The Poetry Place

Old black and white photos

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 16:49:17

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 16:49:17

As complete as it is going to be for a while.....

Here is another batch of tiny snaps
Measured in inches: 3 by 2
Some not quite focused
Some too far from the people who
Smile gamely in the distance
And then there are the portraits
Taken in superior studios
So grand they’re hard to recognize.
Stiff collars, stiff poses, powdered noses.
Our Brownies' viewfinders found
That it was hard to find the view!
So much sky, so much grass or sand:
I peer at faces, try to guess who's who.

You were once decked out in colour
Now all we see is shades of sepia or grey.
Dad's working clothes were black, of course,
But surely grandad had a waistcoat
Or a pullover of some brighter hue,
And mum, I know, in her heyday, 
Would wear patterned summer dresses.
So, we need to add the colour,
Adjust the contrast, add some light.
These were lives lived like ours
And none were just black and white.



Old black and white photos

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:07:04

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:07:04


Still not sure about the verb in the first line. Happier with the third line, though.
And just removed the 'bright' from line 8. Not necessary, I think.

You were once decked out in colour
Now all we see is shades of sepia or grey.
Dad's working clothes were black, of course,
But surely grandad had a waistcoat
Or a pullover of some brighter hue,
And mum, I know, in her heyday, 
Would wear patterned summer dresses.
So, we need to add the colour,
Adjust the contrast, add some light.
These were lives lived like ours
And none were just black and white.



Old black and white photos

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 9:46:30

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 9:46:30

The second section so far.  Words and phrases I'm not sure about I've marked with an asterisk.  More work required.

*You were once *arrayed in colour
Now all we see is shades of sepia or grey.
*Black was much worn*, of course,
But surely grandad had a waistcoat
Or a pullover of some *brighter hue,
And mum, I know, in her heyday, 
Would wear *bright patterned summer dresses.
So, we need to add the colour
Adjust the contrast; add some light.
These were lives lived like ours
And none were just black and white.



Old black and white photos

Friday, 26 April 2019 15:59:18

Friday, 26 April 2019 15:59:18

I've reworked the lines quite substantially until I'm satisfied.  Still more to look at from the original jottings.

Here is another batch of tiny snaps

Measured in inches: 3 by 2

Some not quite focused

Some too far from the people who

Smile gamely in the distance

And then there are the portraits

Taken [Done] in [nice] superior studios

So grand they’re hard to recognize.

Stiff collars, stiff poses, powdered noses.

Our Brownies' viewfinders found

That it was hard to find the view!

So much sky, so much grass or sand:

[Now] I peer at faces, try to guess who's who.



Old black and white photos

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:48:25

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 11:48:25

The Brownie box camera was the simple affordable camera, with a small rectangular window to peer into to see what you were photgraphing.  My dad's Coronet was posher (it had an expanding concertina front) but the viewfinder was no better. Add to that the fact that in general we just didn't get close enough to whoever we were taking.  

Our Brownies' viewfinders found
it hard to find the view.
Sometimes the sky has too much attention,
sometimes the grass or sand in front of us.
Now I peer at faces, try to guess who's who.



Old black and white photos

Friday, 19 April 2019 9:41:26

Friday, 19 April 2019 9:41:26

Here is another batch of snaps just 3 by 2
Inches that is of course
Some not quite focused
Some too distant from the subject
Unlike the superior studio portraits
Everyone had taken once in their lives
So professional you hardly recognized them.

Rough so far but shaping up a bit



Old black and white photos

Thursday, 18 April 2019 9:29:59

Thursday, 18 April 2019 9:29:59

I'm wondering whether to start with the 'snaps' as we called informal shots and then go back to the bit about colour or lack of it. Except that I like the opening line ' You were once arrayed in colour'.  But perhaps that could be the title?

More, I hope, later.



Old black and white photos

Tuesday, 9 April 2019 14:21:14

Tuesday, 9 April 2019 14:21:14

Starting notes:

you were once arrayed in colour / now shades of grey / I know there was much black worn / but surely grandad had a waistcoat / or apullover of some colour / and mum in her heyday / would wear bright patterned summer dresses. t's hard for our eyes to add the colour / but we should.  Half the snaps are a littlout of focus / or the subjects too far off / studio portraits were spot on / if a bit unlike the actual person / but our Brownies' viewfinders found / it hard to find the view / sometimes the sky has all the attention / sometimes its grass or sand in front of us / but now I peer at faces / guess who's who



Old black and white photos

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 17:08:15

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 17:08:15
Looking through heaps of old photos - some of people I do not recognise.  There are stories there - and if there's a story, there's often a poem.  So we'll see.


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