13 December 2005

The 1940s (in color)

We've talked about and linked to color photos from WWI and Tsarist Russia... here's an online collection (hosted by the Library Of Congress) of photos from 1940s USA. Sometimes it's hard to believe these are real and not perfectly-made movie stills.

2 Comments:

Blogger Superfan said...

those are remarkable photographs; not least because - as valid as black and white photography is in itself - the colour somehow helps remove the years between when the images were taken until now.

with faded sepia photographs, people seem like distant history, but say that photo of the girl watching the boy making the toy aeroplane, you can imagine them chatting and running off to do other things - it's literally caught a moment in time, whereas many older photos seem more posed (as indeed they had to be with very early photography, of course).

on a related note, while without colour, there was recently a TV series showing exeptionally well restored early movies; I don't' know how they did it, but they managed to remove the jerkiness associated with such old films, which again made it easier to relate to the people on screen as being real living breathing humans somehow.

here's some more info on them
http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/1084507/

5:08 AM, December 14, 2005  
Anonymous Lee H. said...

Those archival films sound intriguing... and you're right that getting rid of the jerkiness of those, or having images in color, makes images seem more "real" simply because they look more like what we see with our own eyes, instead of looking like a representation.

I know when I first saw these pics, I felt like I was in a time machine, visiting pre-revolution Russia. It was the first time I'd run into historical pics like these, and it was a downright emotional experience to me.

4:29 PM, December 14, 2005  

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