The Bed – Mock-Up Creation

So here I outline the steps I took in the creation of the Mary Kelly Bed photos.


During my internet search for a good image to base my 3D model of the bed to be used in a VR experience, I was fortunate to come across this image of a victorian wooden bed that was almost a perfect match of the bed in number 13.

It’s not a perfect copy but it is close. Particularly the bedknobs and the slatted frame. The headboard is obviously not correct as the headboard on Mary’s bed has a straight edge whereas this one is an apex. Also, the crossbar is cylindrical at the junction of the upright bedpost/crossbar while Mary’s bed is square. So there are differences.

I photoshopped the headboard to be square but left the cylindrical crossposts. I removed the plugs on the back wall and the electric wires (obviously) and then I mirrored the image to arrive at this:

This shows the fake bed in almost the same position as MJK2. The photographer of this modern day bed looks to be in almost the same position as the photographer of MJK2 –  same height and same angles (slightly pointing down to the floor with a left-to-right framing. Note, already, that the upright posts at the (now) head end, closest to the wall is not totally upright in the photo despite us knowing that the bed is totally upright in construction:

There is a small amount of ‘fisheye’ and distortion going on and the long edge of the main bedframe also appears to be less than straight (Blue line below)

Anyway, I continued with the mock-up by grey-scaling and ageing the photo:

And then I simply cut and pasted the detail of the partition wall from the original MJK2 photo. Note that I only pasted the partition wall detail. I didn’t rotate it at all and yet the upright bedpost closest to the partition is at the SAME correct angle as the bedpost in the original MJK2 photo:

Comparison:

 

Obviously, the two photos were taken with entirely different cameras, with totally different focal lengths, fields of view and many other differences which would create differences/distortions in the resultant photos. Also, the original MJK2 photo has been copied and perhaps had its dimensions stretched and altered many, many times so those factors need to be considered against a modern-day photo. 

But even this experiment of turning a clear and clear photo of a bed into an aged and damaged photo shows how details in photos can be misinterpreted and lost and how new elements can be introduced (or miss-seen!) once defects, scratches and shadows are introduced.