Photography History X

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by pdh, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Passing a charity shop today I saw this in the window ...

    [​IMG]

    At one time I had half a dozen of these from the '50s, now gone, so I snapped it up ...
     
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  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Photographers

    Inside, the contents pages show who's taken the snaps ... there are a few names still well known in 2011, but perhaps a lot now forgotten ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The advertisements I

    In the back of the book there are details of each shot, including camera, lens, exposure, aperture, flash, film, paper and developer ... I'd reckon the great majority were taken with a Rolleiflex ...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The advertisements II

    Quite a large number seemed to have been taken with something called a "Leica" ... sometimes just "a Leica", sometimes a "Leica IIIx, but also sometimes a fairly new thing called a "Leica M.3" ...

    [​IMG]

    Notice that the advertisement states clearly they are in short supply - the waiting list is long due to "import restrictions" ...
     
  5. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    the advertisements III

    The rest of the photographs are listed as taken with a variety of cameras, including Hasselblads (popular with the Scandinavian photographers, funnily enough), a variety of view cameras, one Minolta, the odd Canon and a few Contax.
    Film stock included HP2, HP3, and Tri-X

    But you could also do 3-D stereography, and if you needed to do post-processing on your work, there was even a precursor of Lightroom available ...

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    What a find, Paul!!! These are great pictures to see, too. So much time and attention to detail in a book/magazine like this - those were the good old days.
     
  8. Will

    Will SC All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    England
    The year I was born!
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    You're 5 years younger than I am, Will!:biggrin:
     
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Nice one Paul. Can you scan us through the presentation of a photograph?...maybe from one of the folks we know :wink: Be keen to see how they present a piece.

    Great find!!! Now I'm going to start scouring my 2nd hand book peddlers...
     
  11. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I've deliberately not posted any of the actual photos (except that of the cover ... oops ... that's by Stefano Robino) because I'm not sure about copyright ... I think the magazine which published these yearbooks is long gone, but of course individual photographers (or their Estates) probably retain copyright and I wouldn't like to trample on that without permission ... although I suppose I have already :frown:

    It's all very simply presented ... an 11x8½ hardback, with almost always one (at most two) black and white photographs, no borders, on white ... nice shiny good quality paper ...

    These books were produced for many years, by "Photography" magazine in England, from (I think) the '30s or '40s through to the early '80s (I think) ... a girlfriend gave me a few back in the late '70s all dating from the '50s and I lapped them up ... gone now ... they are surprisingly difficult to find and I see them for stupid prices occasionally ... I hope it won't make the market even more difficult by my publicising them here!
     
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  12. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Paul I fully appreciate your concerns about copyright...and as a Mod should have known better! :blush:

    The layout sounds perfect. Must say we have lost a little something of this aesthetic with photo books. Sometimes I think publishers insist that there be "words, more words. Someone buys a book to read!" While 50 years ago they understood that some of us do buy periodicals for the pictures....I know, I know there are some guys cringing out there who recall saying exactly the opposite about their discovered magazines. :wink:

    I think you might have helped lift their values, off to eBay now to have a squiz.
     
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  13. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    What looking at these older photobooks throws into relief for me is the present "obsession" with eliminating noise, having (even if not using) high ISO values and the ubiquity of IS ... don't get me wrong, I'm not on a "Oh the good old days, it's all too easy now, cameras do all the work, we should all have to use a box Brownie" rant (far from it) ... but (even allowing for the halftone printing) these old books are full of smeary grainy shots, motion-blurred or even slightly out of focus, where "bokeh" was a secondary consideration, and "blocked shadows" or "blown highlights" were pretty common ... and the ones that work do so not because of those things nor despite them ... but because they are good images in their totality ... mind you I do wonder if camera clubs weren't full of discussions about best formulae or whatever in the same way forums are full of discussions about best PP s/w ... :wink: