One of the negative sleeves I just came across in the Jessica Fong Collection has a few subjects stashed away. The writing on the sleeve relates to a lens test Joel did on his new Graphic View camera in 1957.
Why these negatives ended up in this unrelated sleeve will always remain a mystery. As such, there is no certainty on the time these images were photographed.
Some material is recognisable from earlier series.
First images in the series is a duplication from a press negative of a sawmill we’ve covered before, the Alpine Mill and Lumber Company on Sutter and Alpine, photographed somewhere in 1949.
Next three negatives are a still life of a fruit-vegetable juxtaposition. Joel photographs flowers, fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. He loves gardening.
Next images need some explaining. In addition to gardening and photography, Joel was also interested in genealogy. He documented his family as much and often as he could. Witness the many images he took during his lifetime of his immediate family, and Joel maintained a collection of images of ancestors and their relatives.
The images above and below are made from the same scene and one ended up flipped. It’s a still life of a floral arrangement with a tintype and carte de visite (CDV) book. In the front there are two 19th century daguerreotypes of a man and a woman.
I believe the latter to be all Dardis ancestors. I did acquire the CDV book and found out the relationship of all these ancestors to Joel for most of them. Some of the tintypes came from Ireland, the CDV are mostly from Sonoma County and a few from Stockton late 19th century photographers. I’ll cover this book’s contents at some point in a future blog post.
From ancestral images we jump to more modern material. The front of a Yamaha motorcycle.
Joel must have been intrigued by the symmetry of the head and signal lights. I believe this image to be from the 1980’s.
The rest of the negatives are all trees in fog. They’re quite good and ready for print. These would fit well with the series Joel kept in the “Stockton Oak Trees” negative sleeve.
As is clear from the prints below, Joel is using two negatives and creates variations, all in search of the “best image rendering” by playing with film development techniques.
With these images we’re indeed far away from Joel’s usual photography fare. He is evolving.