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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

696---Joburg-Festival

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.

695---JHB---Festival-Town-cropped

696---Joburg-Festival-cropped

 

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. 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.

683---Domestic-photo-after-2

 

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 a group of friends on road trips in Argentina and Chile.

629---Argentina-road-trip-1 after

630---Argentina-Road-trip-2-after 631---by-the-seaside-after 633---guy-in-nature-after 677---Man-trip-after

674---Sign-to-Chile-after

665---River-crossing-roadtrip-after 663---Ladies-in-primary-colours-after 634---pipesmoke-scenery-after 657---Precaucion-after

632---three-ladies-after

681---Guy-on-the-road-after 676---Underpants-after 675---Shirtless-wonder-after 667---Group-with-cars-after

 

Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Old cars, People, Road trip, South America

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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 different place to today, society there has become much more conservative, and conflict threatens ordinary ways of life as well as ancient relics. Just to consider Egypt and what it has meant to travelers from all over the world for decades, is to realize that countries have a responsibility towards world heritage. I guess that is UNESCO’s message. Historic Cairo became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, 20 years after these pics were taken.

578---Cairo-1959-Pyramids

Necropolis

579---Cairo-1959-City

City

578---Cairo-1959-Street

Street

 

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 veld, all yellows, blues, browns and greens, look perfect with the pastel pink crockery. I love the rich simplicity of the era and the formal traditions, so stuffy at the time, seem quaintly appealing now. No gadgets, branding, or cheap, bright camping paraphernalia – indeed outdoor repasts today have a completely different look and feel.

463---Sunday-lunch-in-the-veld

 

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.

444---Antics-after

 

Posted by on March 31, 2015 in People

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Princess Bride 1960s

Mid 1960s bridal charm and simplicity.

450---Crowning-glory-after

449---Mirror-after

 

Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Domestic scene, People, Woman

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Youths on the street

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

445---Boys-on-the-street-after

Before and after

Its so damn good in black and white!

445---Boys-on-the-street-cropped

 

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

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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 a wide audience!

448---Don't-fall-asleep-on-a-train-after

Before and after

Its fabulous in a tinted black and white.

448---Asleep-on-a-train-cropped

 

Posted by on January 21, 2015 in America, Close-ups, Man, People

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Beach on the coast of Spain

I tackled this slide because of its physical qualities but fell in love with the scene along the way. The slide is in shocking condition, faded to pink and flimsily framed, but interesting because it is a large size – 4mm square. I know this beach is in Spain because of others – labelled – from the same original collection. I like the natural location of the beach, the absence of houses and the feeling of it being a secret cove, given by the rough cliffs. Down at the sea shore I love the boats and the small wooden pier.

371---Beach-after
The original unfocused image and the condition of the slide invited a romantic painterly treatment,
achieved with Topaz Labs new Impressions filter.

Before and after

371---Beach-cropped

 

 

Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Beach scene, Europe, Summer, Swimming

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Beautiful Walls

In this post I’ve collected together four images of walls, each from different eras, cultures and places.
Each building is beautiful in its own way. I also like how people feature in relation to the architecture.

Plain and imposing, with art – Built 1970s*

346---Arty-after
Solid and homely, with carriage lights – Built 1930s*

327---Brick-house-after

Intricate and lovely, with arches – Built 1890s*

325---Tiled-walls---after

Ancient and crumbling, with pillar – Built 100 BC*

250---Ruin-doorways-after

* Okay, I admit it, I have completely guessed when they were built!

Before and afters

346---Arty-cropped

325---Tiled-palace-or-mosque-cropped

327---Brick-house-cropped

250---Ruin-doorways-cropped

 

Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Mysterious, Traditional architecture

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Deeply Inviting Door

There is a delicious tension between this ancient, deep, black doorway and the group of people hanging back, almost clinging to a side wall. Ceremony has been replaced with sightseeing, and yet the door still exerts its pull. I can’t help comparing the hill to the body of a woman, the walls are her thighs and the door is an entrance to her earthy punani – literally her cave of love. Did the ancients intend that?

234---Dark-doorway-after

Before and after

I removed some people to increase the dramatic effect. The stone is much better in a pale chocolate-tinted black and white.

234---Dark-doorway-cropped

 

Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Mysterious, Ruins

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Bearded Man in Ruins

Did the ancients have any idea of the great expanses of time that their works would stand? This formally attired 1970’s man muses on the passage of time as he is held within stone walls that have stood for eons. Forty-something years later those walls are likely to be unchanged (unless they happen to be in a war zone), the man gone, and today’s travelers now muse via Instagram and Facebook. Social media was of course unknown to this seventies guy, just as it was unknown to the ancients who built the walls.

237---Bearded-man-in-ruins-after

Before and after

237---Bearded-man-in-ruins-cropped

 

Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Europe, Museum, Ruins

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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.

247---Carnaby-Street-after

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.

247---Carnaby-Street-cropped

 

 

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

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Creepy Fairground Reindeer

Fairground models and rides can be really creepy. In broad daylight with happy children, the coffers filling, ice creams dropping, and adults loafing around its a joyful picture. But just imagine how these painted papier-mâché beasts must have looked when it was deserted and lonely, in the wee dark hours, bathed in moonlight. Spooky! This was taken at the Danbury Fair, Connecticut, in 1958.

287---Reindeer---After

I lifted a reindeer and had fun working him into this 1970s snapshot of a young guy in a portrait museum. That sharp-eyed, sinister reindeer is looking down the stairwell and making the poor kid nervous!

248---Seventies-Kid-in-Portrait-museum-after

 

 

Posted by on September 29, 2014 in America, Children, Fairs&amusement parks

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