blastfromthepast

Then-and-Now Photos of the Civilian Conservation Corps – Photography Article

It was, for most of them, the first happy time in their lives, and for some, the last and only. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as part of his New Deal, penned the Civilian Conservation Corps into existence. Its primary goal was job creation: young men, aged 17-28, could sign up to work as unskilled laborers, usually on projects to develop the nation’s national parks and forests. Pay was thirty bucks a month — the origin of the phrase…

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This Vivitar Film Camera Commercial Didn’t Age Well – Photography Article

Here’s a commercial Vivitar ran about a decade ago to convince older picture-takers to switch back to simple film cameras from the frustrating world of digital. The TV spot, produced by Blue Moon Studios and shared to its YouTube channel in 2010, bemoans the changes in photography brought on by the digital revolution. “Digital cameras take good pictures,” the ad says. “The problem is, your photos end up staying your camera, or you’re forced to sit at your computer to…

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Photoflash Bombs Were Once Used to Light Nighttime Aerial Photos – Photography Article

Digital cameras can see in color in near darkness these days, but decades ago, there were very different solutions for capturing usable photos at night. One example is the photoflash bomb, a special type of bomb that was designed specifically to explode in midair and illuminate the world below for aerial photos. The photoflash bomb was commonly used by military spy planes to capture images of the ground at night from higher (and safer) altitudes. From the outside, they looked…

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LAPD Crime Scene Photos from the Mid-1900s – Photography Article

A new exhibition in Los Angeles will feature crime scene photos captured by police officers in the Los Angeles Police Department from between 1925 and the 1970s. Back in 2001, Fototeka founder Merrick Morton, who’s also a photographer and LAPD reserve officer, received unprecedented access to Los Angeles’ records department and its immense photo archive. At the City Records Center in downtown Los Angeles, which houses 150 years worth of city documents in 47,500 square feet of cardboard crates, Morton…

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These Photos Ended Child Labor in the US – Photography Article

Photographs have the power to bring issues to the forefront of public consciousness and spark change in society. Here’s a 6.5-minute video by Vox that tells the story of how photographer Lewis Wickes Hine helped end child labor in the United States. In the year 1900, the US Federal Census revealed that there were 1.75 million children younger than 16 that were employed and working jobs across the country in places such as farms, mills, factories, and mines. The non-profit…

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Discovering Century-Old Dry Plate Photos – Photography Article

In my work travels, I recently met someone who gave me an interesting gift. Several years back he had been driving down a back road in Virginia and came across an old, abandoned farmhouse. He stopped and peeked in to see if anyone was using the place (you can’t be too careful about what you run across that looks abandoned these days), and saw only cobwebs. He went in and found an interesting box by Seed’s Dry Plates. The company…

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