This is a short history of photography’s most common mistake: part of the photographer’s hand appearing in frame. These pages trace an error that hasn’t dimmed with the digital era, but appears as widespread now as it was back in the form’s black-and-white prehistory.
Our tour covers family snaps from the standard “say cheese” portrait to a straight-laced grandmother playing a very un-straight laced game of poker. It encompasses holiday snaps and seventies hair and smiles soaked in decades-old sunshine. But whoever they are, whenever they are, our subjects are weirdly cropped by thumbs, sometimes fingers, occasionally a whole palm. Digits loom massive; mysterious blurs like a ghost or UFO drifting into shot.