History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

24 October, 2014

Marked Up

Before Photoshop, photographs were hardly left untouched. Professional portraits were retouched and airbrushed from the start. Press prints in particular were worked over to meet the needs of page layout and halftone printing. The main difference is simply in the marks left behind. Crop marks and the painting out of backgrounds for a cut-out effect are common leftovers of the manipulator's hand, leaving behind a wealth of inadvertent surrealism. 

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

A man in a business suit, 1946. Source

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

Polar bears at the Bronx Zoo, 1956. Source

Nationaal Archief

George Mallory (with halo) and other members of the 1924 Everest expedition. Source

Peter Stackpole, LIFE © Time Inc.

Head of Twentieth Century Fox Darryl Zanuck preparing for his daily boxing bout, 1937. Source

Library of Congress

New Zealand cyclist Fred Wells, ca. 1911. Source

State Library of New South Wales

Wrestler Jack Gacek, 1938. Source

State Library of  New South Wales

Harold Hardwick, Australian Olympic gold medallist in swimming, 1912. Source

Library of Congress

Kathryn Diver, ca. 1910- ca. 1915. Source

George Silk, LIFE © Time Inc.

Skier Andrea Mead Lawrence practicing for the Olympics, Vermont, 1947. Source

Smithsonian Institution

Writer Nathalia Clara Ruth Crane, ca. 1930. Source

The Sherwood family, 1915. Source

Smithsonian Institution 

Albert Ernest Jenks, chairman of the University of Minnesota Anthropology Department, 1920s-30s. Source

J. R. Eyerman, LIFE © Time Inc.

Tennis player Jack Kramer, 1953. Source

State Library of New South Wales

The first Australian national rugby team, the Kangaroos, 1908-9. Source

Nina Leen, LIFE © Time Inc.

Glove, 1952. Source

1 comment:

Lauriana said...

That's so cool!
Years ago, I was a photography student and a bit fan of old-school analogue techniques. As a result, I was well aware of this practice but I have rarely seen so many great examples. Thank you.

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