I like the natural, simplicity of this beach sunbathing scene from the early 1960s. The beach looks wild, possibly on the Cape West Coast. The women (‘Me’ on the frame), is in a blue bikini and blue sunglasses to match. With just a towel and blow-up pillow, she looks super relaxed – just as it should be at the beach. Is that a radio?
Category Archives: Woman
My guess this is a Cape Town beach on the Atlantic seaboard, 1960s. It’s a wonderful example of vernacular photography that weirdly works. Despite being hastily snapped and, as a result, being skew and blurred, there are enough details from the era to make it interesting. I love the relaxed indifference of the women as they stride by, smoking and chatting. It’s almost contemporary.
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 degenerated to a murky magenta. I considered converting it to black and white but in the end liked this soft pink shade, with desaturated color.
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. I haven’t identified the camera but, with it’s top viewfinder, it looks like a 1940s or 1950s model. Their names are written on the frame: Lesley, Gillian and Alison. Maybe you know them? I almost feel like I do.
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
A long time favorite, this image. Our focus is on the young woman staring back at the camera – obviously annoyed, even angry. Its gratifying to see a genuine, unfiltered, un-hidden, un-bidden emotion on display. With so much posing and smiling for the camera, as we are taught to do, this is refreshing. Its also a lovely composition, and one which snapped into place as soon as I cleaned it up and converted it to black and white.
Before and after
Africa has style! This image is from a wildlife tour in Kenya, 1970s. The bus had stopped in a village for refreshments and this stylishly dressed woman caught the eye of a tourist. I love the classic, African combination of colors and the jaunty yet sophisticated details of her outfit.
I cropped and straightened the image to bring the woman into focus, removed a person from the background and warmed up the color. With selective sharpening, details of the print and accessories really popped out.
Before and after
Click for big.
Beautiful scene of an English countryside in spring. It looks cold and many of the branches are still bare, but blossoms have begun to show. A red coat sets of the greens and looks really cozy for a brisk walk.
Note to self: Solitary lady in garden setting = sort of cultural icon. This is one of many. Must investigate.
The sky was white and I needed to bring back the blue with some clouds behind the branches. After this I deepened the color and sharpened the image overall.
Before and after:
Click for big
Its 1965 and this elegant woman, comfortably dressed for sightseeing, is perusing the wares at a simple roadside market, where everything is laid on the ground.
An interesting example to restore as the original had a flat, deep blue filter. I liked the blue as it added interest to the image, but I wanted it to be more dynamic. First I removed the blue color and cleaned up the original then I added back a new, more dynamic blue filter. I also smoothed the grungy original texture.
Before and after. Click for big.
I wish I was more clued up on mythology, archetypes and cultural iconography. The image of a solitary woman in a garden, in some sort of contemplative state, turns up in my collection on occasion. A genre of sorts. This is a classic example, and I was tempted to camp it up a little. I only use a rainbow filter about once every 3 years, and this was perfect for it.