Category Archives: City street

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. The compressed perspective and amateur photographic skills result in quite an abstracted look. They’d make great paintings! Can you see the woman in the semi-transparent blue dress? She’s cool.

695 - JHB - Festival Town


Here are the before-and-afters. I enjoyed reclaiming color, particular the first one with it’s delicious pastels, yellows and inky blues. The process brought details back to life, such as a string of colored electric bulbs.




Youths on the street

A gem of a slide showing youths on the street in the 1960s.


Before and after

Its so damn good in black and white!



Posted by on January 21, 2015 in City street, People

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Carnaby Street Coolness

Lord John was a Mod Look clothing store and then clothing chain success story in 1960’s swinging London. The owner drove around the city in his Rolls Royce and cultivated a gangster image. He was once interviewed wearing a see-through body shirt over a golden-tanned spare-tyre and said in a thick London accent “Let’s make this fast, young man – I’ve got a very busy day”. In 1967 he commissioned a huge hippy mural on one of his two Carnaby Street stores. It was very daring at the time.


Before and after

This was a cheap souvineer slide so had completely lost color. I went for a black and white tint with light edges.




Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Art objects, City street, Europe

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Ripley’s Transparent Woman

On the boardwalk (note wooden planks) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 1961. Believe it or not Mr. Ripley’s strange empire is still going strong and this Atlantic City ‘Odditorium’ can still be visited today here.


Before and after



Paseo de la Reforma – Mexico City

Shoe shine man – Mexico City, 1971. Thanks to a note on the frame we know that this is on Paseo de la Reforma – a grand boulevard designed in the 1800’s to mimic the boulevards of Europe. It runs diagonally through the city and has several statues to mythical and political figures. The one in the background here is Fuente de La Diana Cazadora – in Roman mythology, Diana is the goddess of the hunt.


Now I like doing a bit of research, and managed to locate this exact spot in Google Earth. The shoe shine man is gone. The trees have been replaced by younger ones and the paving is different. The park in the background gave itself up to concrete and glass. Only two things are unchanged: The statue and that drainage vent in front. That’s how I know I found the spot!

See how it looks today:

Place-de-la-Reforma-Mexico-City-Today2   Place-de-la-Reforma-Mexico-City-Today4


Posted by on October 20, 2013 in City street, Fountain, Meso America, Statue

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Car Breakdown

Belgium or Holland, 1970’s. With a little speculation I can figure out what is happening in this scene. The 3 old people were driving past Der Vliegend Tapijt (The Flying Carpet) restaurant when their blue car broke down. Now it’s up on a jack and someone is fixing it but, oh dear, its going to be a long afternoon. A woman passing by has stopped for a little chat. I like the seventies styling of the restaurant window and the juxtaposition of the old-timers against this backdrop.

A large crop was needed to bring the subjects of interest into focus. Rich color, texture and sharpening did the rest of the job.

Before and after. Click for big.



Two Quarters in Jerusalem

I’ll put two pics together in this post as they were taken by the same photographer in old parts of Jerusalem, in 1964. One shows a souk (market) in the Arab quarter, and the other a street in the Jewish quarter. Two sides of a society ever in conflict, but to a visitor in 1964, equally interesting.

Street in the Jewish quarter

Souk in the Arab quarter

These were great to work on as there was so much texture and detail to bring out. I love how old walls and stonework come back to life with sharpening and re-coloring.

Before and afters. Click for big:


Huge Helium-Filled Spaceman

This huge, helium-filled spaceman was photographed on the streets of New York on 26 November 1958. Macy’s Parade has been staged every Thanksgiving Day since 1924 by the famous department store. You can see large scale balloons of popular characters. In 2012 they had Hello Kitty but in the 1950s it was Popeye, Spaceman and Mighty Mouse who loomed over the crowds. The parade started at 9am in the morning which explains the very poor light in these pics.

Click the pic to see a large version.

Streets are narrow places leading to some signature problems in amateur photography, such as strong contrasts early or late in the day and odd perspectives. Here I had to show two pics together to tell a story. Restoration involved getting rid of dust and scratches, and reducing contrast. I lightened areas and deepened the color where it was needed. What started out dark and doubtful ended up working quite well.

Here are the two originals as they looked before:



Posted by on January 22, 2013 in America, City street, Parade

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A Street in Damascus

This bustling street scene in Damascus was photographed on someone’s holiday in 1964. No more a tourist destination, Syria is currently in strife with rebels trying to take the city from the old rulers. People are living in fear, bombs are falling. The world we see in this old pic is gone, gone, gone.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on December 6, 2012 in City street, Market, Middle East

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Charleston Row

This row of old houses was photographed in Charleston, South Carolina, USA in 1959. A note on the frame reads ‘Tricyclist of 90’, referring to the old man making his way down the road on – yes! – an adult sized tricycle. I also noted the brand new, shiny parking meters, looking like they had just been installed.

I enjoyed working on the colors and textures of these old buildings.

Before and after. Click for big.


New York Building Site

Via a hand-written note on the frame we know this is a construction site at Bellevue Hospital, New York. The crane in the background belonged to Cleveland Bridge, the well-known construction company. I love the spots of colour, and the construction workers cut off at the bottom, and of course the wonderful caravan kiosk. If you look closely you can see a very bored little man sitting inside.

Color, color, color, and a sky reconstruction. I enjoyed bringing this gritty scene to life.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in America, City street, Construction site, Old cars

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Athens Florists

A row of florist shops in Athens, 1964. I like the way the men perch on the pavement and read their papers, it must have been quite companionable. I wonder what that big wreath with the palm leaves was for.

Brightening and recoloring was needed to make this look like a happy early morning scene

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 26, 2012 in City street, Europe, Flowers

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Uni Campus Chicago

With a bit of detective work, I figured out that this is probably a street in Chicago with University of Illinois campus buildings in the background. The year is 1970. Love the hipster with headphones, and the blue car.


Such a favorite image. I used several different filters to bring smooth, sharpen and recolor the image.

Some originals. Click for big.


Posted by on November 16, 2012 in America, City street

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4th Avenue NYC

There’s a dramatic but relaxed look to this late fifties street scene. As soon as they perfect time travel I’m going there to get me that little red and yellow car.

This slide from 1958 was in near perfect condition.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 11, 2012 in America, City street, Modern city streets, Old cars

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Fifties Trucks

Commercial vehicles on First Avenue NYC 1959. Those fifties trucks and delivery vans were so dinky. Cannys Transport doesn’t exist in the USA anymore. They do in Australia, so I wonder if Mr Canny moved to Victoria?

Many times with old slides the sky has blown out to a pale color and all the dirt shows up worst there. A sky job is usually necessary to smooth it out and add back the color.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on October 29, 2012 in America, City street, Old cars

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