Wednesday, July 25

What.. what was that name?

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Pittsburgh on a cloudy day annoys my memory. I am old enough to remember grade school textbooks which carried few if any colored pictures. And many of the illustrations were bought from a famous clip service. Whether they were art or history books - there were a lot of monochrome images that looked like engravings. And they all came from the same place. And here's where the memory thing cuts in. I can recall the pictures. And I can recall that they all had a credit line. And that even when they were colored the hues looked cheerlessly weird. As if the printer could only mix about seven or eight colors total... and almost all of them were gloomy primary hues. Which of course made their subjects seem somehow –grim.

Does this resonate with anyone? What I'm after was the name on the credit line. The company that supplied the images was a gallery, or a studio... darn. I don’t even know how to set up a Google search.

But anyway... no matter what I did with this picture of Pittsburgh on a dreary day - it made itself look like this. Like an artificially colored engraving in a child's ancient textbook. I think perhaps this says a lot more about me, than about Steel City, eh?


A flurry of email revealed that I was thinking of the Bettman Archives. Begun in the 1930's by John Bettman the huge collection.. sometimes called "The Clip Mine" was bought by Bill Gates some years back. And whatever they pictured in my grade-school-years looked a lot like this example over on Corbis....

1 comment:

Debra Trean said...

I understand what your saying and looking back on the text books I used I must agree. I do recall getting to use Life magazines for projects and they were my first introduction to wonderful photography.