7/31/10

MOTHER AND SON


A few weeks ago I posted a photo from the Big Bag of Negs that I called Brothers in Arms. Well, from the same bag of negs I have now found this. Son and Mother. The same young man with his mother.

Click on image to see it larger.

These photos were bought at an estate sale. While others were busily scurrying around buying the acquired stuff of the deceased's life, I was buying the precious moments of their life. An old photo album, falling apart full of hundreds of photos and the Big Bag of Negs.

I have photos of this woman when she was very young with her sisters in Canada. Then photos of her living near Ukiah, California during the Depression. I have no idea whose home I was in at the sale. I stupidly never asked. That's always one of the dumbest things I do. I don't ask for names. It's always a mad dash to find the photos before someone else does. And I have to admit, I'm not comfortable asking personal questions about the deceased while I paw through their belongings. I just hope to give their memories a caring home.

This is my addition to today's Sepia Saturday.

7/29/10

P5M offshore at IWOKUNI, JAPAN


Here's a slide from one of my father's many boxes of slides he took during the 1950s through '70s. I've said before that he was a Naval aviator. He flew off carriers and flew seaplanes like the one shown below. The call sign for this plane would have been Sugar Fox 3, and it was in squadron VP-48.


This shot is of a P5M and was most likely taken off the coast of Japan at Iwokuni around 1954. It's believed that only one of these planes still exists. It resides at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.
The Martin P5M Marlin (P-5 Marlin after 1962), built by the Glenn L. Martin Company of Middle River, Maryland, was a twin engined piston powered flying boat entering service in 1951 and serving into late 1960s in service with the United States Navy for naval patrol. It also served in the U.S. Coast Guard and with the French Navy. 285 were produced overall.

Built as evolutionary successor to the PBM Mariner, it had better engines, improved hull form, and more conventional tail. The XP5M Marlin prototypes were based on the last PBM-5 Mariners, the company designation being Model 237. It would be heavily improved again leading to the P5M-2 (Model 237B), which was redesignated SP-5B. A number of P5M-1 models were also used for training, designated TP-5A (after 1962).

The Marlin was designed as a gull-winged aircraft to place the engines and propellers high above the spray. Power was by two Wright R-3350 radial engines. The rear hull did not lift sharply from the water at the tail, instead rising up steadily, a Martin innovation; this gave the aircraft a longer base of flotation and reduced "porpoising" over waves.

The prototype had nose and tail turrets with twin 20 millimetres (0.79 in) cannon in each, as well as a dorsal turret with two 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. The cockpit area was the same as the Mariner's. It first flew in 30 May 1948.

The first of 167 production P5M-1 aircraft was produced in 1951, flying on 22 June 1951. Changes from the prototype included a raised flight deck for improved visibility, the replacement of the nose turret with a large radome for the AN/APS-44 search radar, the deletion of the dorsal turret, and new, streamlined wing floats. The engine nacelles were lengthened to provide room for weapons bays in the rear.

The P5M-1 was followed by 116 P5M-2 planes. These had a T-tail to put the tail surfaces out of the spray, a AN/ASQ-8 MAD boom at the rear of the tail-tip, no tail guns, better crew accommodation and an improved bow to reduce spray during takeoff and landing. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
My father gets a big smile when he sees this plane. And he still has a model of the one he flew, the only one of his planes I ever was able to see in person. I got to stand on some stairs and look in a door. That was it. I wasn't allowed inside. Let's just say, it was BIG and created an indelible memory.

SCANNING SLIDES is different than negatives


I've been working on deadlines this week so have not been able to respond to an email from a reader, Mary, about scanning slides.
I have been using my scanner for about a week. Great results on negatives and photos but not so much on the slides.

I get the four that I placed in the guide but not able to enlarge them or view them individually.

I have read the help and instructions online. What am I missing on the slide instructions?
I tried to email my response to Mary, but I get a message indicating that the email account will not accept messages. So Mary, if you're out there here's what I wrote you:
  • I believe what might be your problem is one of the choices you make before scanning. Look under the various settings before you scan. Look for the information about what sort of film you're scanning. For slides you want to choose "positive film", NOT color or b/w negative. Slides are not negatives.
  • Next you need to scan a preview before doing your final scan. You should find a tool on the left of the "Preview" window that says "Marquee" which allows you draw a dotted marquee line around the specific images you've preview scanned. You then need to go back to the settings panel and set your scale under "Target Size" to around 1200% which will give you a nice large image. Then hit the scan button.
  • You should then have a grouping of your slides show up on your screen. You will need to save the image, then take it into an image editing program to split the images apart.
Mary, let me know if this helps. And check your email preferences to allow responses, otherwise I cannot respond to your questions.

To read a bit more about scanning slides and negatives see my previous post entitled...wait for it...How to SCAN SLIDES AND NEGATIVES.

7/26/10

Vintage KODAK AD, 1949


I'm always interested in the ads Kodak ran to convince people of the importance of taking snapshots of their lives. When you look at other ads for the competition, specifically for cameras, they simply don't have the same feeling Kodak was pushing.

This ad dates from Collier's magazine, August 1949.

Kodak ad_August 1949_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Kodak knew how to push emotional buttons. Early on they knew how freeing a camera was for a woman and most of the very early ads featured women with cameras having fun. Then they pushed the idea of family memories. I'm not even sure what they're pushing today. I don't think I've paid attention or noticed a Kodak ad in a long time.

And let me just say, even though I really enjoy my digital cameras, I miss film. I miss the smell of the film when you opened up the bag and took out the little metal can. I still have a few of those old cans, used before they went to the plastic "cans" which were useful, but never as fun.

Things change, they say for the better. Everything is geared towards faster and easier. I guess I never found loading film into a camera to be a chore. I enjoyed threading it on the sprockets. Now I just have to make sure I turn the flash card in the right direction and never have to worry about changing it on a sunny day.

But bless Kodak for pushing the use of their product. Without it I doubt this blog would exist.

7/24/10

I call her POLLYANA


I have no idea who this young lady is. She could be a relative or just a friend of my maternal grandmother. The photo is approximately 1 inch square and was found in the bottom of a small box of photos that had belonged to grandma. All I can tell you, with any certainty, is that she lived in Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. Other than that, it's anybodies guess. She will forever be nameless.

I call her Pollyana because she reminds me of the character. I know the name Pollyana is often used to describe someone too good, too cheerful. The actual character isn't anything like that, and it's a shame that trying to find the good in bad events and learning from the experience should so often be frowned on by those who consider themselves too hip and too cool.

I wish I knew something about this young lady. What became of her? How did her life turn out? It's highly possible at some point when I was a child I met her when she was a grown woman in her 60s. I'll never know.

For now she is my post for Sepia Saturday.

7/18/10

Between drug stores and Shutterfly there was FOTOMAT


Yes, at one point we even became too lazy to walk into a photography store or the drug store to drop off our film to get it developed. And we hadn't quite reached the laziness of simply uploading our digital images and awaiting the package in the mail. Between all of that there was Fotomat.


For anyone too young to remember Fotomat think of a drive-thru coffee place, but for photos. Little booths out in the middle of parking lots with some lost soul sitting inside with a transistor radio playing, patiently waiting for someone, anyone, to drive-up to drop off film or pick-up prints. And there they sat on rainy days in those little booths by themselves.
Fotomat was a once widespread retail chain of photo development drive-thru kiosks located in shopping center parking lots. Fotomat Corporation was founded by Preston Fleet in San Diego, California, in the 1960s, (the first kiosk was opened in Point Loma, California, in 1965), and became a public company in 1971 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1977. At its peak around 1980 there were over 4,000 Fotomats throughout the United States, primarily in suburban areas. Fotomats were distinctive for their pyramid shaped gold-colored roofs and signs with red-lettering, usually positioned in a large parking area such as a supermarket or shopping mall, as the Fotomat huts required a minimal amount of land and were able to accommodate cars driving up to drop off or pick up film. They sold Kodak-brand film and other photography related products and promised one-day photo finishing. Fotomat often hired female employees to work in the small buildings and called them "Fotomates." The Fotomate uniform was a royal blue and yellow smock top. Male employees were called "Fotomacs" and their uniform was a light blue polo shirt.

Fotomat had both company-owned stores and franchises. This led to lawsuits between Fotomat and its franchisees over territories.
In the early 1980s, Fotomat Corporation was acquired by Konishiroku Photo Industry Ltd., which sold it to Konica Photo Imaging in 1986. It was later sold to Viewpoint Corporation in 2002.

The company's main product, one-day development, was made obsolete by one-hour photo development. Fotomat's main product has since become the online digital photo software site Fotomat.com which, as of July 2009, has announced that it will discontinue the online service on 1 September 2009. Users will still be able to maintain their local albums through the toolbar, though after 1 September all online functions will end. Fotomat's message recommends that online customers switch to the Kodak Gallery service.

Fotomat has made some sparse appearances in American popular culture, namely the well-known hut with the yellow mansard roof. A similar business was ruined in the opening scene of Police Academy, although that photo hut was in the shape of a gigantic camera (to likely avoid an obvious reference). In That '70s Show, Steven Hyde works at the parodied "Fotohut" under his hippie boss Leo. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
And so it goes. Good idea one day, out of business the next. Innovation. Obsolescence. But the next time you're looking at some vernacular photos at a flea market dating from the 1960s or later stop and think that maybe some poor soul in one of the Fotomat booths once touched them.

7/17/10

MARTIN AND LEWIS they're not


Think back to comic duos like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and it's always the same. One handsome guy to make the ladies swoon, the other to make them laugh. I'm getting the same vibe from these two fellas.

Click on image to see it larger.

I have no information about this duo. They were in the Big Bag of Negs. Both snappy dressers. I can make up all sorts of stories about them, but I'll let you do that. Each person can bring what they want to the image. It's just another vernacular photograph giving us a chance to step back in time to some strangers history.

7/12/10

And sometimes IT'S NOT WORTH THE ELECTRICITY


The reason most people pass by negs at estate sales and flea markets is because too often you end up with something like this...or worse. So just so you didn't think the Big Bag of Negs is full of winners I give you this. I call it "Blurred House with Driveway. No.4." It speaks volumes about the angst of the middle class following the war. No. It's just a freakin' blurred picture of a tiny house with a tiny garage.

Seriously, there's no reason to click on this thing. It doesn't get any better.

7/10/10

BIG SHADOW from Big Bag of Negs


So the question is what model car is this? I have my suspicion because it looks familiar.

Click on image to see it larger.

Again, from the Big Bag of Negs. This is in pretty poor condition and took quite a bit of work just to bring the picture up. Way overexposed. And then there's that space craft hovering on the right. Was the long tall shadow taking the photo of his car or the space craft? I'm guessing the car.

If I gave this post the title "Proof Aliens Exist!" would it draw people here just to be disappointed? Snicker.

7/9/10

BROTHERS in arms


Again I go digging through the Big Bag of Negs and found this gem. 1940s to early 50s is what I'm thinking. An interesting photo if for nothing else the wooden sidewalks.

At first I was so taken by the guys that I didn't notice the woman way off in the distance pushing a baby carriage. Adds a whole other perspective. I'm thinking they're brothers. The older one, standing, was home on leave and giving his younger brother "what for!" There's a cockiness to him. He's seen the world and is just back for a visit to the old neighborhood. Meanwhile the lady in the background prepares the next generation for life. Really wish I knew where this was. I'm so fascinated by the raised wooden sidewalk.

Click on image to see it larger.

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To see a photo of this young man with his mother click here to go to my post "Mother and Son."

7/7/10

BEACH PARTY with watermelon


From the Big Bag of Negs I give you Beach Party!

Click on image to see it larger.

Some negs should never see the light of day, let alone a flatbed scanner. Others just make me smile as the image appears on the screen. I have to wonder how many prints of this one exist. I own the negative. It is in the aforementioned Big Bag of Negs which continues to have losers and winners. This one is a complete winner! And may I say the fourth in my collection of people eating watermelon. Yes, I have 4 photos of people eating watermelon, one involved a pig. If you've followed this blog you'll remember the handsome pig. Then I have two other shots of watermelon eaters that have not been shown. Who knows what sort of watermelon eaters lurk within the Big Bag of Negs! It's a category. I must collect them.

I'd say this one is from the early to mid-50s. I know my mother had a purse exactly like the one in the foreground on the beach. It was white woven fabric with a pull cinch top. I wish I still had it.

As to the shadow in the lower left corner...isn't it a little strange? A clown with a big nose and a funny hat? A one eared fellow with a tiny sailor hat?

And as to the standing fella...well maybe I just remember too many Annette and Frankie Beach Party movies, but I keep waiting for that guy to dance. Shake his butt and do the frug. If you have to ask what the frug is you're already too young. Keep moving', nothin' to see here.