Spiritualism Didn’t Die, it just Advanced
Spiritualism didn’t die out with the rampant wave of skepticism, though. And the indelible spiritualism of the Victorian era, and spirit photography as its evidence, continued into the 1900s. But it changed a bit. Along with manipulated photographs, the advent of magnesium flash photography in 1899 allowed pictures to be taken almost instantly instead of requiring an unmoving sitter for minutes at a time. This allowed photographs to be taken in an instant, and not necessarily in a studio. Pictures could be taken in dark rooms lit instantaneously by a flash, and as the action was happening. This moved spirit photography from the studio to where the action was happening, at actual séances. Photographers set up their cameras during a séance to capture the paranormal activity (or to disprove the claims of paranormal activity). Since the medium was doing a ‘live’ show, the photographers weren’t always in on the trick.