This box is missing its cover lid. On the bottom it reads in pencil “Werne Pahl Baby”
“Feb 3, 1947” and “March 16, 1948”.
Two events, two subjects as we will see. There are a total of 21 negatives in this box. I won’t show then all this time as quite a few of them are duplicates and a few duds. Babies don’t sit still.
As Joel will learn that day, it takes an effort to make a baby do anything other than being a baby.
Next series of images are an attempt to capture the traditional first baby poses. Nothing much has changed.
And last but not least in this series …
What about March 16, 1948 ?
Turns out that these are a series of portraits of Joel’s mother, Clara Mildred Pahl, while knitting.
Joel is experimenting with light in these shots. He’s hand holding a flash reflector over his lens. This is a common technique to avoid the harsh shadows flashlights and project.
Since Joel found the side table a bit distracting, he rearranged things a bit.
In the last two images we can clearly see there’s no posing, Joel’s flash reflector is cutting off the image and … there’s a Life magazine on the side table.
A quick check revealed that this Life magazine was the January 26, 1948 edition. This made it possible for me to properly put the subjects at their proper date.
Joel did print or copy both images above, see the black tape marks at the side.
Looking back at the family images we’ve found in 1946 and 1947, with more to come for 1947, it’s clear that Joel likes “family” and makes them a regular subject.
More family next time, Joel did shoot an awful lot after returning from the war. Not just class assignments. He’s choosing his own subjects.