My great grandfather, a native of Ireland, became a United States Citizen in 1873. I have his naturalization papers and I thought it would make an appropriate Saint Patrick’s Day post. I find the wording of the requirement that he “entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland,” fascinating. I wonder, are citizenship papers worded that way today? Because it is St. Patrick’s Day, and because I don’t have any shamrocks growing in my yard, I substituted a shamrock relative, oxalis, that I will, for today only, not consider it a weed. Plus, it added a little appropriate color to the composition.
This photograph posed a lighting problem; I used an OTT light to simulate sunlight and I set the white balance to sunlight. However, after experimenting with different white balance, ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings to achieve a realistic looking color for this yellowed 138 year old document, I decided to change the entire composition to sepia. I purposely used a shallow depth of field because I wanted to showcase just some of the words related to renouncing allegiance to Victoria.