Sometimes I'll buy an autochrome without seeing a very good version of the image first. Most people can figure out some way of showing the image on the glass, but occasionally they're bad pictures. Or sometimes they're really blurry or the colour is off - so you end up with a little surprise when they arrive. Unfortunately, the surprise isn't always pleasant, and I've opened up little packages with big disappointments inside - either damaged or in bad condition, or crappy colour or a faded photo... lots of sad things we don't like to talk about here at the archive. Sometimes it just takes looking through the loupe to notice something you hadn't before, like I did in these autochromes:
This one is a nicely intricate view of Spanish courtyard, which is a refreshing change to all the France. At first I wasn't wild about it because it isn't very vibrant, the colour is somewhat dull. Then I noticed the figure standing in the door and was happy again! You have to understand this one is quite small, only 6cm x 6cm - give or take a mm. And if you don't have good, strong light, you can miss some of those things lurking in the shadows.
This is my absolute favourite of the collection, and I return to this one as a post of its own another day, I need to re-photograph it (the ghostly image of my camera is not part of it, spooky - but not intentional). Look closely at the tchotchkes on that very tasteful desk. There is a ceramic figurine of a rooster mounting a hen. That figurine is on my perpetual Christmas list, by the way.
Another favourite, which I've posted previously, but only an excerpt of - here you can see it in its entirety. Please click through to the full-size image of this one, the details are exceptional. I bought this one thinking/hoping that it was a "shakeface", but couldn't be sure based on the photo. I was delighted when I got this one in my hands. It's a wonderful image, and in stereo. Dutch, right? You betcha.
Shadow of the photographer - always popular.
When I bought this, I misinterpreted what the gentleman with the long smock is holding; I thought it was a canvas under his arm and a big paintbrush in his right hand. I still think smock + tie = painter. Turns out its smock + garden hose = gardener! And the playful looking chap on the right is about to be sprayed! Cute... men playing with each other.