Infrared Negatives, Box 6, 1942


I found 4 infrared negatives in the previous box, and based on subject matter, I stayed away from discussing these and keep publication for this blog post. There are 23 negatives in this #6 box, and they are all Eastman Film Infrared negatives.

Although there was no expiration date on the prints, subject matter clearly shows these images were taken somewhere in 1942, and at least one of them was early 1942.

In total 27 images to go through in this post, I tried to group them per location or subject matter as much as I could.

Infrared film renders tonality differently because of the sensitivity to infrared light in the spectrum. Infrared is not really visible to the human eye, but this type of film makes it visible by shifting the infrared spectrum into the visible spectrum for humans. With the proper color filters, such as a #25, one can selectively emphasize spectral response.

Blue skies are rendered dark to almost black while greens and green foliage take on a lighter to almost white color.

Joel was clearly not afraid to experiment with new possibilities and this range of images shows he equally experimented with different colors of filters in front of the lens to evaluate the impact on the image. It is not clear he printed any of these, time will tell.

All of these took quite a bit of experimentation from my side to print in a proper tonality, some of them were overexposed and that is not a surprise, all in light of the rudimentary incident light meter Joel was using at the time.

Morris Chapel under construction, before April 1942, COP

Observe the almost black sky in above because of the use of a #25 red filter, a stark difference with standard B&W. But this image confirms a date range prior to the Morris Chapel dedication on April 19, 1942.

COP campus, 1942, image pulled from infrared negative.

Observe how the green foliage in the above image is light in color, courtesy of the infrared film spectral response and the fact that green foliage reflects infrared light. It appears no #25 red filter was used in above image, observe the absence of a dark blue sky.

Farm house, infrared negative, unidentified location, 1942
Farm house, infrared negative, no filter, unidentified location, 1942
Barn and tank, infrared negative, unidentified location, 1942
Barn and tank, infrared negative, unidentified location, 1942

The repetition in subject matter indicates that Joel is experimenting with angle, perspective, camera setting and/or color filters. Shooting infrared requires experience to predict what the outcome will be.

Two last images are the farm George Akimoto and other student artists used in their artwork in prior blog posts.

Barn and more, infrared negative, unidentified location, 1942

The other 19 images are all landscapes, some at a body of water, others showing plains from a higher up vantage point. Few show houses. Joel went on a road-trip.

At this point in time, I have no idea where these locations are and I believe some of these locations would be hard to identify 80 years later.

Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942

It’s not that hard to see that the above 3 images series were made in a panoramic fashion with stationary tripod.

Landscape with river, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape with river, unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape (with SF Bay ?), unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape (with SF Bay ?), unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape (with SF Bay ?), unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942
Landscape (with SF Bay ?), unidentified location, infrared negative, 1942

Joel kept himself busy, for sure.

We may not immediately figure out where all these landscapes were photographed from, but some landscape features remain the same. I count on readers of this blog to suggest possibilities wherever feasible.

From Kodachromes and other materials, we know he ventured out to San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Carmel in 1941, Joel did get around.

WIth a 27 total infrared images, one can only assume he shot 3 boxes of a dozen. This means, 9 negatives unaccounted for.

Two more negative boxes to peruse for 1942 !

Cheers !


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