Posts from the ‘Photography’ Category

Empire State Building – Summer 1969

vernonmerritt3_1969

Published in LIFE magazine during that magical time, in an equally magical New York City. The old world blended and clashed with the new that Summer, with colors and styles which spoke more about individuality than they did about being part of the big picture.

Or the Big Apple.

The photo above was taken by Vernon Merritt III, a veteran photographer by the time he captured New York that summer. Merritt was fearless in his job; he covered the Civil Rights Movement in the early 60s, and also got wounded – and temporarily paralyzed – while on assignment during the Vietnam War.  He stayed with LIFE magazine as a photographer until it closed up shop in 1972 (it launched again later in the decade).  Merritt died in 2000.

In this picture I love his juxtaposition of old and new: Empire State Building – by that time several decades old – and a construction crane representing the dawn of a new high rise. It’s a beautiful and simple image.

Click HERE for more photos from Vernon Merritt.

Advertisements

Old Gold Filtered

oldgold2

A couple months ago I realized that Instagram has become a heavily-used venue for many types of visual communication.  People are taking photos with their phones of anything and everything. They filter them to look cool. Others are uploading photos to their phones from their DSLRs and film cameras to share, because IG can only be posted from a mobile device.  Instagram has even added video options now. I the 15 months I’ve had an account there, more people have responded to my posts than most other places. As human beings we are suckers for the Likes, Loves, or Faves we get online from sites like Facebook, Eyeem, Streamzoo, Trover, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Twitter, or IG. It’s nice to know that people are looking at, and enjoying, the things we offer up to The Intertubes.

In all of this, I realized that a medium like Instagram could also be a venue for sharing older extra-awesome film photos.

Lone Australian Soldier on Watch, El Alamein Egypt [1914]

Let’s face it: The world around us was captured long before the iPhone existed.  The evidence is there, sometimes buried in the back of a drawer or languishing in a box on a garage shelf.  There may not have been as many pictures of cats or food back then, but life was captured nonetheless.  There are billions of photos, negatives, plates and slides out there, waiting to be discovered and shared with the world.  Some people thrive on finding old prints in thrift stores or antique malls. One man is setting out to retrieve and save millions of film photos and negatives from illegal dumps in China. For me it as easy as grabbing pictures from the family archives, or visiting The Commons at Flickr.

And from this treasure trove I created Old Gold Filtered using Instragram.

General Rodriguez

My goal was simple: Highlight cool shots from 30 years ago and back that are okay for me to use – Public Domain, Creative Commons, or my own stash.  The subject matter can capture the rich and the varied; some days I will post a portrait while others will be a structure or an airplane.  Occasionally there’s a cute kid or critter. Anything that catches my eye might end up with an #oldgoldfiltered tag.

The other day I posted a picture I took of Downtown Seattle from a helicopter in 1975:

The Kingdome and Downtown Seattle [1975]

No long after it was picked up by someone and posted to Reddit. Within 24 hours it had over 10,000 views on Flickr. Why on earth would like little 600-pixel square photo have such an impact? I think it’s because many people love looking into the past, to appreciate the comparison/constrast with today’s world. There is also the notion that good style and composition are timeless accessories to any subject. The fact that a simple image can evoke and extract emotion is a beautiful thing. No words, just the visual to give a message of hope, love, laughter, sadness, humor, or community. And putting that kind of yesterday on IG just seems natural to me now.

Currently the newest picture is a personal photo from 1981, showing friend Jeff and I standing in front of his 1972 Chevy Nova:

Super Sport

And the oldest? A very spooky one from 1865 by noted 19th Century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron:

Sad Flowers

Check out the entire Old Gold Filtered collection on Flickr!

Google+

Retro Selfie [1979]

Retro Selfie [1979]

Sometimes a self-portrait captures youth in its beautiful stages. This is not one of them. I was 15 and messing around with my camera and tripod at home. The mesh trucker hat – now revered once more after years of being reviled – sings praises to the kind of muffler I had installed on my first car. The snap-up plaid shirt was well worn and – quite frankly – a bit small for me even then. If it weren’t for the sweet 70s lamp in the background, this scene could be mistaken for the swinging entry doors of a saloon. I didn’t know much about composition back then.

But I sure knew how to look like the guy who delivered your paper on a beat-up BMX bike!

Remembering Fotomat on Our Nostalgic Memories Blog

fotomat

Courtesy of Our Nostalgic Memories

Came across this blog post today while checking in on Google+. It is a detailed history of Fotomat, which started in 1965 and only closed completely in 2009. To be honest I didn’t realize it lasted that long!

I used Fotomat services in the 1980s, dropping off at my local kiosk in Shoreline WA.  I still have a few packs of negatives in Fotomat containers today.  Even some Kodachrome slides which were sent out for develop and mount.  In my neck of the woods, many of the remaining kiosks were repurposed as espresso stands.

Check out the blog post HERE at Our Nostalgic Memories!

Now THAT’S A Tie! [1974]

56-054 by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive
56-054, a photo by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive on Flickr.

Courtesy of the Nick DeWolf Archives. The beard, the coat, and the tie all point to a time when anything could be combined for fashion – especially in a place like San Francisco where this was taken. Nick took thousands of photos in his lifetime, and his son-in-law Steve Lundeen has taken on the monumental task of digitizing the entire thing. Current there are over 64,000 of Nick’s photos online at Flickr. Most of them were never seen by the public before.

Steve’s been at it now for several years and he’s still going. Check out the entire reel that this tie photo came from:

56-550

New York! New York! [1960]

photo-norman-parkinson-new-york-new-york-pippa-diggle-and-robin-miller-parkinsons-neighbours-in-new-york-east-river-drive-new-york1960

Photo from Norman Parkinson, of his neighbors Pippa Diggle and Robin Miller. This captures a positive excitement in the big city. What a skyline!

Norman Parkinson 1913 – 1990

Happy Hubba Hubba Holidays! [1962]

8293327939_74a8455861_o

Wouldn’t you rather be at a warm beach for the Holidays?

Meriam De Shazo and Kenna Morris sure did in this Florida promo from 1962!  Here they decorate a Christmas Tree on a Pensacola beach in Florida in this photo by Jim Stokes.

%d bloggers like this: