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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bondi Beach: 1969

Bondi Beach: 1969

Sydney, Australia 1969. 35mm Kodachrome Transparency taken by Unknown American Soldier on shore leave from Vietnam. Scanned and Restored by Davis Pascal Ayer. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Photoshop Tips

For anyone using Photoshop to sharpen, I have a little tip:
Instead of using a sharpening filter (usually the ironically named "unsharp mask"), make a duplicate layer, then go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and pick a radius of between 2 and 5 pixels (mustn't overdo, or you'll see the halo effect). Then go to the Layers palette, and in the dropdown where it says Normal, scroll down to "Soft Light." You can then adjust opacity if needed. Flatten layers. This will sharpen only the hard edges, and leave the softer edges alone.

[I'm not sure the sharpening filters have anything to do with those white halos. They look more like the result of using a selection tool with feathering set to some non-zero value. Overall, I think it's a great picture. - Dave]

Over Sharpening

Referring to the comment below, the effect you are referring to is over-sharpening. A little less sharpening would have been preferable.


Maybe it's because this picture was restored, but it looks manipulated - especially because of the white halos around nearly everything in front of the shoreline -makes it all look pasted on.

I could be in this picture!

My family was stationed in Australia from 1968 to 1970. We often visited Sydney and made several stops at Bondi. Once we were at a bar/restaurant in Sydney full of American servicemen on leave from Vietnam. They talked to my older brother and me (8 years old) because they were so homesick.

Go Older

I live just four streets back from Bondi and at least from that angle it still looks the same. It is what is off camera to the the left where it begins to change. It is curious I rcently came across another picture of Bondi over at the Powerhouse Museum flickr page that is a little older :


Good old Bondi!

I went to boarding college only 10 minutes' drive from Bondi Beach. In my final years (1963 & 1964) I and some mates would drive down to the beach in an old 1939 Pontiac that we'd all chipped in to buy.

The headlights didn't work, so it couldn't be driven at night, but it was fine for getting to and from Bondi, as we'd load it up with 10 bodies and they all had to hit the kitty for petrol!

Bondi was THE place to latch on to a "bird" (during daylight hours) and, as a respite from studying for final exams, was a brilliant safety valve for we 17 & 18 year-olds.

I have many fond memories associated with Bondi and in '63/'64 it looked EXACTLY like this photo. Wonderful!


Love this stuff. The Kodachrome has a great 1960s film feel to it - totally different quality than the one from Wikipedia that someone linked. It's striking, though, how similar they are.

Shore leave

Wow, having to leave this and go back to Vietnam must have been awful. I hope he was able to enjoy himself...

Those buildings in the background ...

Man, the architecture on those buildings makes it look like the island was a penal colony or something. So cold and spartan looking.

Oh, wait ...


This is one of Australia's most famous beaches - at the suburb of Bondi in Sydney. Except for the costumes, or more correctly, the lack of them, this could have been taken recently. Pinke Zinke is still a favourite sunblock.

Bondi Beach

So I typed "Bondi Beach" into Wikipedia's search box and the first photo to show up is this:

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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