05 Jun

The past in photos

Shorpy: The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog is one of those blogs that just makes you say “Wow!” on a regular basis. The photos aren’t all a century old, though some of them are. (Lately a lot of them have been Depression-era.) But they are all quite old, and quite amazing to look at. Many are just plain beautiful. Others are more thought-provoking.

I especially like the 4×5 Kodachrome transparencies like this and this — it’s so strange to see these times so long ago in color that seems so real. We are used to seeing most photos of that era in black and white, or sepia-tone, or hand-colored, or faded old colors. But of course, real life was colorful.

2 thoughts on “The past in photos

  1. Thanks for the link – that site is fantastic!
    The Vancouver Art Gallery recently had a show by Fred Herzog, a local photographer who has been shooting street scenes in Vancouver since the mid-50s. He used Kodachrome slide film and his pictures have that same wonderful colour saturation. Here’s some of his work at the site of the gallery who represents him (no commercial connection to me, honest!)
    http://www.equinoxgallery.com/artists_index.asp?gotopage=1&pagecount=8&artist_type=1&artist_id=121&search_category=&find=&sort=work_id&ad=desc

  2. Ah, I saw his photos in a local magazine when i was last in Vancouver. They really are nice. I wonder if there are any similar Seattle photos somewhere on the web.

    I think one of the reasons these photos seem so real and yet so unreal is that they show old signs, old logos, etc. — and they aren’t old-looking. When we see those old signs now, even if they’ve been well-maintained, they don’t look so new.

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