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18 Creepy Headless Portraits from Victorian Era Long Before Photoshop Was Ever Created

Headless Portraits from Victorian Era

The Victorian Era saw various important transitions during British history. There were changes in cultural and social attitudes of the people, with many of them increasingly seeking and indulging in technological pursuits. The Era is also well-known for being the time when endeavors towards science and technology were prevalent. One such technology that was readily embraced was photography and it didn’t take long for the Victorians to get creative with the photographs they took. So here are some creepy headless portraits from Victorian Era.

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Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

The advent of photography and its increasing widespread availability had given many Victorians the chance to immortalize moments in their life. The novelty of the technology and ease with which portraits can me made, compared to paintings, wasn’t lost on them. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

Back then, the photographers coated the paper with egg whites and salt, which was then dipped into silver nitrate. The paper was was then placed in contact with the negative and exposed to light to print the photographs. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

The Victorians also had a morbid sense of humor and often took family pictures with a deceased family member propped as if alive. Or, they would use photo manipulation to create grotesquely twisted bodies of people in the photographs. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag
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Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

Photo manipulation is as old as the history of photograph. It dates back to some of the earliest photographs captured on glass and tin plates during the 19th century. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

It used to be a common practice during the 19th century to combine details from multiple films containing different pictures to create an entirely different image. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag
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Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

As the Victorian Era photographers become experts at photo manipulation, they also started to experiment and create bizarre, funny or, as apparent in these images, creepy photographs of their subjects. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag

And they did all that without Photoshop or any image manipulating software to help them, with just the crude means available to them – manually touching the negatives using scratch techniques with pencils. 

Headless Victorian Portraits
Image Source: vintag
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