Dozens of vintage snapshots all with the same creepy shadow
February 22, 2016 3:57 PM   Subscribe

 
He came out of retirement in 2000, with a partner.
posted by davebush at 4:00 PM on February 22, 2016 [15 favorites]


The Slenderman photos were better.
posted by Docrailgun at 4:05 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


That looks like Inspector Gadget. And possibly Don Draper.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:07 PM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows....
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:07 PM on February 22, 2016 [15 favorites]


It's almost like adult men all wore hats from the 20s until the mid 60s.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 PM on February 22, 2016 [43 favorites]


The Slenderman photos were better.
posted by Docrailgun

Where have I seen this?
posted by clavdivs at 4:09 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh man, this IS wonderfully creepy, a sheet delight. A movie will probably come from it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:12 PM on February 22, 2016


If you look closely it's obviously a streetlight.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:12 PM on February 22, 2016 [81 favorites]


Lee Friedlander's father gets around
posted by Lorin at 4:13 PM on February 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


The fact these are all as unintentional as they are identical is great.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:16 PM on February 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


SPOILER: Harry Lime's in a few of the shots.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:16 PM on February 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


This collector must have flipped the fuck out when he saw M.
posted by thetortoise at 4:17 PM on February 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


But they don't even line up the shadows of the subject and the mystery photographer in a couple of them. Come on.
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on February 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's almost like adult men all wore hats from the 20s until the mid 60s.

I live in Queensland, which is the skin cancer capital of the known universe, in the city of Brisbane, which is basically a country bumpkin shithole with skyscrapers, and in the past couple of years have taken to wearing my hat - an Akubra Cattleman's hat identical to this one - every day. It is a fine hat, very comfortable and very effective at shading one's face from the sun, which is the purpose and function of a hat.

The number of funny looks, unsolicited comments, and outright "yeehaw cowboy!" comments I get in public is quite remarkable. Thousands of baldy old men shuffling about the street with fist-sized melanomas growing on their shiny baldy heads, or going around with bandages all over their face from where they've just had their ninth cancerous growth removed this year alone, wearing suits and ties in 35 degree heat, and I'm wearing a hat and I get the funny looks?

What's extra-hilarious is the footpath-pouncers who jump out at you to ask if you have a minute for some dumb human charity or another. The most recent batch are blueshirts from the Australian Cancer Council. Asking for money to presumably bribe cancer to go away, I guess? Not a hat amongst ten dozen of them.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:19 PM on February 22, 2016 [57 favorites]


Clearly, guys in hats with vertical-viewfinder cameras who like to shoot their subjects in harsh direct sunlight are born predators.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:30 PM on February 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


until the 1970s, when he vanished from view.

I wonder if it's because older twin-lens reflex cameras, which were held at the waist, started being replaced by newer cameras using viewfinders held up to the eye.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2016 [22 favorites]


jinx, kinnakeet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


I live in Queensland, which is the skin cancer capital of the known universe

Thanks to a National Geographic story on skin cancer that I read as a kid, I became aware of an Australian public health campaign using "Slip, slop, slap" as its slogan, as in "Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat."

But I know for a fact that somewhere in my parents' photo albums is a 1950s photo of my dad, uncle, and grandmother in front of the first car the family owned in Canada. It was taken on a twin lens reflex camera...and it contains the requisite hatted shadow in the snow in the foreground, which is my gradfather's shadow. Anecdotally, definitely a thing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:41 PM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I came here to say what Greg_Ace said. Clearly these are just men wearing the fashions of the time, using the cameras of the time.
posted by Evstar at 4:44 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


There should be an app that puts this guy in your photos lol...
posted by buggie at 4:46 PM on February 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


The Shadow Man
posted by The Tensor at 4:49 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


No predator, he. An ally often, but not quite a friend...for he must always remain a Stranger.
posted by Guy Smiley at 4:49 PM on February 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


For a good TV drama about narratives contained in old photographs I can recommend Stephen Poliakoff's Shooting The Past.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:50 PM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Clearly these are just men wearing the fashions of the time, using the cameras of the time.

Are you sure? I think there's a strong case for "supernatural murderous shadow."
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:54 PM on February 22, 2016 [63 favorites]


There should be an app Instagram filter that puts this guy in your photos lol...

FTFY.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:55 PM on February 22, 2016


You're . . . probably right.
posted by Evstar at 4:55 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think there's a strong case for "supernatural murderous shadow."

Yeah, most of those people are now dead.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:56 PM on February 22, 2016 [28 favorites]


Hurm?
posted by vrakatar at 4:59 PM on February 22, 2016


Pretty sure it would make a better supernatural story if all the people in the photos were still alive.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:09 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


That first photo looked like a still from M to me. Totally creepy.
posted by peppermind at 5:10 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


SCP is leaking again. Someone call Dr. Gears and get a few D-Class personnel in here to clean up this mess.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:13 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


I remember this episode of Fringe.
posted by guiseroom at 6:14 PM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, no, let go of my hand.

Oh, no, not now, I'm down my friend.
posted by belarius at 6:28 PM on February 22, 2016


The Phantom M'Lady.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:01 PM on February 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


wonder if it's because older twin-lens reflex cameras, which were held at the waist, started being replaced by newer cameras using viewfinders held up to the eye

Yeah, now the shadow has elbows coming out of his head.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:19 PM on February 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


Seriously though, I can't count the times I've had a potentially great photo ruined by the fact that I couldn't get my shadow out of it. Not surprised that this wasn't a thing that occurred to most brownie-owning snap shooters. Still, a fun collection of pics with a novel theme. Would view again.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:21 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


SCP is leaking again.

Or SCDP is leaking...too early to tell!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:27 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


The terrible urge to take one image in the middle of the sequence and add tiny little horns to the hat.
posted by nfalkner at 7:28 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


See also the camera pod shadow on Google Street View.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:34 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Clearly these are just men wearing the fashions of the time, using the cameras of the time.

Yes, but did they wear onions on their belts?
posted by bitteroldman at 7:50 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lemony Snicket, all the way down...
posted by Mchelly at 8:17 PM on February 22, 2016


Who knows what's causing this?
posted by TheShadowKnows at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


Never knew this was a thing until I looked
posted by unliteral at 9:11 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of this image, one of several identical images painted on the Golden Gate Bridge pedestrian walkway.

I think it's 1940s for, "Pedestrian? Yep, you're in the right place." These days? Possibly creepy.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:13 PM on February 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


You guys do know that the photos are doctored, yeah? That this is a cute joke, not a real thing?

Sometimes I can't tell who's in on the joke and who's not.
posted by kanewai at 9:57 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the Golden Gate Bridge pavement marking is one of the national variants of the UN "Pedestrians Only" sign (p. 333). It's not any of the current versions on the Wikipedia signs page though.
posted by enf at 10:01 PM on February 22, 2016


Interview with Donat
posted by thetortoise at 10:04 PM on February 22, 2016


Oh my gosh I literally had no idea. I was like "Gee all their hats look the same. Was there only 1 style of hat or something?"
posted by bleep at 10:12 PM on February 22, 2016


You guys do know that the photos are doctored, yeah? That this is a cute joke, not a real thing?

Sometimes I can't tell who's in on the joke and who's not.


Pretty sure it's real. Why you think no?
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:17 PM on February 22, 2016


Sometimes I can't tell who's in on the joke and who's not.
posted by kanewai at 9:57 PM on February 22 [+] [!]


Yep.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:35 PM on February 22, 2016


Oh god I'm so confused now. Is the joke on me? I don't want the joke to be on me. Someone please explain the joke and then I'll pretend I got it all along.

I assumed these were all real and thinking that thought they were interestingly creepy, if it's photoshop I really don't think they were worth the effort.
posted by mark k at 11:10 PM on February 22, 2016


I remember when you were always told that the only way to take a satisfactory photograph was with bright sun over your left shoulder.
posted by Segundus at 11:20 PM on February 22, 2016


They are real; that's why I put up the interview link. Google Jean-Marie Donat Predator for more on the collection, though I'm not sure why anyone would think they were faked.
posted by thetortoise at 11:31 PM on February 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


It took me a couple looks to realize it, but the shadows don't always follow the contour of the background, and some are at a different angle than the subject's shadow.

I followed the link thetortoise posted, and now I'm confused about whether it's a joke, a hoax, or if shadows just don't behave the way I thought they behaved.
posted by kanewai at 12:08 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think that's a result of leaving the flash on when the sun's out?
posted by LogicalDash at 1:06 AM on February 23, 2016


Hmm, there's no way this is just different guys with the same fashion sense...?
posted by Pixie.123 at 2:06 AM on February 23, 2016



It's almost like adult men all wore hats from the 20s until the mid 60s.



Clearly these are just men wearing the fashions of the time, using the cameras of the time.




Hmm, there's no way this is just different guys with the same fashion sense...?



via TFA:

Of course, he who Donat has named “Predator” is a photographer—indeed, many photographers— intentionally or accidentally caught in silhouette within the frame. Over the course of those 50 years, when film was both precious and prevalent, these photographic happenings— be they flukes and designs— occurred time and again in vernacular imagery around the world.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Same fashion sense, as in a hat with a brim? Something practically every adult male wore for decades until the 1970s? Naaah, they were probably all part of some strange photographic club.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:25 AM on February 23, 2016


Funny to see the movie "M" get a couple call-outs in this thread. I know it from being the top search result when I type 'm' in my browser and hit enter before 'etafilter.com' autofills.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I know it as a masterpiece of German expressionism, but experiences will vary.
posted by Wolof at 5:39 AM on February 23, 2016


Sometimes the shadow man ends up dominating the scene
posted by TedW at 5:49 AM on February 23, 2016


The person who compiled this collection is fully aware that it is not the same photographer casting the shadow in the images.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:04 AM on February 23, 2016


The person who complied this is also not the type prone to doctor photos in order to make some sort of lame Slenderman ripoff.
posted by item at 6:18 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are you sure? I think there's a strong case for "supernatural murderous shadow."

So, I think there's some totally inexplicable alien space whale music in another thread you might be interested in.
posted by aught at 6:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I collect vintage photos. Mostly of women or creepy children, but sometimes of men if they are interesting enough. Usually the men are more boring because they wear the same style suit and unless there's facial hair you don't get much variety. I have a basic set of rules on what I collect. The irony here is when I see shadows and such in the pic it annoys my modern sensibilities, so I don't buy those.

I do love the ones where the person poses with something important to them. These are fairly rare, but every now and again I find one with a kid with a pet or a man with a gun. Women with fans don't count.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:54 AM on February 23, 2016


The person who compiled this collection is fully aware that it is not the same photographer casting the shadow in the images

Yeah, the not reading the links is strong in this thread.
posted by zutalors! at 7:15 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ya know, just because a guy wears a hat doesn't make him the bad guy.
posted by valkane at 9:26 AM on February 23, 2016


Oh, it's just The Shadow, out searching for the evil that lurks in the hearts of men.
posted by homunculus at 12:00 AM on February 26, 2016


« Older Terrible Tilly   |   Un film de Paris [SLVimeo] Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments