver in the photo finishing process. The worse it gets, the harder it is to see the image, which is why I was pleased this one mostly scanned without the silvery effect.

  2. This is a magnetic portrait. I love it. The detail in the faces and hands are lovely.

    I think you are right about the oxidation of the image, Matt. Is n’t it the silver salts degrading? I was surprised to find out recently, that most black and white photos up to the 1960s are silver gelatin prints. I had thought that it was a more specialised arty way of processing.

  3. Off topic Matt but do you collect old tin type photos? I doubt there are many but with the popularity of them at a high I thought I would ask out of curiosity 🙂

  4. They are quite a handsome family.

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