The Two Sisters

Tin type portrait of two sisters in matching outfits. I am transfixed each and every time I view this image. The gaze of the older sister is mesmerizing and for me she represents a kind of protector, there is a level of fierceness within her expression that completely draws me in. The younger sister is equally as strong but in a much more subtle way. Their cheeks have been lovingly hand colored in a beautiful pink hue. I purchased this tin type at a local antique store about 10 years ago and it measures 2 inches X 3 inches live. I have had all the images scanned in high resolution but did little editing to them in the digital darkroom as I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the original. In the show they have been blown up to twenty times their original size which really allows an entry point to explore the portraits.

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2 Responses to “The Two Sisters”

  1. Christine Hurry says:

    I’m wondering if one or both of the girls in this portrait are deceased. There looks to be a stand in behind them. I do know that photographing people after they had passed was quite common and there was a whole industry set up. Just my observations thou. Love your work!

    • admin says:

      Hi Christine, thanks for the comment. No – this is not a post mortem image – but it’s EARLY – so they would have had the stand to try and keep the sitter from moving during the long exposure. You would put your head against the brace to try and keep still. Other children’s images include the mother or father wrapped in blankets with the child sitting on a knee! I think the long exposures always brought out the character of the sitter. I have blown the small tin types up for the show and they are striking in large format! Hope you can make one of the exhibitions. If not there will be a book coming out – early next year that highlights the whole project!

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