Saturday, April 23, 2011

The harrowing tale of the fish and the flesh loaves.

I think the best Kodachrome moments are captured in a short series of shots - no less than three, no more than five, like the following uncomfortable situation that got a-brewin' one warm day back in September 1945. You don't need me cracking wise on these ones...

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Eeeeyuck. YUCK.

Happy Easter everyone!
Sunrise, Easter morning, 1940. Red border Kodachrome.

Betts Family Album.

This is probably the best album in the archive, bought at a fabulous antique bookstore housed in a quonset-style barn in P.E.I.: it's the Betts Family Album from the late '20s.
Here is the album in full: Betts Family Tour.

Here are some highlights:
Broken Baby.
Girls in the Dark.
Sacrificial lambykins.
And some whole pages:

Throw down your arms - you've been charmed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The private life of a photo collector.

This week I thought I'd give you the tour of some of the dark corners of the Ferrous Archive, this is not the entire collection of course, but the best bits, and some really dubious methods of cataloguing and storage.

The collection got serious when my brother Blair gave me a stereoscope for Christmas, I have rougly sixty cards. They're stashed away in the sideboard with an ashtray of quarters (for impromptu card games), that blue car is a strangely treasured toy from being a little girl, a nice set of glass salt and pepper thingies, some tiny bits of furniture, that's a little record player there... and some other junk. When you come over, just open a drawer - you'll never know what you find (you wouldn't believe what's in the other drawer...).

Pardon the blur, but I'm often bleary-eyed going into my little treasure box of autochromes. Those ones marked "Beve 1938" are my best ones I think, this box is one of two, the other box is full of lesser autochromes. One day I will find a way to scan these and share them with you, they are truly magical.

Often the slides come in pretty flimsy packaging, and so they remain in flimsy packaging until I figure out a better storage solution. This I would guess is about a quarter of the collection - give or take. The others are in a proper slide storage box. Really, I just need another one of those. Christmas list.

I've been fond of photography books for a long while too, and I have a niche interest in the luxurious-yet-desperately-harsh early days of the Rocky Mountain tourism industry and the wild and brave people who went up mountains and had civilised lunches. In addition, there are some great works of modern photographers too. That bowl of oatmeal is (believe it or not) the jewel in the crown - a Martin Parr. Hm. Frame needs cleaning. Actually frame needs replacing. Of course you can also see various viewers here too - a nice old viewmaster (I also have a small collection of weird viewmaster cards), 3D glasses, a simple lorgnette for stereo cards, my precious loupe, and those two cameras, the little Starflex for fooling around through the viewfinder, and my grandma's old Ansco brownie knockoff. Nothing of real value, but fun to play around with. Much like most of what makes up the sweet FA - the whole is so much more that the sum of the parts.

Please pardon how out of focus these photos are, I'm might have been in a rush or something...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Snow Day.

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This slide has all the classic lovability of Kodachrome (desperately needed on a day action packed with snow): sexy vintageness and snapping popping colour. I don't know where this is, oddly it was stuffed in with a pile of slides of Britain, but the grass hut and general tropical vibe does not compute. Nonetheless - this is the polar (huh, what a pun) opposite of the view out our window today. Snow, snow, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where would I like to be today?

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Just a little taste of the brine today, Neil and I are hanging vinyl wallpaper and generally goofing off. All the same, I'd rather be here in a heartbeat. But where is it? Kodachrome, no date stamp but should be 1958 - 1959.

Many thanks to Sarah Dobinson of the Flickr community for identifying this correctly as the South Parade Pier in Southsea, Portsmouth! Here is the note she sent my way:

"Oh my god this is fantastic! I live to the left hand side of the pier - it's South Parade Pier in Southsea, Portsmouth.
Do you know what date the photo was taken? There was a fire in 1974 that wiped out most of the buildings on the pier. Some extra info here: outh%20parad...
Here's what it looks like now (Google Streeview of the buildings): hl=en&g... "

Thanks again for the answer! And may I say how jealous I am of where you live!