Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Television Market ca 1950

More images from the Herb Harper Collection. 90% of the negatives are 4x5. All of the negatives are black and white. So far the dates run from 1949 to 1952.... but I am only on the contents of box three out of 7. It's a tedious process to assign a file number, scan, write a brief blurb on what's in the image and then move on to the next. Most of the files aren't marked as to contents and there could be negatives of one subject.... i.e. W.T. Grants.... scattered throughout one box.

These show what the envelope said was "T.V. Mart".... although I suspect it's TV Market. The address on the front of the building is 3634 but could be east and west or north and south.... there is a reflection on the window glass from the building across the street. The signage on that is "Dr. Lilyhor Chiropractor". There is also a reflection of a cleaners that can be partially read: "...erles Cleaners." So the location can be pinpointed at a later date.

This is probably promotional work for the site showing that they have a full range of the latest models including those with phonographs and TVs as well as a repair facility (tubes anyone) and men who will make house calls.

Television was just coming into it's own around this time as the stars of decades of radio shows were making the move to the little screen.

The image of the man on his knee getting ready to fix the tv is an unfortunate double exposure... easily done back then when the 4x5 film was in negative holders (two to a holder) and you had to remember to take out the holder and turn it around for the next shot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Renovating W.T. Grants

From the Herb Harper Collection which I am cataloguing (sporadically at best). 4x5 black and white images of the W.T. Grant store at 1017 Main after renovation circa 1950. From the store display signage it looks like the interiors were shot shortly before Mothers' Day. I'd like to have those prices back.
Not sure but I think the bottom two photos may be "before" pix and those pix which show the "Luncheonette" signage are after.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seeking the Golden Age Lighting

The Golden Age of Movies was, some believe, also the Golden Age of Portrait Photography... when light and shadow craftily shaped the actors appearance. Extensive retouching was also employed on all the images. In the early days large viewfinder cameras were used many producing negatives that were 8x10 inches. For ease of modification the large negatives were employed... the vast amount of touchups required an 8x10 working space.

I decided that with the New Year I would start exploring that golden world. Flash was not used early on but "hot" lights (so named for the intense heat they put out) provided the light for the portraiture. As many of the images were made on or near sound stages on studio lots... plenty of lighting equipment was available as well as sets and props. Wardrobes were extensive and added to the "feel" of the picture.
These shots were all taken with "hot" lights although they are a good deal more compact than their ancestors... also I'm rather limited for the time being in light modifiers.... but that will change. It's interesting to see how movements in the main light and the attitude of the models head and body alter the image.... I also fooled around with digital makeup.... some are a little too much probably.... but it's best to go too far first and then back off. And, since it's digital, nothing is permanent.
Rachel, the victim du jour, is getting married next July. Since I'm photographing her wedding I thought it opportune to use her for my first test shots.
I converted all to black and white as that lends itself to the most intense expression of light and dark.... however the last two shots on this post are the same... with one in color and one in black and white.
Three lights were used.... the main light was a fresnel lensed spot for the face.... two lights in the rear provided light for the hair and separation from the background. Although for many of these shots only two lights were used.

I will next try some full-length shots..... need a fainting couch if anyone has one for sale :)
And will cool it more on the digital makeup....