1800s Special Effects Photography
In the 1850s, photographers played with special effects and trick photography. They created ‘ghosts’ on their photographs through double exposure. As special effects photography evolved, photographers became more creative. They figured out how to manipulate glass plates and negatives to create ‘fun’ images. These might include multiples of a single person or someone standing holding their own severed head. Ghosts and spirits were popular subjects, but they were usually creating a play-acted story for the viewer. Nobody claimed these ghosts were real. In fact, these early images required the sitter to be fully aware that the ‘spirit’ was some guy in a sheet standing right next to them one minute, then stepping off to the side the next.