Author: elaine

Retreat and Spotty Dog

Here is another pic of iconic Spotty Dog the roadhouse on the Main Road of Retreat, taken in the mid or early 1960s. I’ve previously written about Spotty Dog in another post so go here to read about the history. The building is so iconic and so often photographed without context that it was nice Read More

Birthday Party

Birthday Party

Two moms enjoying a chat at a toddlers birthday late 1950s. A classic snapshot that perfectly captures the tête-à-têtes between the mothers with an offbeat composition. Tempting to crop it but I liked the deep well of the veranda space and the way the balloons poke in at the top. The square format slide had Read More

Petting the Horses

Petting the Horses

Who has not stopped on a dirt road to climb a fence and pet the horses? Such a lovely found snapshot with two teenage girls gently connecting with a horse and foal in the mid 1960s. This was a genuine moment on a family holiday, but surely the photographer had seen images of beautiful young Read More

Camping Girls

Camping Girls

Four young girls playing at camping, mid 1960s. The wooden fruit boxes have Graymead Farm printed on the side, and Google tells me that this is probably the present-day one in the Villiersdorp area, Western Cape. It was probably a fruit farm. Love how this shows us a contrasting childhood for girls to the norms Read More

Plants vs Zombies

Namibian Fantasy

This image – of a man posing with a Welwitschia plant – is one I’ve had for a long time. It is no doubt taken in Namibia, an extremely arid place, to which the plant is native. The man has always intrigued me with his triumphant pose and his vaguely unsavory looks. I’d wanted to Read More

Instant Relatives

Instant Relatives

The term ‘instant relative’ has emerged in popular culture. It refers to those photos of people found at flea markets. You can purchase them, take them home and presto! you have instant ancestors on your wall. I’ve seen them in holiday houses and restaurants, cloak rooms and hallways. In one holiday house I stayed in Read More

Johannesburg Festival

Johannesburg Festival

These two pics are labelled ‘JHB Festival’ and date to the late 1950s. They are tantalizing in their hints at a large, public event and location. However, I cannot be sure what festival this is. The Rand Easter Show is one possibility, so too is the annual Wits University RAG procession for the second image. Read More

Double Kodak Moment with Hairnet

Double Kodak Moment with Hairnet

The cultural practice of photography is usually hidden – you see the snapshot that was taken not the photographer in the act of taking it. That’s why I love this 1966 find in which a woman is photographing two girls in the small front garden of a house in what looks like Mowbray, Cape Town. Read More

Argentinean Road Trips

Argentinean Road Trips

Remember Grasshopper men’s shoes? They were popular in the 1970s and, true to the era, a Grasshopper shoe box arrived the other day filled with a very unusual collection of slides from the 1970s. These were left in South Africa by an Argentinean traveler, never to be retrieved. Among them are several fabulous snapshots of Read More

Cairo Late 1950s

Cairo Late 1950s

Three images of old Cairo taken in 1959. The original slides were drive-by snaps or souvenirs. They are now really blasted by age, and are covered in dirt and mold. This condition seems to suit the subject, however, so I gave them a sepia treatment and enhanced texture. Cairo of the 1950s was a really Read More

Sunday lunch in the veld

Sunday lunch in the veld

Sunday lunch was always done right – no matter where you were in the 1960s. At least it was in privileged white society in Southern Africa. One can feel a little uncomfortable noting this, however the undeniable beauty of the setting offers an alternative, more aesthetic focus for this image! The pastel colors of the Read More

What gives?

What gives?

A group of people getting out, acting up, and hanging loose! Though I know nothing about them, the moment captured suggests they are a singing or acting troupe. Read More

Princess Bride 1960s

Princess Bride 1960s

Mid 1960s bridal charm and simplicity. The perky little golden crown, looking like a Disney prop is what I fell in love with when I saw this old slide. I also love the second image which has been so carefully composed to include the bride and her man in the picture frame on the dresser Read More

Youths on the street

Youths on the street

A gem of a slide showing youths on the street in the 1960s. What most people notice about this image are their shoes. Before and after Its so damn good in black and white! Read More

Asleep on a train

Asleep on a train

I love the irony of this wonderful 1960s snapshot. When in the moment we seldom think of the journey a photo can take in the world. Both photographer and sleeper had no idea that the Internet would one day exist and that this image would be shared – and enjoyed – in digital form by Read More

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