RUSSELL LEE: A “PRETTY” MOMENT

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April 1942. “Hollywood, California. Girl on the street.”

Photo by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information (OWI)

What do we know about this photo?

He used a Rollieflex camera (the square negative).

It was downtown L.A.

We know the Admiral theater was still A theater showing first run movies (Casablanca?).

It was a warm day (jacket in hand).

She’d already been traveling (tag on the suitcase).

Lee was doing the original “street photography (no interaction).”

They -he and her- were standing at 1645 Vine Street (http://bit.ly/2aO5FYf).

The Depression was not over but for OWI photographers it was out-of-sight. The new theme was America The Healthy.

Lee appreciated the “pretty” as well as the depraved (and that was consistent. His Depression-era photos all hint at the positive).

Still photography “sticks,” freezes moments in time, forever, and perusing them is better than fine wine: the “taste” can last forever.

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Branded Courthouse

Eddy County New Mexico Courthouse, June 2012,

photograph by ©Bruce Berman

Construction on the the Eddy County, New Mexico Courthouse was begun in 1891. Up to $30,000 was allotted for its construction. The brands of cattle ranches from the region were etched around the west doors in 1940 and have been maintained there since.

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Ranch Full Of Cadillacs: Miss You Bad

Cadilac Ranch, Interstate 40, Amarillo, Texas

©2012 Bruce Berman

Post by Bruce Berman

Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. Cadillac Ranch is currently located along Interstate 40 and is clearly visible to all cross country visitors. It was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997 the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor two miles (three kilometers)  to a cow pasture on the edge of the town of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

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The FSA Shooters: Jack Delano

Photo By Jack Delano- Library of Congress/OWI, Dec. 1942

Article by Bruce Berman

This image is of a General view of one of the yards of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, Chicago, Ill.

Notice the film’s edges, indicating it was shot with a “4X5” camera, probably a Speed Graphic which was the “Go To” press camera of the era.

Also, notice, it was shot in color, a rarity in this era. Since it was a “positive,” meaning that the image was not reversed (a “negative”) but positive (the image showed correctly) , it was, undoubtedly shot on Kodak’s  Kodachrome film.

This was not as easy a photograph to make as it first appears.

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