The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Story 7: Case of the Camera Obscura

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Wow... (What have we learned today? Part 2)

Posted by LegendaryNAS, 1:59pm, 12 Nov, 2005

Here's a link to what a daguerreotype is:

It's very fascinating as the possiblities are endless in the context of the story. Read this quote:

"The daguerreotype is an early type of photograph, but, unlike modern photographs, it has no negative. Instead, it is an image exposed directly onto a mirror-polished surface of silver, (which has first been exposed to iodine vapour, or in the later use of the process, bromine vapour), housed in a velvet-lined folding case."

ssjame, I think you can figure out what I'm thinking here.

That idiot Sheriff must have broken the picture that Crystal cleaned up. It contained a latent image.

Another thing, Turnip is just the right shape and structure maybe to be a camera obscura.

How fun...;)
This message was last edited on 12 Nov 2005.

more about daguerrotypes

Posted by don'tmilkpuppies, 2:14pm, 12 Nov, 2005

also, it was very dangerous at first because they used mercury vapor at first. it also was very fragile. any moisture or foreign substance, including skin oil from fingers, would ruin the image.
hmm. it's strange how alex kept on repeating that there was nothing important in the chamber. either he walked into it one day and is trying to keep anyone else from finding out (good luck with that) or his mother has somehow brainwashed him. also, could annabelle have chosen to use the camera that took forever so she would be busy from noon to 3 (so as to have an alibi)?

Posted by vivacity, 9:41pm, 12 Nov, 2005

Or maybe Turnip was projected via camera obscura onto the mirror in the Bean residence. Sheriff sees it (somewhere, somehow, maybe it was moved purposefully), shoots it with his air gun, and is embarrassed to be tricked that way? If that's less coherent than it should be, I apologize, it's been a long day...

Posted by pockycrusader, 12:13am, 13 Nov, 2005

Y'know, this is just a shot in the dark, but maybe the Sheriff accidentally broke it with his air rifle. The decanter might have been essential to keeping Rebecca's witch powers working right in Spidercliff (remember, Crystal's powers don't work right there, either), and he stole the film in the camera to cover the accident, not wanting an irate Rebecca after his hide.

Posted by vega777, 1:06pm, 14 Nov, 2005

I think Alex just doesn't want to know about that room so much that he even denies it's contents.

Theory of Everything!

Posted by LegendaryNAS, 4:26pm, 14 Nov, 2005

Okay, here's how I see it:

The Sheriff broke a mirror or picture which released someone or something. The Sheriff, knowing what he had done, went to Rebecca, who tried to help by setting up a trap with the decanter. This thing, hearing how Annabelle missed the good ol' days of photography, decides to help by stealing the film in the camera that was watching the decanter in addition to stealing said item. The reson the thing might have been wearing gloves is because that whatever it works or used to work with was very delicate. Does the clock tower mechanism ring a bell?
So maybe that thing is like a shadow of Dr. Bean. Also, if I recall correctly, wasn't he a paper mammal? So, instead of Alex seeing Turnip that one time, he was really seeing Dr. Bean looking through the keyhole!


Sorry. Yeah, I was thinking of Dr. Kibbles. Doesn't mean that others couldn't have been doctors. Heck, Turnip might be able to pass as one if given the chance.

This message was last edited on 14 Nov 2005.

Posted by smjjames, 4:31pm, 14 Nov, 2005

ok um, not sure where the dr bean bieng a paper mammal reference is...

unless you are thinking about dr kibbles.

going to have to look again about the clock tower mechanism, not sure where that is. but that part could make sense.

Posted by Deverien, 9:45am, 15 Nov, 2005

Eliza wears white gloves, and she knows how to operate camera equipment.

But I doubt she's the one who stole the decanter. That would be far too obvious.

Posted by don'tmilkpuppies, 4:19pm, 15 Nov, 2005

if the camera was a daguerrotype, the thief would need to wear gloves b/c the oil from his fingers would distort the image. although, if the pic really was evidence against the thief he planned to destroy anyway, why would he care if he blurred the picture? and also, eliza and annabelle would both need white gloves to keep their hands from being recognized (assuming they knew about the pics annabelle took) because their skin colors are noticably different from everyone else, even with a black and white camera.

Random Ponderings

Posted by Kiriai, 9:53pm, 15 Nov, 2005

Its early yet, so there are a few more twists probably. Tieing things together.

There were three unexplained incidents thus far uncovered: the Bean house mirror, the Camera and the decanter. Its assumed there is a connection, but one assumption that could be challanged is that the theif took the film because of the decanter.

It seems like a good hunch that the mirror in the Bean house was a Daguerreotype as LegendaryNAS pointed out. Perhaps then, that picture was related to the missing treasure (which would, if found, rebalance the currancy).

Right now, we have a time for the theft of the film. At that time, according to the clock, it was 2:05. Turnip was near the crime scene, but couldn't account for the hand seen. Also unaccounted for were Eliza, the owner of the camera, "Crystal" who is assumed innocent for the story.

But Eliza doesn't come into the town, and Turnip can't be the culprate. Assuming that there are no additional characters we are not aware of, then we conclude that someone changed the time on the clock to give them an alibi.

The clock, invented by Dr. Bean, would have come up with Alex's research. Alex was also impatient to have the picture taken then. Taking it that morning was his idea.

However, since he is in the picture, the hand can't be Alex's, we know that he did not steal the film. But he could have stolen the decanter earlier. Then someone else, knowing he took the decanter, took the film.

Additionally, it is clear that Alex knows that his mother is a witch. He appeared to know what was in the room, so he must have been in there at some point.

Rebecca knew their might be problems with the decanter. But she wouldn't tell why she thought that. We know that Turnip was hanging arround it. We know the Rebecca blends the ink for the money. Its quite possible thats whats in the flask. Hence not telling Barlow, so as not to upset him.

The broken mirror (assuming there is not another new character) was destroyed by someone. The sherif was interested and had the means with the air rifle to have shattered the mirror. He is the most likely to have broken it. [Its also possible, but unlikely that the mirror wasn't broken, but instead stolen, and the pieces were of another replacement mirror].

The film from the camera was important. It had something important on a picture. It could have been the decanter theif. Though it could be someone else. The film was from Eliza who sets the cameras up. She could have gotten something on the roll of film.

Another option is that the camera caught someone who wasn't stealing the decanter, but who was otherwise in the room. Perhaps looking for something.

The sheriff has come up in a lot of the early clues, which is my reason for being hesitant. I'm more apt to blame Alex for the crimes, even though its more difficult and doesn't fit nearly as well.

If there is a treasure that is going to be found soon, they could be starting the preperation for new money. Hence the decanter, and hence it was stolen by Turnip.

Alex stole the film from the camera because it showed him going into his mother's witch room. There was a space on her shelf where something could have been missing. He took something other then the decantor.

To give himself an alibi, he put a fake hand on the camera and set the clock ahead to give himself an alibi using his knowledge of Dr. Bean. Later he set it back to the correct time, providing an alibi.

He had the time before and after. The sherif also could have done the same plan, and destroyed the mirror. Or they both could have been together.

More likely its something else entirely.

Posted by Deverien, 11:34pm, 15 Nov, 2005

In all likelihood, the solution is going to involve some thinking outside the box, like the last few stories. We probably still don't have enough info yet, considering we've only seen a few characters' perspectives on the crime.

Posted by jasonblue, 10:26am, 16 Nov, 2005

Looks like a lot of you are already picking up on the theme of this story. It's not just about photography, it's about truth. As you may have noticed, EVERYONE (except our heroes) is lying about something, and Barlow and Crystal have to sort out who is lying about what and why. We'll see whose stategy works out in the long run.

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