Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Daguerreotype Detour

John W. Livingston and Captain Jarrett c1855
Brooklyn Historical Society via
While google-stalking portraits of sea captains I came across these images from the Brooklyn Historical Society collection. The image of two men captivated me. The unknown photographer captured personalities that seemed to leap from my computer screen. What was their story? Down the research rabbit-hole I fell. Was John Livingston the Naval officer referenced here? There is no first name listed for Captain Jarrett. Finding out more was nigh impossible. I took a closer look at the equipment with which they pose. It seems to be more about land surveying than sea navigation. Perhaps Jarrett is a Civil War Captain rather than a ship's Captain?
Such an evocative photo! In my mind's eye I can see a film which begins with this photo. A suggestive soundtrack plays as the photo fades into a color version of the two men mise en scen√©. The photo transforms into action. The circumstance of the photo is revealed and the story unfolds. What adventure are they embarking on? What actors would you pick to play them? 
K. and E. Solar Transit image via
Perhaps Michael Fassbender for the Livingston role.
What actors would you choose? What adventure do you imagine that they are about to embark upon? Or perhaps the photo is to commemorate a triumphant return. I look at both of them standing there and really wonder! Aren't old photos a gift? They help to make history real.

1 comment:

  1. I love your new header:) What a beautiful painting Gail.You had me Googling also.
    And I had never heard of Michael Fassbender will go look for him also.
    Happy New Year Gail and Hugh..

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