U.S. Camera Annual 1952K. Praslowicz
Well it has only been a mere three years since I last took bad reproduction photos from a U.S. Camera annual and shared them. Guess that means time for another! This time I’ll be picking out select images from the 1952 U.S. Camera annual.
Per normal the annual has photos from the heavy weight photographers at the time. Robert Frank, W. Eugene Smith, Irving Penn and whatever landscapes Ansel Adams and Ed and Brett Weston have produced. The 1952 annual also includes a fifteen page spread on Philippe Halsman, which includes his famous piece created with Salvador Dali – In Voluptas Mors. The image was also included with a two page spread of behind the scenes images of the creating of the photo which contains a few more views than the typical behind the scenes photos of the photoshoot that I’ve seen passed around the Internet.
Reginald McGovern – “WHOOM!”
Outstanding news photographs catch for posterity those all-too-brief moments that make history: fleeting expressions, sudden flare-ups, off-guard poses of celebrities; split-second events that must be caught at the right instant of forever lost. To the long and distinguished list of news pictures taken at the right instant, can be added this remarkable on-the-spot photograph by Reginald McGovern. All the drama of firefighting; the very impact and resulting danger of a cataclysmic chemical explosion are captured here by an alert witness.
Paul Berg – Mother and Child
A staff photographer on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since 1942, Berg made this picture while doing an audience reaction story at a local open-air circus. He usad an Automatic Rolleiflex, exposing at 1/250ths of a second at f/8 with a #5 syncronized flash-bulb
The many pages of World War II imagery that were in the U.S. Camera editions from the 1940s have been replaced by many pages of the current U.S. conflict, The Korean War.
David Gleason, U.S. Army – Assault Boat Hits Underwater Demolition Charge
The summer of 1951 producted some of the largest and most ardouos training exercises since the war. Large units of ground troops were used combined with close tactical air support. Particular emphasis was placed on the use of air-borne troops and developing of the technique of air-drop of heavy equipment. The training was realistic and rough and there were casualties. The dramatic photo shows men and equpment being hurled skyward as an assaulf boat of the 47th Infantry Devision at Camp Rcuker, Ala. accidentaly hit an underwater demolition charge which had drifted into its path. Ten men were injured, on (at top of picture) sustained a broken back, but no one was killed.
Stanley Tretick – GI Rescues Rabbit
Out of the flaming ruins of a bombed and deserted village an American trooper of the First Calvary Division dashes out with a live rabbit. Stanley Tretick, former Marine Corps photographer during World War II, does not report on the ultimate fate of the animal.
The 1952 issue seems to have two prevailing reoccurring themes. Nude women and cats. Cat images such as Cat and Mouse by Jack Gorman.
A staff photographers on the San Francisco Examiner since 1945, Gorman attributes the remarkable results of his cat and mouse pictures to “perspiration, perspicacity, plus the normal reactions of two oblong subjects.” Three strobe units froze the action, with Gorman using a 4×5 Speed Graphic and Panchro-Press Type-B film. Synchronizing his shutter with the strobe units, Gorman set his f/4.5 Ektar lens to an aperture of f/32 to make this interesting series
And as if that, and the many other single cat pictures weren’t enough, there is a mighty ten page spread of woolly long haired cats by George Cserna simply titled CATS in the 1952 edition of U.S. Camera.
“One evening,” says Cserna, “Saas and I developed an idea to photograph cats . . . a whole series of them.We looked in the Lausanne telephone book and found the address of a place where thoroughbred cats are bred, trained and sold.
…we returned with our equipment and planned to take the pictures we wanted in a few hours. But we had planned without considering the moods and temperaments of the cats. Instead of a few hours, it took us several days.
“Another problem was a common one familiar to all photographers of children with mothers present at the sitting. The two old ladies who trained the cats where forever combing, brushing and trying to “pose” their charges in a manner they preferred.”
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