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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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Christmas Break: 1958

Christmas Break: 1958

December 1958. My godmother and her family pay us a Christmastime visit and we all pose for this interesting shot. At upper right, my mother, father and brother stand beyond the range of focus behind my godmother; tterrace version 12.4 sits in front of her, and on the left her family: Alfred and his wife, and Milton, who has thoughtfully broken his leg, thereby adding a certain piquancy normally absent from scenes like this. On his cast, under "What are you looking at" is a Christmassy version of the classic Kilroy graffito.

My brother set this shot up, using the relatively new ASA 100 Super Anscochrome film and a 500-watt daylight photoflood bulb. Unfortunately a serious miscalculation resulted in a grossly overexposed slide, and I sweated bullets to get this much image and color from it. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

LOVE shows

I love the way your dad has his arm around your mom's waist & I'm willing to bet she is hugging him, too! Beautiful, loving photo, THANK YOU

Gigabytes of paper & pencil

Many photographers like TTerrace write down notes on exposures, etc. at the time the image is shot. Slides and negatives pretty much uniformly note the type of film. It's a vanishing world.

And go easy on 12.4, unless you are willing to share your own 7th-grade mug.

Christmas Past, Christmas Present

I collect vintage Christmas ornaments. I swear that I have some of those similar to yours on my tree at present, especially the light blue one at the top left. Awesome.

The name game

Not really related: I've never met a person named Milton, but my father named one of the rooms in our house Milton.

I can practically smell the eggnog

So glad you sweated the bullets, this pic is beautiful. I have tons of similar of my family in mid to late 60s. These colors are so wonderful. Would love to see more of yours.

[You can see more of tterrace's photos here. - Dave]

What makes tterrace's

photos especially wonderful are his heartfelt explanations. This one is exceptional, as is the photo content!

Great Pic

Milton's ring is amazing.

Gigabytes of human memory

It is remarkable to me how can you remember all the minute details of the specific brand film & lighting used in a photo taken over 50 years ago. You amaze me, tterace

Always awesome!

Thanks for sharing T.


looks like she probably brought good cookies and her accordion to the party. I hope so!

Great job!

I think that, under the circumstances, you did very well to get this much color.

Anscochrome 100

I found using any Ansco film products were at best, minimal quality. Most of their film did give over exposure prints and slides. I'm surprised you were able to get this good a photo from it.

Christmas time was similar to yours. My grandmother and great-aunt would visit us. Very nice group photo. Thanks for sharing with us.

Open Wide

The extremely shallow depth of field exhibited here, along with your comment about how overexposed the original slide is, points towards the photographer accidentally leaving the aperture wide open, probably due to the fact older cameras had to be manually opened to the wide open position to facilitate focusing, and then resetting the aperture to the proper F-stop to properly expose the film. Nice work on the adjustments on this image, it's always hard to put detail into blown-out highlights.

Best tterrace picture EVER!

I love them all, of course, but this is my favorite by far. I love everything about it - the subject matter, the tree, the broken leg, tterrace, the curtains, the slightly grainy quality. The colors are great as well - the pops of red on Mom, Dad, tterrace and Alfred's wife are fantastic. And the expression on the Godmother's face is priceless, without having that "smile for the camera" look. It's all just too good to be true!
Best. Photo. Ever.

Is the Xmas tree real?

It looks like a slightly healthier version of the tree Charlie Brown cut down a few years later. But the trunk looks too skinny and uniform for a real tree. Looks as if everyone had a nice Xmas.

Move over Elvis

tterrace version 12.4 = "babe-magnet."

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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