Portraits, Box 30, July 1947


Two subjects in this box of 17 negatives.

“P. Bush, July 1947” and “John Pearce Child, July 1947”

I’ll be showing all the converted negatives, even after 75 years, these are someone’s relatives or ancestors.

P. Bush ends up to be a number of portraits of a young couple sunbathing in a grassy area. I have no references who P. Bush is in the images.

It’s clear that Joel is going through the angles to see what works. This is not the beach and the horizon is seldom neat.

Young woman sunbathing, July 1947
Young woman sunbathing, July 1947
Young woman sunbathing, July 1947

These shots work so much better at a beach with water in the background for a clean horizon line.

Young woman sunbathing, July 1947
Young couple sunbathing, July 1947

And in the last image, Joel got most of the clutter out of the view for a perfectly printable image with an almost commercial feel. He is either using a flash or a reflector to light the faces as the bodies are backlit.

Young couple sunbathing, July 1947

The second series of portraits is of a young child, John Pearce’s child, indoors and outdoors. Joel worked hard here to get something that can be printed for display.

We’ve now seen Joel take on a few assignments where young children are photographed. Not sure if he considered making this a paid activity.

Young child with stuffed animal, July 1947
Young child with stuffed animal, July 1947
Young child with stuffed animal, July 1947

Joel is using “hot lights” on a tripod to light his subject, and the shadow is frankly speaking distracting.

Joel figured it out that he didn’t want this contrast and he adjusted his lighting setup for the next images. The end result is a much softer look.

Young child, July 1947
Young child with toy, July 1947

Both image were printed at some point in time, the last image shows that Joel has a good sense of humor.

Next portraits are all outdoors.

Young child with toy house, July 1947
Young child with toy, July 1947

Joel is using a reflector to light up the child’s face, unfortunately, the toy house is casting a shadow.

Last two images are of the child in a bicycle basket.

Young child in bicycle basket, July 1947
Young child in bicycle basket, July 1947

I’m giving Joel a lot of credit for methodologically trying out angles and envisioning the end result. With film photography, you have to wait till you develop the negatives to figure out what you’ve got. There was no instant photography in 1947.

Good photography required a lot of confidence, practice and intimate knowledge of the tools.

Cheers !


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