swingin’ at the seance

An early (earliest?) street scene in Paris by Daguerre (see George Gilbert’s talk in October, 1995)

Toronto. Did you ever notice that the earliest daguerreotypes where a bit odd? Street scenes showed vehicles or people as ghostly apparitions at best. And people shots were mostly very, very stiff, formal studio portraits. Scenes in motion or at work were almost none existent.

This was for good reason! The cameras, lenses and media of the day were extremely slow. Fast moving things in street scenes were hardly captured; moving things and work scenes were beyond the capability of most photographic practitioners. People usually appeared in studios where the cameras stood on heavy tripods and subjects sat on chairs within the iron grasp of head supports, etc.

The title of this post is from an old Glenn Miller piece I have. It is sung by Dorothy Claire (Marion Hutton was credited with singing the song back in March of 1941, and erroneously listed as the singer in the liner notes of my album). That December, the States entered WW2 and just three years later in mid-December of 1944, Glenn Miller was lost at sea in the English Channel when the airplane carrying him disappeared on its way to France.

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