The Seance Parlor–A Comparison

When I went to TURF: IDADA Art Pavilion the other day, one of my favorite installations was “Step On This Side Of The Curtain” by Holly Streekstra. The mood was haunting and flickered between light and dark. I captured a few photos using ambient light but knew that they were most likely blurred so I decided to use the on-camera flash. (Ugh! But what’s a girl to do under such low-light conditions?) I especially loved the globe chandelier because it was so reminiscent of a past era. I waited for the globe lights to be full-on and with my on-camera flash I captured this Victorian parlor.

Old Victorian Room

It looked good on the LCD monitor so I thought I had a pretty decent photograph of that room that I could use for the review I would later write.

When I got home and downloaded all the images, I began my work flow. My photography work flow is to download the images onto my computer and into files sorted by date taken. Then I use Adobe Bridge where I quickly scan and delete obvious rejects; blurred and out-of-focus, too dark, redundant, bland, etc. This makes the remaining photos easier to work through.

Sometimes I am automatic in deleting images because I know that blurred images and too-dark images are not usually keepers. Because of that, I almost…almost…deleted this photo.

Old Victorian Room

But I couldn’t. It wouldn’t let me. My heart quickened when I saw it. I remembered the dizziness I felt when I entered that room. I remembered the whispering voices, the surreal furnishing, the otherworldly mirrors. I remembered looking into a mirror and seeing the reflection of the globe chandelier but not my own reflection. I remembered all that because of this image.

If I were to choose a favorite photograph from all the installation photos I took that day, this is it, hands down! I wish I could say that I intended this photograph, that I had the presence of mind to play with the slow shutter speed in order create an otherworldly feel. But that’s not what happened. This photo is an accident.

Or, maybe it wasn’t an accident. Maybe, just maybe, a ghost made this photograph.

I like that.


About Dezra Despain

Life is full of stories waiting to be revealed.

Posted on January 21, 2012, in Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love this photo too… very eerie (but in a good way)! Visiting from SS

  2. Great stuff, Dezra, the ghostly image is spectacular, as is its darker cousin in the earlier post. It’s too hard a choice to say which I prefer. Both are wonderful!

    • They both reflect the mood of that particular art installation. Sometimes the “technically incorrect” photo speaks to the mood of the piece more than the “technically correct” photo. Thanks for your comment!

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