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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Dreamland at Night: 1905

Dreamland at Night: 1905

Coney Island, New York, circa 1905. "Dreamland at night." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The effect is probably (at least in part) due to an uncoated lens, as well as maybe other factors. Uncoated lenses will let the light bounce around inside the lens several times before it hits the film/plate. As well as possible internal reflections inside the camera.

I like uncoated lenses on 4x5 and 8x10 because they do give a subtle soft glow, without being in-your-face like some portrait lenses with a diffusion element. But in the dead of night with bright lights like this one, the glow will be magnified against the pitch black sky and really stand out big.

Gone six years later

Sadly, Dreamland was destroyed by a fire in 1911 and never rebuilt.

That aura

The haloish effect is from light diffusing into the glass behind the emulsion.

Bright Light! Bright Light!

Gremlins wouldn't like this place at all.

Looks like

a negative. Really cool pic! Thanks for posting it!

The White City

I just finished (long overdue) reading the nonfiction book "Devil in the White City."

I can really appreciate, after reading that, how widely spread the Columbian World Exposition's influence really was -- but nowhere as much as here in Dreamland.

Wish I'd seen it then

I lived in the NYC during the 70's. Coney Island was a good place to get stabbed and looked really down in the mouth.

It must have once been a magical place.

Mysterious Glow

As a amateur photographer, I am wondering how the lighting was applied to give certain sections a highlighted glow. The results render a beautiful and serene photograph.

[Nothing was "applied." It's a time exposure. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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