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Roots: 1949

Roots: 1949

My brother and me, blissfully unaware of what our hair would be like 25 years later. On a 1949 visit to our grandparents in Calpella, Calif. On the right, there's the family Hudson when it was still new. From a 120 roll film negative shot by my sister. View full size.

Calling my Sister--Reply

I seemed to have a natural knack in photographing people in the early days. The thing was I had a 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 camera with a big glass viewfinder on the top. A Kodak Duaflex. Not TTL but close --WYSIWYG pretty much. Later when I started doing 35mm and started photographing flowers and such, my people photos came out awful for the most part. Even with TTL. However, I was told in photography classes taken years later, that my composition was good.

Calling my sister...

I know she's out there, maybe she'll chime in.

I never consciously analyzed the composition before, but you're absolutely right. I did straighten it a bit and lop off some film fogging on the left, and then ShorpyLabs brought out the contrast nicely. My grandfather built this house, by the way, sometime around 1915-1920. It's still there, but since remodeled into near-unrecognizability, though the area itself hasn't changed much at all: rolling hills and vineyards.


Do you think your sister took the time to set that shot up with the stair railings breaking it up into thirds with you two lined up so your brother balanced with the car in the background? Or was that just a lucky shot?

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