Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Documentary’ category

Kerala, India c.1923??


Two explorers on a journey into the “Heart of Darkness”, not likely. Adventurers maybe. They do not seem to have enough provisions on board for a long trip. In most cases there are some clues hidden in plain sight that help us to identify time and location. This photo presents some challenges. We date the photo to approximately 1923. But, location…location…location? The raft is made of bamboo. That narrows things to the tropic areas of the earth as they are in common use at that latitude virtually worldwide. We assess that these adventurers are Brits. Still, if you examine the extent of the British Empire in 1923 the task is quite difficult. This map shows the historic extent of the British Empire over time.


The British Empire


Using the process of elimination our assessment is that the location is the state of Kerala in India. Tours are still given today using bamboo rafts in Kerala.


The Explorers“, c.1923

France c.1949


A photo that we had to have but almost didn’t. The classic nature of this image was one that we had to have. It was mailed to us from Paris the old fashioned way in an envelope. But the envelope was addressed to us as Etats-Unis which is French for United States. The photo took six weeks to arrive. I doubt that the French postal officials had and problems with the address, but unfortunately it would seem that ours do not speak French. C’est domage.

French Peasant Farmers” c.1949

Okinawa c.1947


Perhaps at birth, but not always in death especially in the military. When we first saw this photo it appeared to us to be an American Military cemetery likely in Europe. Research indicates otherwise. The grave of a three star general is prominent in the photo. This is the grave of Lt. General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. (10th Army) who was killed by Japanese shell fire on June 18, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. The general’s remains were later interred in the family mausoleum at the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1949. The general was posthumously awarded his fourth star in 1954.

The General“; Okinawa c.1947.

North Babylon, N. Y. (June 25, 2022)


“No, the defense is wrong!!” I have definitely been watching too many movies. The connection just seemed to be so obvious. Just high school graduation revelers in this case having too much fun. So much for my quiet neighborhood.


My Cousin Vinny“; North Babylon, N. Y. (June 25, 2022).

Intersection of Broad and New street.


This lady deserves top billing. We do not see many photos taken in Newark and this one is special. Taken on the corner of Broad and New street. The lady stands in all her splendor wearing a fine raccoon stole. Note the “cars stop here sign” on the pole. Modern “Stop” signs first in yellow and currently in red were not yet in use. Across the street is the Trinity and St. Philips Cathedral which still stands today. A classic look during World War I from a time long ago.

Newark, New Jersey (1917)

West Islip, N. Y. (June 18, 2022)


I entered a 50% card store the other day in order to purchase a greeting card. The greeting cards are actually a front for a gambling den. Virtually everyone who enters buys lottery tickets. A dollar and a dream. More accurately $2.00, inflation and all, for a scratch off. I watched as a patron asked for a scratch off. The proprietor said which one? I interjected, “preferably a winning one”. It was not to be. Perhaps it would be understandable to try your luck for a couple of dollars on occasion, but most of the patrons were asking for multiple tickets and also playing the daily numbers. It was obvious that these were committed gamblers. Would not they have been better off to have invested their money over time in taking a course on computer coding for example? Human nature, I guess.

Lottery Ticket“; (June 18, 2022) West Babylon, N. Y.

Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico (1954)

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

You are looking at the Centro de Ejecución de Las Consecuences Juridicas del Delito, a “Mexican Penitentiary” located in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico (1954). “El Chapo” was re-captured in Los Mochis, but we have no evidence that he was ever held in this penitentiary. He was able to bribe and tunnel his way out of prisons tougher than this before he was finally caught.

U. S. c.1939


Sorry, Elon Musk and Tesla I don’t buy it! An electric vehicle is not in my future plans. If I recall correctly some of the first automobiles produced in the 1890s were battery powered. They faded into history with the invention of the internal combustion engine. The automobile represents freedom.  This was especially evident in the early part of the 20th century particularly after World War I. Exploring the western states became possible without depending on railroads. Car racing. Climbing Pike’s Peak with your car. We have the photos on DPI to prove it.

Imagine for a moment a drive from Dallas to El Paso, Texas a distance of 635 miles with an electric vehicle. You would have to get a full charge at a charging station at least twice on the road plus the initial charge. Time for each full charge would be over an hour. A full charge at home would take 1-2 days.  I can see fleet purchase of electric vehicles. I can even see individual purchases perhaps in suburban areas as a third or fourth car in the family. What I cannot see is using an electric car as a primary or even as a secondary vehicle for the average family. I would argue that fossil fuels are polluting and do contribute to global warming. Perhaps at some future date we will all be driving hydrogen powered cars. Maybe powered by corn oil or moonshine. That could work. But for the meantime nothing provides the octane power of gasoline.

East Texas (1932)


Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were among the most infamous in the Texas area, but there were many others that operated in the Oklahoma-Texas-Arkansas-Missouri area during the 1930s. The bullet ridden “curve” road sign is a testament to the lawlessness of the era. Boys just having fun or maybe something more. We will never know for sure. It would be naive to assume that some 1930s gangster had never taken a shot at it.

Bootleggers and Bank Robbers“; East Texas (1932)