Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black and White Lens


Photographs in black and white appear somber, yet the image becomes dominant when color is no longer there to distract.  In the following photographs, I've included a bit of background information about each one.


Merritt Stampede 1936

A relative is in the first row of cowboys, second from the right, wearing a black outfit, and black hat on a black horse.  Notice the cars parked alongside the parade route.  A stampede is like a rodeo which includes western skills in races, roping and agility.  This was a time without television, so anything coming to town was exciting news.  Radio ruled.

Merritt, B.C., now sponsors Rodeo Fair Days, while larger cities such as Calgary, Alberta, hosts a much larger stampede event. 


Merritt Stampede Parade, 1936, Local cowboys, prop. DGH Collection


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The Royal Hudson

A special steam train previously operated by BC Railway and used for tours of the coastline between Vancouver and Squamish, B.C.  This class of steam engine, built in 1938, earned the title of 'royal' for its never-failing service to the royals during their cross-country tour in 1939.

King George VI and the queen consort, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the Queen Mother) arrived in Canada on May 17, 1939.  Their train was a silver and blue 2850 steam engine.  The King allowed the name to be called the 'Royal Hudson' and to display Royal Crowns on the running boards.




The Royal Hudson 2860, 1940s Vintage Steam Engine, by Green Eye



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Fort Jefferson

In 1846, a coastal fortress is built in the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles from the Florida Keys.

The arches shown below used some of the total 16 million bricks that were carted by ship from Boston, Massachusettes, to the Dry Tortugas. Small windows were set in the brick walls, narrowed for sighting of guns, and to prevent entry of enemy cannonballs.  Dripping water from rain and constant humidity leaves deposits of sediment on the corridor floor.




Dry Tortugas, Ft. Jefferson arched corridor, by DG Hudson



Fast-forward to 2006, when we went to the Dry Tortugas on a catamaran adventure tour.  See Key West, a previous post with more details.  Fort Jefferson, the monument, is an interesting place with a history connected to Abe Lincoln and his assassination, one of the dark times in American history.  When we were there, reconstruction was underway for some storm damaged sections.

http://www.nps.gov/drto/historyculture/fort-jefferson.htm


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Do you like black and white photography?   OR do you prefer color?  Who doesn't like cowboys, trains or pirate islands?  Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by.


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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Hudson  - Royal Hudson Trains

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Jefferson,_Florida - Fort Jefferson Monument

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_Tortugas_National_Park - The Dry Tortugas


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20 comments:

  1. I love old photographs, as you know. Check out the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. I mine them regularly!

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    1. I'll do that, Sean. I'd love to find out more about the native Indians who migrated into Canada from the southwest. We think another of hub's relatives may have come north that way.

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  2. I love black & white and used to bring a camera loaded w/ b&w film on all my vacations. Of course now w/ digital editing, all you have to do is remove the colour from the pics. I currently have a roll of b&w film that has to be developed but more and more places are getting out of the film biz, unfortunately. It has pics on it from trips I took in 2010!!

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    1. I'm the same, JoJo. I still have a SLR, which uses film, that we brought before our digital SLR. Try to find slow speed B&W for portraits. Not easy. Nice to know a few of us still like B&W.

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  4. I enjoy old black and white photos too. Somehow the contrast can feel much more dramatic, or haunting I suppose. Love the train photo. My son is a train nut. He could probably tell you more about that train than you ever cared to know. :))

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    1. Glad to hear you like the B&Ws, LG. About the trains? Hubs is a railway guy, and was an engineer for a few years. He'd love to talk to another railway fan. We've taken the passenger train through the Rockies up here before, too. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. I especially love the train picture in black and white. My kids and I took a train from Cincinnati to DC and back a few years ago. Parts of it were horrible (the incredible delays and the constant jiggling after I ate pizza that didn't agree with me), but the view was amazing, and we'll never forget it.

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    1. We took this train, the Royal Hudson several times when visitors came. (when it was operating). We've also taken a train through the Rockies to Edmonton, Alberta. Thanks for stopping by, Tonja.

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  6. I love black and white pictures. There's such a sense of history in them.

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    1. I agree, Sherry. I love the history too, and am so glad someone thought to photographs all these past events.

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  7. I absolutely love black and white pictures! I've got a bunch of my family's, but I like to look at them even if they have no personal bearing for me. That first one was very cool! I'm glad you know which is your relative.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Well, you can always use those pix for mining ideas about something to write, even if you don't know who anyone is in the photo.

      The cowboy we mentioned in the first photo is hubs' uncle and was one of the top rodeo riders in the area.

      Thanks for visiting, Shannon!

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  8. I enjoy black and white photos! All of them seem to have some sort of story behind them, which is really cool.

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  9. There is much to be said for either medium. Black and white is good for evoking emotions and memories which is probably due to the less distraction of color. I'm also a big fan of B&W movies--especially film noir. Some older movies--such as certain musicals and period pieces-- need to be colorized, but there are other films which would be ruined by adding the color.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I love film noir. Black and white portraits are my favourites, tho'.

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  10. @Gina - 'Every picture tells a story. . .' I like portraits in black and white, too.

    @Rose - I do too! The endless corridor.

    @Arlee - Scenery and some buildings look better in color. I only like a few of those colorized old films.

    Thanks you guys, for dropping by!

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  11. I love looking at old photos. I saw some amazing film of the Pan Am exhibition in 1901 or somewhere around there. The Library of Congress has it. Only 100 years ago, the world just got electricity, but it's like visiting a different world. Amazing.

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    1. I think Sean (from the Iraq post) mentioned the Library of Congress as well as the source of some of his civil war shots.

      Thanks, M.

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