Pray for men: dark armistice with voids

John Vachon, “[Untitled photo, possibly related to: Armistice Day parade, Omaha, Nebraska],” November 1938. U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2017717708/. Contrast and detail post-processed. The small holes at the top and bottom of the image are the sprocket holes in Vachon’s 35-millimeter negative. The single large hole was punched by the Farm Security Administration’s Roy Stryker to deface images that he had rejected from the collection (Alex Q. Arbuckle, “1930s ‘Killed’ Photographs,” https://mashable.com/2016/03/26/great-depression-killed-photos/).

Gesticulations from the age of steam

Three weeks into the Armistice, the dazzle painting still at its work of making illusion;

the hats waved as they had been in the days of plume;

perhaps a shouted word in a now dead language, such as “Hurrah!”;

on the evidence of this illusive little history, a belief that war can be over.

Returning American soldiers on the liner Mauretania, New York, December 2, 1918. George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2014708122/. Contrast, detail and perspective corrected.

 

Photohistory, illuminated: resisting fingerprints and fungus, a part of her memory continues standing guard

“Berlin night watch.” George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2014700104/. Contrast and detail restored. The Library dates this photograph to 1914 or 1915 — that is, the Great War — but the date written on the negative in the upper left corner, probably Bain’s filing date, is prewar: “10/19/12.”

 

The dark contrast control

It’s one of Nik’s filters for Photoshop, and I’ve recently been using it to redo the images in some of my old blogposts. When the posts deal with history and its ironies, that little technical change turns out to deepen the illusion of meaning in the image. So here’s a magic kit from six years ago, now used a little better after some adult help.

https://jonathanmorse.blog/2014/12/27/heraldic/