The legend of the Cottingley Fairies has been retold in movies and books over the years. I first became aware of the story after seeing the enchanting movie, Photographing Faeries. The movie tells the story of two girls who often played in Cottingley Glen, England in the early 1900s. One day, the girls took photos that apparently captured fairies dancing amid the foliage of glen. The word and images spread and they managed to convince many people that faeries existed. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, was convinced!
Sadly, the photos were ultimately debunked because the girls copped to posing cutouts of fairy drawings to create these fantastic images. To read more about the story, click here.
I love this story because I am enchanted by the idea of fairies! One of my favorite fantasy illustrator's is Brian Froud. His work inspired the fairies and goblins for Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Coincidentally, he also illustrated a humorous book about the Cottingley Fairies. Click here to view some of his amazing work.
With the technology available today, this story would not be so surprising and I think people would be very skeptical since we are easily able to alter and enhance our photos in Photoshop and other programs. I think this is why the Cottingley story seemed so amazing to me. Surely those girls pulled off something almost impossible to do! Well, that's what I thought until I stumbled upon a recent TIME LightBox article. This article explains how photos have been altered throughout history. Click here to view some of the photos and learn more about "the art of the altered image." Just fascinating!