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Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Man of Steel: 1942

Man of Steel: 1942

November 1942. Columbia Steel at Geneva, Utah. Servicing one of the floodlights that turn night into day on the construction site of a new steel plant needed for the war effort. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Andreas Feininger.

 

Processing the photos

>>>They are all processed (by me)

So is that a straightforward process, or is it lots of careful optimization that differs for each picture, to make them look so good?

[They're all different. There's a lot of futzing around. The older black-and-white glass negatives take the most time. - Dave]

Columbia Steel

My Dad was working for Columbia Steel at the time this photo was taken, in their Los Angeles mill. Columbia was later bought out by Alcoa.

Photoshop Plugin

I am looking for a photoshop plugin to achieve the amazing 40's Kodachromes we are seeing here at Shorpy.

[You don't need a plug-in. Just use the filters that are already there. - Dave]

Another great photograph.

Another great photograph. You can see the photographer in the reflection of the bulb reflector! Neat!

CS2/3 Filters

I would love to know where you get these filters from! I am a new-ish photographer, and I work with cheapie equipment. It seems this may be the trick to add that extra "oomph" to what can be a dull photo. (My all too common result of cheap lenses and cheap cameras!)
Thank you ^_^

Beffy

[The filters come with Photoshop. - Dave]

Kodachrome II

Re the comment below, the Kodachromes on the LOC website are raw tiffs right off the scanner, not corrected for color cast. They are all processed (by me) using the various filters in Photoshop CS3. Most of them have a greenish-yellow cast probably due to aging of the film, characteristics of the scanner (Sinar 54) or a combination of both. Below is a before-and-after example. Click the image to view full size.

Another example (underexposed, strong blue color cast):

Kodachrome

That's it, I'm buying some Kodachrome right now. I haven't shot 35mm in years (though I do continue to shoot 120 in a twin lens camera). Unfortunately, modern lens coatings give colors that can be immediately distinguished from those of earlier generations. I will have to pick out an older lens to have any hope of images like the one above.

Perhaps somebody smarter than I am can explain the focal plane in this image -- how can the man's face be in focus, and the bulb, but not his hand?

[The bulb is at the back of the reflector, a few inches closer to his face than his hand is. - Dave]

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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