In a little used far corner of my home I spied a black, hard camera case. I remembered that it had some photo equipment in it, but I could not recall exactly what it was. From the accumulation of dust on the case I estimated that it had laid untouched for 10 to 15 years. What i found when I opened it was a gem! A gem!
We are constantly searching for images of farmers at work. “John Deere in the Cornfield“; U. S. c.1950 is simply the latest addition to our collection and worthy of special recognition in our opinion. If you close your eyes you can almost see the green and yellow John Deere colors on the tractor and equipment. Almost.
Don’t get me wrong I love to eat lobster. But in looking at these lobsters in this tank the other day I began to think that maybe, just maybe we are not at the top of the food chain as we have come to believe. Like the lobster in the tank we are all just waiting our turn with nowhere to run. Maybe it’s viruses like COVID19 that are the top of the food chain. After all was it not the bacteria that destroyed the invaders in H. G. Well’s War of the Worlds?
This is exactly what it looks like if you were standing there haze and all. “The Mittens at Monument Valley“; on the Navajo Nation reservation, Arizona (October 20, 2000). I stood at the same spot in August 2007. The sun is rising in the east. Appears to be about 10:00 A. M. Visitors have to leave in the early morning so as not to be affected by blowing sand and dust. What I found incredible was the complete silence of the desert, like nothing else in the world. What is also incredible is how people could survive here without electricity and running water. And now COVID-19 too! An amazing place of beauty. Photo was taken on Agfa film which is sensitive to earth tones. A good choice in this case.
For Sale!! Call it what you will: The “Paris Gun“, “Behemoth” or simply the “Mother of all Nikon Zooms”. This is the rare Nikon Telephoto 8.5 cm – 25 cm f/4 zoom lens c.1961. Production number 675/1290. It is ours and it could be yours for the right price. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alfred Eisenstaedt would have probably be awarded the Pulitizer Prize in 1945 for his Times Square photo were it not for Joe Rosenthal’s photo “Flag Raising on Iwo Jima” on Mt. Suribachi. Eisenstaedt’s photo was of the sailor kissing a nurse – “V-J Day in Times Square” a/k/a “V-J Day” a/k/a “The Kiss”. It remains one of the most recognizable photos ever taken. Maybe it’s foolish to even try to compete with these masters of photography, but it does not stop us from trying. DPI’s photo “The Kiss” (July 1948) might have been influenced by Eisenstaedt. This romantic couple’s smooch occurred nearly three years following Eisenstaedt’s photo which was published in Life. I have a sense that there might have been a connection to the church across the street (Episcopal Church of the Incarnation). We are left to wonder if the couple participated in a happy event at the church such as a wedding or a baptism.
I purchased a Nikon lens from a dealer in Tokyo, Japan at 7:30 P. M. DST in New York on June 2. This is a used lens that I didn’t know that I wanted or needed until I had done some research during this pandemic. Depending on your wants or needs there are some very good buys these days due to the current economic and unemployment situations. This was one of them.
The image in this blog “Mississippi River Ferry” is a recent addition to our ferry collection. When we first saw this photo it appealed to us in terms of the composition. The dock, the ferry, the river and the seagull in the left of the scene make this work. The question for us, as is the case most of the time, was where and when? The construction of the ferry speaks to the southern part of the Mississippi River. That was clear. But was it a crossing in Mississippi, perhaps Natchez, or further south into Louisiana? There are so many crossings. What we were unable to see until the the image went into photo editing was the sign on the building across the river in the left of the frame. “Algiers Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co.” Problem solved, New Orleans! Today the new kid on the block, for about the last 70 years, is Bollinger. Various companies have been in that location since the mid 1800s. These are the times when the satisfaction for us is greater when we are able to answer a where or when question or both in addition to appreciation of the image itself.
“Mississippi River Ferry“; New Orleans, Louisiana c.1930
DPI has a substantial collection of farm photographs. This recently acquired image, “American Farm“; U. S. c.1920 is somewhat unusual especially for the period. In the first place you are viewing roughly a 100 year old image. Note the windmill protruding from behind the roof of the main house. What caught our eye is the low angle of view at which the image was shot coupled with the wide angle image created by the camera lens. This wide angle shot is not typical for the period. As you can see the edges of the image are somewhat out of focus. They are soft. This is common for camera lenses of this period. But even today wide angle lenses suffer from barrel and pincushion distortions which are even more evident in zoom lenses. The more things change the more they stay the same.
The quarantine. One day it will end. The only question is when and how many lives will be lost until we get there. “Paradise Beach“; U. S. Virgin Islands (1960).