Portraits "The Art of Identifying Instant Ancestors"
Portraits are the most common subject matter we encounter as collectors. Most can only be appreciated by our family, and then sparingly. Thus most portraits have little value. However, there are always exceptions:
Many people collect specific things about portraits:
People of color or ethnic groups
Buildings & specific places
I also like portraits of people that help to learn history or see things in a different light; things that help tell a story or create a million questions. This photo, a Native American female elder, is a favorite of mine. It meets my ethnic group criteria AND creates more questions than answers such as, what is the key for on her belt used for?
Historical persons are always of interest. I use Blippar as a visual image recognition tool and have the applet on my phone for facial recognition. A fantastic free tool. While images of famous persons were often syndicated they were also pirated. Thus, who printed the photo is often an important detail.
Be sure to look on the back of cabinet photos and CDV's to see who they are by. This information is important to value the item as well as a clue to identifying who is in the photograph or where it was taken. We feature several important photographers on HIP including Martha Harvey Hale, Alice Curtis, and George Sakata of the 422nd RCB 100th Nisei Batallion. Here is one of my favorite sites for identifying photographer studios! http://www.langdonroad.com/
Animals, Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians "Not your Saturday Night Variety"
These are our larger friends we occupy our planet with. Earlier photographs of our pets are relatively uncommon. Early film was expensive and the pets were second on the list after humans, when it came to pictures. As the richness of our Society grew, so did the number of pictures we took of our pets.
First came the horses and oxen. They were very relevant to our survival and signs of industry and wealth and were often the subject of large portrait photographs. The dogs and cats were next and started to pop up more in the 1880's. Surprisingly, they seemed harder to keep them all still for photographs as many are blurred. This may also have something to do with the number of growing amateur photographers wanting pictures of their pets!
Still, by 1900 and 1970 it is difficult to find photos of the rest of our creatures Birds, fish, sheep, and goats. They are all difficult to find and harder to find than the circus creatures. High-quality portrait photos also are prized. These are generally the ones sought after and taken by the professional photographer. At HIP, we look for these as well as the unusual poses and these are what we share.
Entertainment "That is"
Entertainment in HIP covers a broad spectrum. Generally, if it makes you laugh, or on the edge of your seat, "that's entertainment". At HIP, we include subjects like the Circus and Vaudeville as well as the USO shows of WWII. You may find some animals, sideshows, and parades as well as the Main Ring. You will not find Sports or generally things that make you sad. Come on in and be "Entertained".
"Man-made Houses and Structures"
Buildings and dwellings have been around since..well since some men quit being a nomad. Since then we have built them big and tall as well as short and small.
Humans and their buildings abound in creativity. We build them to live and work in, as well as to worship in. We sleep in them and use them to fly in and out of. We build them in trees and underwater. We put them in outer space and call them a "Skylab". We turn the building of them into a Science and call it Architecture and someone that designs them an Engineer. We even have special names for when they are found in clusters; "cities and towns".
In HIP we use this category to cover houses, monuments, memorials and such. Lighthouses are in here. Also, you will find many city views and parks in "Cityscapes".
Nature "Not made by Man and not Moving"
Nature is a very large topic but easy to see! At HIP we define nature as something not created by man and not moving. It could be rather recent, a new flower, or as old as the ages like the Grand Canyon. It also can not move around on it's own. On the other hand, clouds move and we would classify them as nature! Thus nature is fleeting as the wind.
We differentiate nature from landscapes. Nature to us has a more singular focus than a broad sweeping panorama picture. Thus it is more of a focus of a tree than the forest. Come take a look and see what you think. There is a lot to look at.
Ironically, nature in the world used to be plentiful, but photos of it were relatively rare. Today, in modern times, photographs of nature are plentiful but "nature" is shrinking. This is a statement to the lack of concern for nature as humans "shaped" our world.
Our restoration artists spend hours personally cleaning, scanning, and editing away decades of dirt, blemishes, and discoloration to restore each photograph to it's original beauty.
Working from historical negatives, we recreate the original artist's vision, taking advantage of the latest technology to print in much greater detail than could be achieved at the time.