Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Creative’ category

Turn of the Century

TURN OF THE CENTURY

If you say that this photo is far from technically perfect I would have to agree. It feels good to break the rules once in a while. Remember that this is photojournalism not studio photography. A good deal of photojournalism has its roots in conflict photography. War photography. Photos are taken under extreme conditions. In photojournalism the message is what is important not necessarily the technical expertise of the photographer.

Which brings us to this photo we call “Turn of the Century“. After much research we assess that this photo was taken in lower Manhattan c. 1914. Lower west side to be more precise. Somewhere between Houston and West 23 Street and possibly Christopher Street. The hat shops in that area are prolific. Also notice the battle scars on the boy from a recent fight as well as the Adrien Brody lookalike that he is standing with. We do not need perfection in this photo to understand the circumstances and the setting. Sometimes less is actually better as the mind fills in the scene what the eyes cannot see.

May the Force be with you.

THE SPACE FORCE

May the Force be with you. I wanna be a Spaceman. Will our Starship Troopers be similarly outfitted? Hey, it’s a bug planet! A little humor in times like these may help. Probably inspired by Flash Gordon, but that may be going back too far for some of you. Sometimes I wish that they could just beam me up, Scotty.

Ursula und Rolf (1959). Kempten, Germany

HOMAGE TO W. EUGENE SMITH

W. Eugene Smith was a master of the photojournalism essay. I became aware of his work in doing research on the Battle of Saipan in which my father fought. Smith was there and documented the aftermath of the Japanese banzai attack on July 7, 1944. There were other photos that he took on Saipan of the interaction between U. S. soldiers and the local children. After the war, Smith documented the effects of mercury pollution in Japan in his essay Minamata.

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The submarine supply ship. H.M.S. Medway.Date is approximate; true date unknown.

“THE SAND PEBBLES”

Our younger readers of this blog may have never heard of the film The Sand Pebbles (1966) starring Steve McQueen. As a fan of McQueen I watched this film many times decades ago. McQueen plays a U. S. Navy seaman aboard the U.S.S. San Pablo, a gunboat on a rescue mission on the Yangtze River in war torn China in 1926. One of the most dramatic scenes in the film is when the San Pablo tries to run the Chinese blockade on the river. This lead photo, “H.M.S. Medway in Tsingtao c.1931. is the spittingi image of that scene in the film.

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Grandparents

GRANDPARENTS

Grandparents’ Day is celebrated on September 9 this year. After all, where would we be without them? A close examination of this photo, “Grandparents“; U. S. c.1950, tells us more about this couple. Note the work shoes on the man and the somewhat swollen feet of the woman. Possible indications of a failing heart for the woman and a life of hard work for the man.

The Stanley Theater at Kentucky Avenue and the Boardwalk.

THE BOARDWALK IN ATLANTIC CITY

The most recent addition to our Atlantic City collection is “Atlantic City Boardwalk“. This was a souvenir photo taken by the G. Dobkin Studio in Atlantic City for the gentlemen shown walking on the boardwalk. For us at DPI the remaining question is how accurate can we be in placing the exact location and date of the photo?

This proved to be relatively straightforward. A good starting point would be to argue that the date of the photo is approximately 1940 based upon the dress of the people. Although slightly out of focus the Stanley Theater is still visible. The theater was located at Kentucky Avenue and the boardwalk. What is more difficult but not impossible to determine is the listing on the theater marquee. Careful examination reveals a movie starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The movie is “Notorious” so we can conclude that the date of the photo coincides with the release of this film, August 1946. Assuming that this is not a rerun, of course.

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DISPATCH PRESS IMAGES MAILBAG

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.

Firemen: Hold The Line

FIREMEN: HOLD THE LINE

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.

Tuco, Texas (1930)

HOMAGE TO MARGARET KEANE

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.

Keane