Friday, 10 July 2015

ETHELDREDA LAING





Apologies if these photos are OFN, I only saw them a couple of days ago, but they've been swimming about the internet for a while.  Actually they've been swimming around the world for a while since all these were taken in around 1908 by Etheldreda Laing.  Back then photography was one of the rare art forms that was considered a "suitable" creative endeavour for women, although Laing couldn't really walk around her home town of Ely taking photos of strangers, so she used her two daughters as models.  These were all done using a process called autochrome which was very tricky, but clearly Laing was something of a master.  It's so unusual to see colour images from this period, I was surprised by the colours of their clothes - pink shoes!  Puple smocks! - and that parasol.  Wow.  These were mostly taken in the grounds of her house, which is now Headington Library and her gardens a public park.  I challenge someone to go back there and recreate these shots.  Now. Do it.

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