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Alter Egos

Changing Identities in Snapshot Photography


Masks can be powerful things. Depending on the moment—someone in a mask can call on your worst fears. But for some reason, photographs of people in masks rarely evoke joy—being a step removed from the moment just adds to the uncertainty of the situation.

Included here is a small selection of vernacular photographs of people in masks, actual and implied, from the Accidental Mysteries collection.


Click on any image for larger view.

He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing of its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.
— William Golding, Lord of the Flies, 1954
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