Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
As photographic film continues its inexorable decline to the status of quaint, if not forgotten, technology, I offer this example demonstrating one of its often-derided properties: grain. If you follow home video fora, you'll see many who think it's something to be minimized if not expunged entirely. Of course, grain is why there is an image in the first place. I think the heavy grain structure in this 35mm Kodacolor 1000 negative I shot in 1985 lends a rather painterly quality, especially viewed full-size. The flatironish building in the center is San Francisco's Columbus Tower, aka the Sentinel Building, begun a year before the earthquake and completed a year later in 1907. Since 1970, it's been the headquarters of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope studio; The Godfather was edited and sound- mixed here. Also,
a K-car an M-body Chrysler Fifth Avenue taxi. View full size.