Based on the April 15. 1948 date pencilled on the box lid, we’re taking a step back in time.
Two subjects, portraits of a young man, and images of a large piece of dredging equipment.
Heavy equipment is always a good subject. Technology is always a good conversation topic, and from a photography perspective, lends itself to abstract imagery.
Joel has clearly worked around the dredger to give us detail and some sense of scale.
There were 5 more images in this box, all portraits of Philippe Bush. He must have been a good friend of Joel, there are multiple photo shoots throughout this discovery and Joel also photographed Philippe’s wedding to Frances Mack later that year on June 5, 1948. Philippe and Frances were both College of Pacific graduates.
Maybe Phillippe was just being a good sport, and let Joel practice his portrait lighting skills. The lighting in Joel’s portraits has evolved (and improved) No longer harsh shadows, but a more diffused light.
Also very clear in above 5 portraits is the experimentation with direction of light. All the above images were printed at some point in time.