DPI announces a new feature on our Facebook page. We have created a discussion group/forum designed to answer questions related to photography and/or Dispatch Press Images. This is a public group so virtually any postings are possible including photos. We encourage our viewers to participate. Simply click on “Visit Group” or go to “Groups” to access the Mailbag.
We believe that an iconic image deserves its own blog. The U. S. location and exact date of “Firemen: Hold The Line” is unknown. The assessment of the date is 1919. The term “hold the line” is a military term that we think is appropriate as the fire rages. A sign partially reads “Electric City” at the extreme left which may give a clue to the location. Possibilities seem to range almost anywhere from Jacksonville, Florida to the state of Washington based on research.
My family had purchased two copies of paintings by Margaret Keane known for her “Keane Eyes” a/k/a “Big Eyed Waifs”. As a youngster I remembered the haunting eyes of these children in Keane’s paintings. They were very popular at the time. So it is that the lead photograph, “Tuco, Texas (1930)” brought back those memories to me of long ago. We cannot see the eyes of these two young girls. Strong sunlight made them squint, and what we have are their eyes represented by large dark circles because they are in shadows. I see the same sadness in the closed eyes of these two girls growing up in the Dust Bowl as those represented in Keane’s paintings. Perhaps it is also the dust forcing them to keep their eyes closed.
To be honest, the motivation for this image is the film “Open Range” starring Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner. It airs frequently on cable television. I had thought that the concept of free grazing or open range was long dead. Not so, to my surprise. The concept of open range is alive and well in certain areas of the U. S. particularly in some western states.
The photo in this blog was taken just outside of Currie, Nevada. Currie is essentially in the middle of nowhere in eastern Nevada about 25 miles west of the Utah border. It is a ghost town today with a population of about 20. For that reason we have included it in our “Ghost Towns of the American Southwest” collection.
DPI has just acquired this environmental portrait “Old Man With A Spyglass“. This image was taken in Connecticut c.1896. It was in remarkable condition considering its age, but greatly improved with some 21st century photo editing software magic. You have to wonder how the old man would have reacted had he known that his portrait would be displayed on the internet 120 years later.
Our photo “Gravel Road” c.1952 taken somewhere in the western U. S. evokes memories in film and music. Lucinda William’s “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” album comes to mind. In film the choice is extensive. Perhaps “Thelma and Louise” come closest, and would have a similar scene. But then again the girls were in a convertible. The choices for use of this photo are endless, and curtailed only by one’s imagination. We find it an exciting addition to our collection and a must have.
Our recent blog “Daddy, There’s a Pebble in My Shoe” paid tribute to the artist Norman Rockwell. We have argued that some of DPI’s images remind us of paintings done by Rockwell. His work has had a significant influence upon us which is occasionally reflected in our selection of images. The lead photo in this blog we call “The Knockout“; California (June 1938). It’s connection to Rockwell, we believe, is Rockwell’s “Strictly a Sharpshooter” which was used as the cover for the American Magazine in June 1941.
Pay attention folks. The advice that I am going to give you may save your life and the those closest to you one day. You need to be more aware of persons and things in your environment that may put you in harm’s way. You must train your senses to recognize potential dangers whenever and wherever they may occur. We have all heard the slogan “If you see something say something”, but you need to institutionalize this type of thinking upon yourself on a daily basis.
The quotation has been attributed to Oscar Wilde and Charles Caleb Colton as well as others. Did not the Romans learn from the Greeks in taking their Gods and renaming them? And so it goes. Inventions are very often improvements upon the work of earlier inventors. We are all influenced by the work of others. The point is that we are supposed to learn from others and create our own unique style.
“The Water Wagon” on a Kansas farm (1936). An iconic image from the Great Depression. The right subject taken at the precise moment in history with the photographer’s keen eye, a good camera and excellent lighting. Proof that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to produce excellent photos.