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Tuesday, 20 September 2011


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Mike- many of these same photos and many others from WWll can be seen at Shorpy Vintage Photographs at www.shorpy.com

I make a habit of delving into the Library of Congress online archive - there are very large scans on there of Civil War photographs, OWI WWII photographs, New Deal posters, turn of the century baseball players, the list is endless. The scans are often dirty and not the sharpest but very nice prints (of the public domain work, of course, which is most of the interesting material anyway) can be made with a bit of work in Photoshop.


One of the easier ways to access Palmer's wartime photos on the LoC website. All are, I believe, images in the public domain (being owned by the federal government).

I wonder who the gentleman in the background is?

I can't say how much I love the color palette of those pictures. Try as I might to find a lightroom action, I can't.

Thanks for posting this. Amazing photography. Interesting to see all of the factory workers without eye and ear protection. Maybe people were more robust back then.

Is this from the same source that see at Shorpy's ?

I agree with Jason. You can't fake that color. I'm really taken with the lighting in a lot of these...that gunner for one...the overall "even-ness" and range of tones is real and attractive in ways we only attempt with the digital cameras and intelligent lighting we use today.
(...must have been the Cteins of the day at work there).

Dear Marty,

You flatter excessively. Studio lighting was NEVER something I mastered. I read the books, I talked to the experts. It wasn't complicated. I just couldn't retain it.

Even lighting? That I can do. This kind of lighting with just the right amount of fill and key and highlight and all that fine stuff?

I wish.

I've always said I much preferred natural, available light/darkness, but I've also always wondered how much of that was because I could never grok the artificial stuff.

Probably more than I admit.

pax / Ctein

This is one of the pictures I like very much -- it is the 4x5 picture when you search for kodachrome when it was ended.

It is so sharp and so real, even though you may say that the color scheme is a bit unusual.

Just great picture.

Thanks very much for this call-out, Mike. I've not been following this series and it's a dandy. We see so relatively few color images from this period that it's a bit eerie when we see such a contiguous body, particularly the "candids".

Just off the top of my head, without looking into it at all, I'm going to guess these were 8x10 Kodachromes. I don't believe Kodachrome was ever made in 4x5 size and I know it was made in 8x10 size. I could be wrong!



Ctein...I was connecting your work with that of some long-ago photographers that seem to have taken their work seriously and *understood* the factors that went into a great image. Seriously was anything at all automated in the WWII era of image making?
I'm actually red in the face as I try to avoid flattery.

Great PHOTO. It really tells alot of stories.


I was also thinking about 4x5 off my head as it is one of my favourite picture. See the above link and google 4x5 kodachrome. Not 100% sure but it is likely thtat there is 4x5 kodachrome and this is one of them.

I believe it was 4x5 format.
The iso was apparently rated @ 8 for large format Kodachrome.

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