Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sail boats for fun or profit.

Got a busy day ahead of me, so I'll post this to remind us all that we could be having to haul rope and raise sails instead. You might think that's a better alternative for a little while, but I'll have my hard labour served through recreation any day, thanks! Here's to modern times and sail boats!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Unexpected details! Pleasant surprises!!

Sometimes I'll buy an autochrome without seeing a very good version of the image first. Most people can figure out some way of showing the image on the glass, but occasionally they're bad pictures. Or sometimes they're really blurry or the colour is off - so you end up with a little surprise when they arrive. Unfortunately, the surprise isn't always pleasant, and I've opened up little packages with big disappointments inside - either damaged or in bad condition, or crappy colour or a faded photo... lots of sad things we don't like to talk about here at the archive. Sometimes it just takes looking through the loupe to notice something you hadn't before, like I did in these autochromes:

This one is a nicely intricate view of Spanish courtyard, which is a refreshing change to all the France. At first I wasn't wild about it because it isn't very vibrant, the colour is somewhat dull. Then I noticed the figure standing in the door and was happy again! You have to understand this one is quite small, only 6cm x 6cm - give or take a mm. And if you don't have good, strong light, you can miss some of those things lurking in the shadows.

This is my absolute favourite of the collection, and I return to this one as a post of its own another day, I need to re-photograph it (the ghostly image of my camera is not part of it, spooky - but not intentional). Look closely at the tchotchkes on that very tasteful desk. There is a ceramic figurine of a rooster mounting a hen. That figurine is on my perpetual Christmas list, by the way.

Another favourite, which I've posted previously, but only an excerpt of - here you can see it in its entirety. Please click through to the full-size image of this one, the details are exceptional. I bought this one thinking/hoping that it was a "shakeface", but couldn't be sure based on the photo. I was delighted when I got this one in my hands. It's a wonderful image, and in stereo. Dutch, right? You betcha.

Shadow of the photographer - always popular.

When I bought this, I misinterpreted what the gentleman with the long smock is holding; I thought it was a canvas under his arm and a big paintbrush in his right hand. I still think smock + tie = painter. Turns out its smock + garden hose = gardener! And the playful looking chap on the right is about to be sprayed! Cute... men playing with each other.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More interiors.

Another lovely space, the wiring on the lights are particularly puzzling - I'm not sure why they'd bend out like that, I would have assumed the wiring would be supple. Many pretty things in there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cozy interiors.

I may have posted these two before, but they're the other two by Beve. I love LOVE interior shots - half because I like to peer in on how people live, look through their stuff, sit on their furniture, try on their clothes... you know, normal things. Right? The other half is digging through their garbage, sleeping in their bed...

One of my favourite details of all my autochromes is the magazine on that comfy couch - it's a girl and what appears to be a German shepherd. Who wouldn't want to curl up with those cushions and read the latest gossip in "Girl & Dog Weekly"? The exterior is pretty gorgeous too. Love everything about this house - the design, the materials, the impeccable gardening, the fabulous tile and brick work. All of it! A dream home! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great real estate.

The second in the series from Beve, this photo isn't quite capturing the delicate yellow/orange tones of the sunset, but it is a nice image all the same. What a great house on the left! I had forgotten it was there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The onset of illness may be prevented with plenty of garlic, onions, shallots, and a knife.

Bad throat. Need soup. And a bath. This gorgeous number is one of six intended for the 1937 Paris Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life by an artist named Beve. I have four of them. They are nothing short of... well you'll see.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Place Kleber, Strasbourg. Then and now.

Today's autochrome is in my top ten for ultimate gaze-at-it-osity. The location is Place Kleber, Strasbourg, mid '30s I'd say by the cars. So many things to look at! Be sure to click through to the giant version of this and check out the spectacular ads, cars, buildings, people... and this one is in stereo. That autochrome has it going on!

I'm happy to report that this side of Place Kleber is essentially unchanged today! You can still see the same statue of Generale Jean Baptiste Kleber (background check at wikipedia), albeit substantially patinated over these eighty years. I love how the side of the square you can't see is now a very attractive, very modern hotel. Enjoy your stroll through Place Kleber!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parque de María Luisa, Seville. Autochromes of 1929.

Picture it: Seville, Spain 1929. Host to the Ibero-American Exposition of that year. The paint looks fresh on those pillars. The building pictured now houses the Museum of Arts and Traditions. I gave that autochrome to my friend George, who leaves his corazón in Sevilla.

Autochromes: soft, gorgeous reality.

I'm delighted to have finally found a way to reasonably photograph some of my autochromes. These are certainly the jewels of the collection and over the next two weeks, I'll be posting several. The following three have a few things on common, they are a larger format for autochromes, roughly 5" x 7" which make them particularly difficult to see properly without adequate lighting. This is essentially the first time I've experienced their beautiful details all at once, without having to inspect them through the loupe one square inch at a time. The other commonalities are gloriously obvious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, please be sure to view on black.

Autochromes taken inside or around greenhouses really do it for me. It's the combination of flowers en masse and glass panes that is particularly attractive. The second scene is wonderful for it's almost gloomy early-spring mood, and the addition of the house in view gives it delicious gravitas. But for me, the award for most beautiful element goes to the luscious dirt in the bottom left corner of the third autochrome. You can smell it, you can feel it - cool, aromatic and fertile! Simply simply sublime.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vacation, in stereo.

Hey everyone! Your humble servant has been away gallivanting in New York City, Montreal, Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec City and the whole of PEI! I did find some great additions to the archive, not slides and no colour objects, but a nice album (which you'll see soon) and some good stereo objects including a rare tintype stereo portrait of two dapper young gentlemen. Here are some of my finds:

I suspect the Londonderry Hotel was in Great Village, Nova Scotia. See this entry from the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary blog. Nice puppy, must have been a very special dog. I always find a few good stereo cards while on holiday - they're great things to bring home being so compact and sturdy. These new ones well represent some of my favourite subject matter for stereo cards: expositions/awesome rides, winter scenes, interiors, British stuff, groups of handsome fellows, and weird stuff. Please continue!

Oh Pickwick. Get some help.

Good haul, great holiday! And! I finally have been able to make acceptable images of some of my autochromes. More to come soon!