View Full Version : Alfred T. Palmer

02-20-2010, 01:52 PM
Alfred T. Palmer who was a photographer for the The United States Office of War Information was known for his portraits of men and women at work in different parts of the was effort. He was known for his use of "crude" lighting that gave his photos a feel of extreme contrast. I find a lot of photographers who worked for different departments of the US government (mostly from around early 1930 - late 40's) did some stunning photos although most were staged they served the purpose for the message they were trying to convey. I do tend to favour his industrial working environment shots.

Category:Alfred T. Palmer - Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Alfred_T._Palmer)

02-20-2010, 02:56 PM
Many of us can't get images of that clarity today. I do wonder how much those images have been improved from original archive material? I know the English had no hang ups about colour but I thought the USA was very colour orientated and did not have mixed colour units. Yet it shows mixed colour on tank crew!
Something wrong! May be pictures were taken 1942 but not real! Reckon they were all actors?
OK maybe wrong. but picture of Douglas A-20C-BO Havoc at Langley Field, Virginia (USA) shows people as if working on plane. Why? If in USA it wasn't in active service so why would 4 men be working on it?

02-20-2010, 10:23 PM
All the photos were staged of course I thought it was self explanatory when I said the photos were staged lol, they were for propaganda purposes. And you are correct the American military did not have mixed units during WWII. In July of 1948 the U.S. officially desegregated the armed forces if my memory serves me correctly.

02-21-2010, 01:29 AM
File:Operating a hand drill this woman worker is shown working on the horizontal stabilizer.jpg - Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Operating_a_hand_drill_this_woman_worker_is_s hown_working_on_the_horizontal_stabilizer.jpg)

Pretty typical of these photos is showing women while doing the work that was formerly done by men, still manage to dress fashionably with nicely styled hair, lipstick and nail polish.

This is such a great photo. It is something like you would expect to see from joe McNally today:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carpenter_at_the_TVA%27s_Douglas_dam_on_the_F rench_Broad_River,_Tenn.jpg

I love the Library of Congress. They are on Flickr as well, so anyone that has Flickr and loves these old photos should mark them as a contact so you can keep up with what's new on there as well.

02-21-2010, 11:12 PM
Well those photos were what really got me hooked on Kodachrome film which they no longer make. Kodachrome was just great colour film and it is too bad 2009 was the last year it was made, might be able to find the odd roll still floating around.

02-22-2010, 02:27 AM
I had forgotten about the film and speeds 64 ASA I seem to remember was standard but remember using 25ASA for removing people in busy street. And 100 ASA for slides. There was some faster stuff but was grainy. OK for print but with slide on big screen not much good.

Never tried projecting pictures from D-SLR biggest is 32 inch TV and the picture on that is not really high definition even if it did say so on box.

I know colour was around from 1936 (OK 1861 but that was not mass produced film) but I have only found professional stuff pre-1956 I remember my mother with a rack of colours adding tints to pictures after they were printed.

Seem to remember one needed a colour camera! And I can't work out why most cameras would not work with colour but know they didn't. Maybe it was because the exposure latitude needed a light meter with colour but sunny and cloudy was enough with black and white?

Could also be the film counter letting in red light but don't think so?

But although my pictures were OK when taken, now they are on reddish side and all need some correction. However these second world war pictures show no signs of deterioration. My prints seem to have faired better than slides. Pity as best stuff was on slide.

02-22-2010, 12:18 PM
The colour images do not look like past 1940's images I've see in terms of their colour; they look like they were corrected.