Headless photographs of the 19th century


NewImageI was delighted by this collection of 19th century "headless photographs." These Victorian illusory photographs likely inspired the "Head Photographer" self-portrait made by my late brother Mark in 1973. (Thanks, Randall!)


  1. Photographic tricks like these were one of the ways early photographers would show-off their expertise in the still-new medium. There’s a lot of in-camera and darkroom trickery involved in these early images. It took a real craftsperson to pull it off convincingly (to Victorian eyes).

  2. There’s a great show at the Met (in NYC) about photo manipulation before the era of digital photography and Photoshop. Definitely worth checking out.

  3. David, still thinking sadly of your family’s loss (and ours, here in Indiana)…  but hopefully you will admit that your captioning of the last photo is…  funny.  :)

  4. Wait, those photos are fakes? And all this time I’ve been thinking that people in the 19th century had removable heads.

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