Photo Exhibitions – 1/60th sec on a wall.

Photo Exhibitions – 1/60th of a second on a wall


Looking at Ourselves

1/60th of a second shutter speed.   photo Pete Grafton

Izis “Paris Des Reves” Exhibition, Paris, 2010.


Brassaï  (Gyula Halász) 1899 – 1984.  Hungarian.  Paris based.

Brassai in his dark room, 1932. Self portrait.


Robert Doisneau 1912 – 1994.  French.  Paris based.

Robert Doisneau, Canal St. Martin, Paris. 1968.  photo Arnold Crane.


Horst P Horst 1906 – 1999.  German.  Hamburg and then USA based.

Horst P Horst, 1949.  photo Roy Stevens.


Izis  (Israëlis Bildermanas) 1911 – 1980.  Lithuanian.  Paris based.

Izis.   Self portrait. Believed to be 1970s.


Lee Miller 1907 – 1977.  American.  Paris and London based, and then with advancing US troops post D Day, 1944 – 1945.  Virtually retired post 1945.

Lee Miller, 1944, Normandy. Unknown photographer.


Martin Munkacsi 1896 – 1963.  Hungarian.  Hungary, Germany and then USA based.

Martin Munkacsi. 1935. Claimed to be a self-portrait.


Albert Watson 1942 – present.  Scottish.  USA based.

Albert Watson.  photo Gloria Rodriguez.


All photos of posters, exhibitions and exhibition photos:   Pete Grafton.


Brassai, London 2001.

Brassai: The Soul of Paris, Hayward Gallery, London 2001.

Interior, Brassai’s Soul of Paris, interred in concrete at the Hayward Gallery, London 2001.

Le Patron’s verdict on the entombing of Brassai’s  Soul of Paris at the Haywood Gallery, London 2001.  Self portrait.


Robert Doisneau, Paris 2010.

Robert Doisneau exhibition flyer, Paris, 2010.

The photo used on the flyer is Kids at the Place Hebert, Paris 18, 1957.  La Piscine bar is still in business, but the coiffeur and the three story building it was part of has been demolished. A single story small mini-mart now sits on the corner.

Queuing for the Robert Doisneau exhibition at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation building, 2 Impasse Lebouis, Paris 14.  February, 2010.

The Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation building is small, and the upstairs exhibition space can only accommodate so many viewers at one time.

More queuing for the Robert Doisneau exhibition at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation building. February, 2010.

The spiral staircase linking the ground floor and the exhibition room of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, Paris.   February, 2010.

Like some other venues, it was not possible to discreetly take photos of the exhibition area and the photographs.  Many photo exhibitions have a ban on all photography.  If the exhibition space is reasonably large, does not have too many CCTV cameras, nor heavily staffed by attendants, then discrete photography with a small rangefinder camera with a quiet shutter such as an Olympus RC is possible.  The irony is, most or all of the photographers featured in this Post would themselves have taken photos if they could in similar circumstances. A ban on using a tripod, a ban on flash photography makes sense,  but the ban on all photography at some venues is mystifying, particularly when several prestigious exhibition areas allow photography. (Views of Robert Doisneau’s wonderful photographs are available at


Horst P Horst, London 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London.  March 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London. March 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London. March 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London.  March, 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London.  March 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London. March 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London.  March, 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London. March, 2001.

Horst P Horst exhibition, NPG, London.  March, 2001.


Izis, Paris 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition flyer, 2010.

Izis marks the spot (for the contractors).   Izis exhibition, Hotel de Ville, Paris, February, 2010.

Queuing. “Next” . Izis Paris exhibition.  February, 2010.

Advertisement for Izis Paris exhibition on the side of the Hotel De Ville, Paris.  February, 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February, 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February, 2010.

Izis Paris Exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris Exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Photo of Brassai. Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Photos taken in London 1953.  Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

The street above on the left was Hampden Crescent, which was razed to the ground in the early 1960s to make way for the Westway dual carriageway (the A40).  By a curious coincidence a visiting German photographed the same street a year later.  His name was Hans Richard Griebe and his 1954 photos are at  His photo of Hampden Road is in Chapter 15.  The Izis photo below was also taken in 1953, and appeared with the Hampden Street photo in The Queen’s People, The Harvill Press, London, 1953.

Izis Paris exhibition, February, 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, February 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition – still popular, May 2010.

Izis Paris exhibition, still queuing, May 2010.


Lee Miller, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, 2001.


Martin Munkasci

Martin Munkacsi exhibition poster, Hamburg , May 2005.

(Note also poster for Robert Capa exhibition)

Martin Munkasci leaflet:  Symposium 22 and 23 April, 2005, Hamburg. 


Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis exhibition poster, Paris.  July 2009.

Willy Ronis exhibition leaflet, Paris 2009.


Albert Watson

City Art Centre, Edinburgh. 2006.

Albert Watson exhibition, Edinburgh, 2006.

Albert Watson exhibition, Edinburgh, 2006.

Albert Watson exhibition, Edinburgh, 2006.



Coming in the New Year

Gone Glasgow 1985 – 2010

Odeon, Renfield Street, early December 2003.    “Now Booking Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”     photo: Pete Grafton

Daggs, the Apollo, C&A, Franco’s Central Station, the original Kings Cafe, George Square before it was tarmacked over….. and more.


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Paris by Night

Paris  by  Night

photos by Pete Grafton.

Night-time scooterist looking at Audrey Tatou poster. Place de Clichy, Paris 18.  November, 2010.

Audrey Tatou and “De Vrais Mensonges” poster (Beautiful Lies).   Place de Clichy, Paris. 18. November, 2010.

Cinema, Place de Clichy, Paris 18.   November, 2010.

Harry Potter poster, “La Menace Est Partout” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). Place de Clichy, Paris 18.   November, 2010.

Roi des Coquillages, by Place de Clichy, Paris 18.  November, 2010.

Near Place de Clichy, Paris 18. November, 2010.

La Boite a Pizza, by Place de Clichy, Paris 18. November, 2010.

Statue at Place de Clichy, at night.   Paris 18.  November, 2010.

“Je suis Une”, Montmatre street at night. Paris 18.  November, 2010.

Male mannequins in night-time Montmatre shop window. Paris 18.  November, 2010.

Night-time menu board, Montmartre. Paris 18.    November, 2010.

Boulangerie-Confiserie-Patisserie shop at night, with customers.  Rue Caulaincourt, Paris 18.  November, 2010.

The north end of Rue des Saules, Paris 18.   November, 2010.


Moulin Rouge at night, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18.  February, 2010.

Les Petits Chevaux du Moulin Rouge horsebox, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18.  February, 2010.

Direction Stalingrad, Place de la Republique, Paris 11.   January, 2008.

Bicycle and post box at night, Place de la Republique, Paris 11.  April, 2008.

Man in night-time telephone booth, near Place de la Republique, Paris 11.   January, 2008.

Empty laundrette, night-time, near Place de la Republique, Paris 11.   January, 2008.

Eating alone on a bench, night-time, near Notre Dame, Paris 4.

Man walking his dog, night-time, Quai aux Fleurs, Paris 4.   January, 2008.

Skate-boarder and couple, night-time, Pont d’Arcole, Paris 4.   January, 2008.

Boulangerie-Patisserie, Rue de Fontaine, Paris 11.   April, 2008.

Rue de Fontaine at night, Paris 11.  April, 2008.

La Java building at night, Rue Fontaine, Paris 11.  April, 2008.

Belleville Metro and men in underpants, at night, Paris 10.  April 2008.

Flat sales window at night, in the Rue Caulaincourt area, Montmartre, Paris 18.  November, 2008.

“Le Monde en Coleurs” shop at night, Montmartre, Paris 18.  February, 2008.

Comestibles window at night with assistant looking at the photographer. Rue Ordener, Paris 18.   November, 2010.


Coming Next, Autumn, 2017.

Photo Exhibitions Photographed: Izis, Lee Miller, Robert Doisneau, Horst P Horst…..

Izis exhibition, Paris.   November 2009.   photo Pete Grafton.

Queueing  for a Robert Doisneau exhibition at the Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation building, Impasse Lebouis, Paris 14.  February, 2010.   photo Pete Grafton.

Lee Miller exhibition, Edinburgh, June, 2001.   photo Pete Grafton.


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America at Home 2: The 1960s Kodachromes & Ektachromes

America at Home

2:  The 1960s.  Kodachromes and Ektachromes.

“Fabian Teen Idol”, 1959,  Kodachrome.  No photographer I.D.  From Kodachrome: The American Invention of our World 1939 – 1959. Edited by Els Rijper.  Delano Greenidge Editions, New York, 2002.

The 1950s, in some ways, were the high point of amateur Kodachrome slides (transparencies) taken in the United States.  Things were changing in the 1960s.  Foremost was that the US Government took Kodak to court in the 1950s under  “Anti-Trust” laws and won a case that meant that Kodak had to relinquish the exclusive right to develop their own Kodachrome film.  As was pointed out in America at Home Part One, the chemicals that went into Kodachrome were complex – it was what gave the film its richness and its stability.  Unlike Kodak’s Ektachrome (less stable in storage), up until the US court ruling Kodak’s Kodachrome had to be processed in Kodak only photo laboratories.

Kodachrome Kodak processed transparency, 1962.   Source Pete Grafton Collection.

This was not preserving a monopoly – it was preserving the superior qualities of Kodachrome.  After the US court ruling Kodachrome film could be processed in any film laboratory.  This could mean the colour rich quality of Kodachrome was not always fully realised during processing.  In addition, some photo labs were sloppy when drying the film, so that dust stuck to it.

Kodachrome transparencies processed by non Kodak U.S. photo labs, 1960s.    Source Pete Grafton Collection.

Secondly, because of the US court ruling the price of Kodachrome dropped, as the price of Kodak photo lab processing was no longer included. The lower price meant it was more attractive to a greater section of the non-hobbyist photo snapping population.

Another factor that effected the colour quality of many Kodachromes from the 1960s onwards was that Kodak introduced a Kodachrome film that could work in poor or indifferent light: Kodachrome 11. It was a good film, but it  meant the film could be used in cheaper cameras  that had a limited range of shutter speeds.   They also had poorer quality, less sharp lenses.

The budget priced and very popular Kodak Instamatic camera, introduced in 1963 that used 126 format film.  Kodak produced Kodachrome and Ektachrome film in the 126 format for their Instamatic cameras.

UK packaging of Kodachrome 11.    Source Pete Grafton Collection.

Reverse of UK Kodachrome packaging of Kodachrome 11.  Note that US Anti-Trust decision did not apply to Kodachromes in Europe.   Kodachromes in the UK were processed by the Kodak film lab in outer London.  Source Pete Grafton Collection.

Of course, hobbyists with quality cameras continued to produce sharp, colour rich slides during the 1960s and into the 1990s, but there are more U.S. processed slides that turn up from those decades that are below par in terms of colour and sharpness, compared to the 1950s.  Maybe it is no accident that Kodachrome: The American Invention of Our World chooses to finish its selection in 1959, just at the point that the 1960s were starting.

However, the 1960s US Kodachromes and Ektachromes introduce a wider range of social and racial groups captured on film, and also chronicles an increasing interest in American Heritage, plus the invasion of the German VW Beetle.


All slides (transparencies) reproduced below are from the Pete Grafton Collection.  By the 1960s all Kodak processed slides were date stamped on the mount, and this date is shown beneath the photo. Bear in mind that slides were sometimes processed a month or two, or longer, after the photos were taken.  Non Kodak photo labs mostly, but not always, did likewise.  Any annotation on the slide mount is reproduced beneath the photo, in quotes.  Because of their occasional colour shifts, and dodgy colour balance caused by poor processing or poor storage conditions Kodak Ektachrome slides (transparencies) are identified to distinguish them from the Kodachromes reproduced below.


Family & Friends

No date, but probably early 1960s.   The parked Sunbeam Alpine was first manufactured in 1959, the parent company Rootes aiming it at the US market.  Ektachrome.

August, 1960.

July, 1961. Fungus damage, either caused by poor storage, or accenctuated by non-Kodak processing.

January 1962.  Non-Kodak lab processing.

October, 1962.

October, 1962.  A wonderful example of a Kodachrome at its best.  Taken with a quality camera.

April, 1963.

April, 1963.

July, 1963.

August, 1963.  Ektachrome.

“Barbara & Neil’s wedding, Nov 1, 1964.”   A VW Beetle noseying up against a home grown product.

July, 1965.  Extachrome.

July, 1968.



February, 1967.  Ektachrome.  The location is Tampa – see the Falk’s of Tampa sign, and the occasion is the week of the Florida State Fair.  Even though it is Florida, some seated watchers have rugs over their laps.  Above them, Julie Andrews stars in ‘Hawaii’.

June, 1968. Unknown location. American Legion members are marching with the Stars and Stripes, but a German VW Beetle is ambushing them to their left. Although this is a Kodachrome it has been processed in a non Kodak photo lab.  Note the uncharacteristic blue tinge and the vertical tram lines off centre, probably caused by acccelerated mechanical or hand drying.


Excursions and Vacation

June, 1960.  Non Kodak processing photo lab.

January, 1961.

March, 1961.

December, 1962.

July, 1963.

September, 1963.  Antelope Valley is in Los Angeles County, California.

September, 1963.

December, 1964.  The lady is Lori, who will appear later. 

July 1965.

July, 1965.

July, 1965.

August, 1965.

August, 1965.  

October, 1966.

October, 1966.

August, 1967.  Ektachrome.  

August, 1967.  Ektachrome.  

October, 1967.

October, 1967.

May, 1968.

July, 1969.  Eagle River is in Keweenaw County, Michigan.


Work & Service

March, 1961.  Presumed to be Forest Rangers in the El Cariso Park, Los Angeles County.

March, 1961.   El Cariso Park area, Los Angeles County. 

March, 1961.  El Cariso Park area, Los Angeles County.

September, 1961.  

December, 1962.  The headline on the top board reads “Predicted Fire Behaviour”.  Presumed to be El Cariso Park area, Los Angeles County,

December, 1962.  Presumed to be the El Cariso Park area, Los Angeles County.

April, 1963.

October, 1965.

August, 1967.  John Moses Memorial Hospital was located in Minota, North Dakota.

August, 1967.  From the same source as the John Moses Memorial Hospital above.

November, 1968.


Portraits of Women

June, 1960.

July, 1960.    Jackie Kennedy styling?

January, 1962.

April, 1963.

April, 1963.

July, 1968.

“Lori”. No slide mount date.

“Lori – Matador hat.”   No slide mount date.

“Lori.”  July, 1964.

“Lori.” May, 1966.


My Pet

March, 1961.  

March, 1963.


Christmas & Birthdays

“Joyce’s 12-25-61”.   Slide processed March, 1962.

December, 1968.   Ektachrone.

December, 1968.  Ektachrome.  Flippy Frogman.

December, 1968.  Ektachrome.

Slide processed August, 1969.


The Next Generation (Passing the Baton On)

July, 1961.

June, 1965.  Ektachrome.

No slide mount date, non-Kodak film lab.  Believed to be early 1960s.

February, 1964.

Despite the winter coats the slide mount is stamped August, 1965.  Ektachrome.   Kodak Instamatic 126 format.

June, 1965.  Ektachrome

January, 1962.

July, 1961.

October, 1968.

November, 1965.

July, 1968. Ektachrome.

“L.L. Baseball.”   July, 1968.


Coming next,  mid June, 2017

Paris By Night.

photos by Pete Grafton.

Scooterist looking at Audrey Tatou poster, Paris , November, 2010.   photo Pete Grafton.

Audrey Tatou and De Vrais Mensonges poster (Beautiful Lies).  Paris, November 2010.   photo Pete Grafton.

Les Petits Chevaux du Moulin Rouge,  February, 2010.   photo Pete Grafton

Moulin Rouge at night, February, 2010.   photo Pete Grafton.


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America at Home: 1950s Kodachromes

America at Home

1:   1950s Kodachromes

Kodachrome photograph: “Wife of Nazi officer in conversation with Adolf Hitler”. 1939.  Photo Hugo Jaeger.  From Kodachrome: The American Invention of Our World.

Kodachrome photograph: “Gene Autry and his wife Ina Mae Spivey in front of their home”.   Hollywood, California ca. 1949.    Photo source Corbis.  No photographer I.D.  From Kodachrome: The American Invention of Our World.

“Hobbyist” Kodachrome photograph.  From Pete Grafton Collection

Kodachrome: The American Invention of our World was the inspired title of a collection of professionally taken Kodachromes edited by Els Rijper and published by Delano Greenidge Edition, New York, 2002.  Colour transparency photography had first been introduced in France in 1907 – others followed – coated on glass plates in a limited colour palette, but it was Kodak’s Kodachrome introduction in 1935 that brought stunning colour in an easy format that could be used by anyone, anywhere, without the use of heavy cameras and tripods.   The German manufacturer Agfa introduced a colour transparency film of similar convenience the following year, 1936, but as can be seen in the domestic photo of Hitler above, Kodachrome was the preferred colour film amongst many German professional photographers, until their supply ended when the United States became a war ally of Britain in 1941.

The use of these films by amateur photographers developed after the end of the Second World War.  In the 1950s it was mostly “hobbyists” or those with a bit of money who shot Kodachromes.  Compared with black and white film, Kodachromes were expensive.  The film was expensive to buy and to have processed.  And quality 35mm format cameras such as a Kodak Retina or a Leica or a decent medium format camera like a Rolleiflex were expensive to buy (Kodachrome film was available in both formats).  To give a “slide show” to family and friends meant additional outlay: a projector and a screen.  There were also storage boxes to be bought for the Kodachromes, made of good quality wood.


The following collection of American 1950s Kodachromes (and a couple of Ektachromes) are from the Pete Grafton Collection.  None have been cropped and any annotation on the slide mount has been reproduced.  Towards the end of the 1950s Kodachrome mounts were date stamped by Kodak, and these have been given beneath the photo.  Bear in mind, however, that a cassette of 35mm Kodachrome could have been sitting in the camera for a few months before – with still several shots still to be taken – before it was sent to be processed.


Ten months to the 1950s…..

Mary & Katie (13 Wks.) 1/2/49.

Mary & Katie (13 Wks.) 1/2/49

Katie 7 months.  May 5,  ’49.  19 lbs, 28″ long.

Katie seems to be looking at an expensive Rolleiflex camera carelessly lying  on the grass, whilst Dad (it is assumed) photos her with an equally expensive 35mm camera.


The   1950s

Birth of a (post-war) Nation.


Mother, Ed and Pat.  Nov. 1950.

Mum, Linda, Mother, Pat. Nov 1950.

Mike and Ed,  June 17, 1955.

Ed, Pat, Mike.  August 1955.




Party Time



On her lap the young woman has a Columbia Records Original Cast recording of the musical play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which ended its Broadway run in September, 1951.  The film version, with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, was released in 1953.

The bottle being held is Seagrams Seven Crown whiskey.


The blue cast on the photo is typical of when a Kodachrome transparency (slide) film meant for internal flash has been used out of doors.  Kodachrome film came either as ‘Daylight’ or ‘Type F’ (for flash).  The other photos, below,  that the photographer shot indoors on Type F, when the sun had set worked out OK.




Family & Relatives

December 1959.   Kodak date stamp.

Middleton, Sept. 56.

April 1958.  Kodak date stamp.


Where The Boys Are


Friends & Colleagues 

Jean, Geoff, Bob Taylor, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island.   8/57.

An expensive medium format Rolleiflex camera rests on the gentleman’s tummy. Mackinac Island is in Lake Huron, Michigan.

Fungus marks on Kodachrome, caused by damp storage.


Walla Collage is in Walla Walla, Washington.



Ouch!   Ektachrome:  What Happened?

Ektachrome brought to market by Kodak in the 1940s was a transparency (slide) film that could be used in low light situations, making it more versatile than Kodachrome.  It was also more versatile as it could be processed at local non Kodak film labs, giving a quicker turn around time, whereas Kodachrome had to be sent away by mail to a Kodak film lab.  Ektachrome could also be developed at home by hobbyists with the right colour developer.

The versatility of Ektachrome came at a price:  poor processing whether at lab or at home caused the transparencies to fade to a characteristic red/orange.  Even when stored away from heat it could fade within 8 years.  Kodak reformulated Ektachrome, it is said, in the early 1960s to make it more bullet proof to sloppy lab processing.  However, there are plenty of Ektachromes that properly processed have survived with full colour from the 1950s.

With Kodachrome, variations in the colour quality can be caused by the photographer getting the light exposure wrong, the time of day the photograph was taken, a poor quality camera lens, or the photographer having forgotten to remove a filter not suited for colour photos.   Whatever the cause you will never see an old Kodachrome looking  like the Ektachrome above.

Kodachrome film had a different and more complex emulsion needing a different chemical processing, which is why it had to be sent to specific Kodak photo labs. Outwith the USA most developed countries by the 1960s had a specific Kodak Photo Laboratory that the film had to be sent to.   Many of the Colour Slide Sets sold in tourist spots in the 1950s and 1960s that turn up on ebay have faded or discoloured to some extent.  They were not shot on Kodachrome.

A 68 year old Kodachrome, scanned in, with no corrections or adjustments, on April 10, 2017.   Mary and baby Katie. February 1st, 1949, unknown location, USA.

End of Interlude


Excursions and Vacations

Washington, D.C.

Ektachrome slide.

Niagara Falls.

Wanoma at Houston Zoo, Feb 1958.

Wanoma is enjoying a packet of Popcorn.

Believed to be Riverside, California.  Singer Frankie Laine is topping the bill at the Hotel Riverside.

Mrs John Herman Weber Sr. & Jr. looking for shells, Gulf in background.  Galveston, Tex. 29.12.57.


Service to Country

Oliver Gilbert. 1953.

Note the Mourning Band on the left sleeve of soldier on right.



White Poinsettia, Spring 1955.

Wanoma in rose garden.  Tyler, Texas. Oct 18 1958.

First Magnolia bloom on tree.   June 4, 1955.

Coral Gables, Fla.  (Florida)   Allen’s.   Jan ’58.


Doggies and a Cat


Thanksgiving and Christmas

Reve Hammons carving Turkey – Houston Geophysical Club. 1957.

Turkey Dinner, Houston Geophysical Club, 1957.

Wanoma stringing on tree lights.  Tyler, Texas. 1958.

Norman Taylor, Dec 25, 1953.

Christmas and a present of a projector screen, for a slide show, plus a spinning top for the toddler, and an art print for the wall.


RIP Kodachrome 1935 – 2009


 – BJP (British Journal of Photography), 24.06.09.


Transparency (aka Slide Film or Reversal Film) film is still made – by Fuji, and their Fujichrome Velvia in 35mm, medium format and large sheet film sizes  has the same saturated colours as Kodachrome.  The colours are different, but it is the closest you will get to Kodachrome.  Face and skin tones can be a bit purple/red.  Fujichrome Provia is an alternative for more natural skin tones. Below is a photo taken on a cheap camera using Fujichrome Velvia.

Glasgow street scene, June 2007.  Fuji Velvia film, taken on a cheap 1930s box camera: Zeiss Box Tengor.  photo Pete Grafton

Pete Grafton’s 1930s Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor camera, at top. Photo taken in 2008.  Note that Fuji no longer makes Fujichrome Sensia.

In the 21st century you can get your Fuji transparency film processed, and ask for them to be sent to you in cut strips, unmounted.  You then use an economically priced Epson Photo Scanner to scan your transparency film strip into your computer, edit the photos and take it from there.  And reversal film (like all film) can be archived for years.  The  Film – the ‘images’ as photos are often called these days – will remain accessible for years to come.  How many Photo CDs can no longer be read on a computer? How do you open a Floppy Disc?  Film lasts.  Digitally, there will be no equivalent photos of a Mary and Katie taken in 2017 surviving to 2085.

Mary and Katie, February, 1949.  Kodachrome. USA.


Next, mid to late May 2017:

America at Home 2:

  1960s Kodachromes



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The German Experience 1937 – 1972 & The Arran Series

From the Pete Grafton Collection

The  German  Experience

Photo-snaps from The Third Reich to the Munich Olympics

Hitler Youth. 1937.   Believed to be Flensburg, near the Danish border.

“German gymnastics festival, Breslau.   24 – 31 July 1938”

Breslau: following the end of the Second World War, and national boundary changes, Breslau became part of Poland and is now known as Wroclaw.

“The Festival Procession at the Palace Square”

Four women friends, 1938.  From the same photo album as  the photos above.

Seated German soldiers with bottles of beer in a wood.  On the back of the photo: “Our first leave (from military duties).  Here the sun has just blinded me.”

Camouflaged Army quarters, believed to be the Eastern Front, circa 1942.

Different angle photograph of photo above. Note on the right what look like factories in the distance.

Photo taken by a German soldier, believed to be have been taken on the Eastern Front, circa 1942 – 1943.

Hamburg,  June 1943. “To you, dear Peter, in memory of your holidays. From your Margrit.”   On reverse of photo.

German Army butcher and carcass.

Injured German soldiers and nurses, hospital room.

“Chic Fraulein, Plon, August 1943” on reverse of photo

Plön, in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, is on the shore of the Great Plön Lake.  The Wehrmacht barracks at Stadheide near Plön on 30 April 1945 became the temporary headquarters of the remaining members of Hitler’s cabinet, following the suicide of Hitler in Berlin.  On Ist May Admiral Dönitz, the new head of the Third Reich moved into the barracks, but with advancing British troops, fled to Flensburg.  On 8th May, 1945 the German Forces of the Third Reich unconditionally surrendered.  The Second World War in Europe was over.

Group of male Germans in a snowy wood, circa late 1950s/early 1960s.   Print processed by a photo dealer in Hamburg-Wandsbek.

Four women, believed to be late 1950s.   Photo print by a Braunschweig (Brunswick) photo dealer.

Man with a camera and two women, in the countryside, unknown location. 1950s

Young woman on the Baltic coast. “Oh how good this tastes” written on reverse of photo. Photo taken by a female friend – note the shoes at the bottom right of the Baltic beach chair.

Guitar and accordion duo, German bar with customers. Unknown location. 1950s

Christmas 1960?    “24.1.61” photo processors’ stamped date on reverse.

Woman with her back to the camera. Traditional building. Unknown location. Possibly 1950s

Modern architect designed home, Germany.  Unknown location.

Heimat: The Good Years (1)   Mid to late 1960s. Unknown location.

Heimat: The Good Years (2)   Mid to late 1960s. Unknown location.

Women and men at a bar table, Hamburg.   1970.  Atika brand cigarettes centre foreground.  (Photo labs “1970” date stamp on reverse)

Small motorcade at the time of the Munich (Munchen) Olympics, 1972. Unknown location but believed to be in the Munich area.


The German Experience should also include photos from the post Second World War German Democratic Republic (DDR).    At the time of the 1990 re-unification the West German population was 63 million, and the East German population 16 million.  Photo snaps from the totalitarian DDR are rarely found in bric a brac shops in Germany, or elsewhere.  However, there are strong visual similarities of the German National Socialist (Nazi) years and the East German State Socialist years:  constant photos of the leaders: Hitler and Ulbricht; goose-stepping soldiers; mass rallies and gatherings and mass gymnastics in both the German National Socialist regime and in the east German “Democratic” Socialist regime.

Mass gymnastics, DDR, 1960s.  Photo reproduced in Seht, Welche Kraft! (“See, What Power!”), Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1971. (DDR)     Pete Grafton collection.

Mass gymnastics, The Third Reich, 1938.


If as a German citizen you were born in 191o in eastern Germany, and were 80 and still alive in eastern Germany in 1990, you would have lived through a country ruled by an autocratic militaristic monarch, rarely constrained by a fledgling democracy, followed by 14 years of Weimar democracy, followed by 57 years of totalitarianism (12 of those under National Socialism, and 45 under Soviet socialism).  No other part of a country in western Europe, including the Spain of Franco, and the Italy of Mussolini, experienced such a long period of totalitarianism.


The German Experience: Recommended viewing and reading


Heimat: Marita Breuer as Maria


The Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics 1918 – 1945 by J.W.Wheeler-Bennett, Macmillan, London 1953.  An essential book in understanding how the German military were the power behind the throne, not only in side-lining  Kaiser Wilhelm II (who they regarded as militarily incompetent) before and during the First World War, but also in covertly supporting the Weimar Republic (including secret joint military exercises (including chemical warfare exercises) with the Russian Bolsheviks, and then in 1933 allowed Adolf Hitler to become Chancellor, believing they could control him for their own military aims.  It was Hitler who ended up controlling them. The German military class ended up being comprehensively crushed in 1945, never to recover, unlike 1918 when, as a group, they  remained unscathed.

Conscience in Revolt, London 1957.  First published in Germany in 1954 as Das Gewissen Steht Auf, Mosaik-Verlag, Berlin.  An account of the various groups and individuals who, at risk to their lives, protested against and opposed Hitler and the National Socialists.  Note the name of Willy Brandt above, who went on to become Chancellor of the German Federal Republic in 1969.

After Hitler by Jürgen Neven-du Mont, Pelican Books, 1974. First published in Germany as Zum Beispiel 42 Deutsche, Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung, 1968.  West Germans talk about the Second World War  and their life in the Federal Republic since the end of the war.


The  Arran  Series

Near Lochranza, May 2003.

photos Pete Grafton

Contact Sheet 2003/10

2003/10  Neg 4

Contact Sheet 2003/10  Neg 1

Contact Sheet 2003/10  Neg 14

Contact Sheet 2003/10   Neg 8

Contact Sheet 2003/10   Neg 17

Contact Sheet 2003/10   Neg 15

Contact Sheet 2003/11   Neg 12

Contact Sheet 2003/11   Neg 11

Contact Sheet 2003/11   Neg 9

Contact Sheet 2003/11   Neg 8

Contact Sheet 2003/11   Neg 14


Coming in late April, 2017

America at Home: The Kodachrome Slides

1:  The 1950s


Posted in Germany, People, Scottish Rural, Vintage Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A 1950s Scottish Photo Album + Soho London 1966 & 2007

 A  1950s  Scottish  Photo  Album + Soho London 1966 & 2007.

(Two Worlds)


 A 1950s Scottish Photo Album

Photo captions: Pete Grafton.


Dad and doggie in the heather.


Mum, Dad, Son and the family doggie. Heather hillside.


A selection of photos from a Scottish photo album, bought in Innerleithen, Scottish Borders, 2007.  The black and white and colour photos span 1954 to approximately 1957/58.  This is the post-war period when, in 1957, Harold Macmillan said that those in the United Kingdom Had Never Had It So Good.  Macmillan’s  grandfather was the son of a crofter who lived at the north end of the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde.


The Upper Classes and Middle Classes had always had it good, but there was some truth in Macmillan’s statement when comparing the spending power of skilled working class of the 1950s with their pre-war parents and grandparents.  There were more paid holidays, and more money to be able to put away the work bicycle in the shed, or sell the motorcycle and side car that had been used for the family outings, and buy a car, even if at first, a second hand car.


And after that, a new car, and outings in it at the weekend for a picnic or stay in the countryside or by the coast.  The British electorate didn’t, on the whole, disagree with MacMillan.  They returned the Conservatives for a third term of Government under him in 1959.  When these album photos were taken Anthony Eden had led the Conservatives to their second consecutive government in the 1955 General Election.  Scotland sent 36 Conservative MPs, 34 Labour, and I Liberal MP to the House of Commons in London that May.


Ford Anglia.  Somewhere in Scotland, 1954.  Production of this Anglia model stopped in 1948.

Photograph of the Ford Anglia above taken on 25 July 1954.  This is one of the few photos that have a date written on the back.


Mum, Dad and Son and enamel mug.  Circa 1955.  Scotland

The Mum, Dad and Son, above, are the family most seen in the photo album.  Mum and Dad had either close friends, or close relatives, who also feature regularly in the photo album.


A pint of milk and a Kilner jar of sugar in the boot. A Shell petrol can and a Mobil oil can in the foreground.  

The gent above, on the right, is a close friend/relative.


The Two Mums, and Ford Anglia


Dog in the front seat well.

He was a well loved dog belonging to the family of the Mum, Dad and Son and photos of him appear throughout the photo album.


Doggie and family car on an outing.


Mum, Dad and Son at their front door. Unknown location, possibly Stirling or Dundee.  “1955” written on the back.



Friends together.


New cars:  Ford Consul and behind it Ford Prefect.  Circa 1956.

The Ford Consul above was introduced in 1951.  The Ford Prefect behind it went on the market in 1953.  The cars above were possibly bought second hand, in a “near new” condition.



A nice bunch of honeysuckle.


“Tea Up!”


The Ford Prefect.


The Ford Consul, two pals, a dog and two women in the back.


Brewing up.  Biscuit tin being used as a wind shield.


Weekend bliss: collapsible picnic chairs, portable radio on the car roof, and reading the Sunday newspapers. One of the ladies in the back is reading The People.


At a guess the lady on the left is the mother of the lady on the right, or of one of the men.


Unknown location. Possibly Firth of Forth or Fife Coast

Note Dad’s tattoos.


Dad, unknown location, but believed to be on the east coast, Scotland.

 Dad has impressive tattoos – note the coat of arms on his chest.  They suggest he was in the Navy,  or possibly the Army.


Unknown location, by the sea. Reverse angle photo follows below.  Note the same clothes.


Doggie, Dad, Mum and Son on a seawall.



Interlude:   National   Conscription   for   the   Son.


11 Air Formation Signal Regiment building, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), north west Germany, circa 1956.  Regular soldier with a Pace Stick.

The United Kingdom had never had peacetime conscription until the Labour Government brought it in, in 1948.  It was a Conservative government which in 1957 (the same year as Harold MacMillan’s “Never Had it So Good”) announced it was getting rid of conscription, with a phased reduction.  The last conscripts were called up in 1960 and the last conscripts  discharged in May, 1963.  In May 1963 the Beatles From Me To You had already reached No.1 in the UK charts.


11 Air Formation Signal Regiment building, north west Germany.  The son is on the right in the back row.

It is estimated that the son was probably born 1937 0r 1938, and would have been around eighteen when he was called up.


Bahnhof (station) entrance, with Bahnhof cafe on left. Unknown small town in north west Germany.  Possibly near the British barracks the son was stationed at.   Circa 1956.


Photo of typical house/farm in the area covered by the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), particularly in the northern area.  Photo circa 1956.


Son with rank of Corporal. Presumed to be on leave.  Unknown location in Scotland.   Note the Ford Consul and Ford Prefect. 


Paris, 1957. Paris is a good days’ train travel from the BAOR area. An extended week-end leave? The son is second on the right, with an icecream.


Bateau- Mouche on the Seine. The son is back row, right.


Moulin Rouge, Paris, summer 1957.  We know it is 1957 as the film showing is the 1957 release Police Internationale (Interpol) with Anita Ekberg, Victor Mature and Trevor Howard.


Sacre Coeur


11 Air Formation Signal Regiment board and conscript group, including the son.   British Army of the Rhine.  Probably summer 1957.


Back  Home? 


It is difficult to know whether the son is back home here, having been demobbed, or on leave. Note the portable radio on the right, at the back.  Unknown Scottish seaside location.


The portable radio again.


And doggie.


Mum and Dad with doggie and friends by a caravan.  Unknown caravan site.


The Son, the Ford Consul, and doggie sloping off on the right.


A  Grandson 


Mum, Dad, Grandson, and probably their daughter. Unknown beach location.


The same day, further along the same beach. Mum and Dad, Daughter and Son and Grandson.


The gent balancing at the back on the deck chairs is assumed to be the son-in-law.



End of the day?





Was  it  the  truth?

There are always difficulties in trying to establish a narrative from an album of photos, and there are always mysteries.   What seems obvious turns out to not be obvious.

 Who pasted in the photos in this album?  Did several family members and friends take the photos?  In some photos one can see in seated groups that the two men – Dad and friend swapped taking the photo. But that was only occasionally.  Who was taking the colour photos, using a very good quality camera?  Another (unseen) brother or sister?  And on the beach scenes where the grandson was photographed, they switched from the precious and expensive roll of colour film to a roll of  the cheaper black and white film.

Often it is the person who takes the most family photos over a period of time who is the one who is missing from the family photo album.

There is no indication where the family lived.  Three photos in the album suggest it was not Glasgow or Edinburgh.


Photo 1.  Front door and family.


Photo 2.  Son posing for the camera opposite front door, street and tenements behind him.

These are four storey tenements.  To see tenements like these with private front doors on ground level, and presumably open entries for access to the upper floors is not seen in Glasgow tenements.  In addition, had they  lived in Glasgow one would expect to see photos of the Ayrshire coast, Rothesay and Loch Lomond in the photo album.  There aren’t any.

Day excursion type photos of Edinburgh in the photo album suggest that Edinburgh wasn’t their home either.


Photo 3.  Photo of Princes Street and Edinburgh, taken from the Castle, circa 1955.

As has been suggested earlier, perhaps either Stirling or Dundee was home.


Soho, London 1966 & 2007


Jeffrey Bernard & Frank Norman (right), from cover of Soho Night & Day



Long out of print, Soho Night and Day is a 1966 Soho survey written by Frank Norman, with photographs by Jeffrey Bernard.  Being part of the Soho scene, they knew intimately what they wrote about and photographed, and few doors were closed to them.

In October, 2007 Pete Grafton revisited the Soho streets he had occasionally known in 1966, with a copy of Soho Night and Day.


Parmigiani Figlio, 1966, corner of Old Compton Street and Frith Street   photo Jeffrey Bernard


Caffe Nero on the site of the former Pargiani Figlo, corner of Old Compton Road & Frith Street, October 2007.  photo Pete Grafton.

Pargiani Figlo/Caffe Nero: 41 years on the first floor window frames are still the same.



Soho, 2007.   photo Pete Grafton


Newsagent’s, Dean Street, 2007.     photo Pete Grafton


Newsagent’s, Dean Street, 1966.   photo Jeffrey Bernard.

Newsagent’s Old Compton Street: note the same column detail in both photos.

The newsagent at his stand is Tony Abbro, who opened the shop in 1961.  There is also a photo of him taken by the photographer John Deakin a few years prior to Jeffrey Bernard’s photo.



Gamba, corner Frith Street & Old Compton Street, 1966.  photo Jeffrey Bernard


Soho Books, previously “Gamba” in 1966. Old Compton Street, 2007.   photo Pete Grafton.


Charles Williams and friend (Jeffrey Bernard’s caption). Frith Street, 1966.  photo Jeffrey Bernard


Man and two women, Frith Street, 2007.    photo Pete Grafton


Dirty White Boy, Soho.  Corner of Old Compton Street and Dean Street.  2007.   photo Pete Grafton.

Soho, Lina Stores, Old Compton Street

Lina Stores, Brewer Street, Soho. 2007.    photo Pete Grafton.

In 2017 Lina Stores is still trading from the same shop in Brewer Street and now has a website.



Queens Theatre, and man, Soho. 2007.   photo Pete Grafton


Queens Theatre and second man, Soho. 2007.   photo Pete Grafton


Seated woman on a mobile, Wardour Street, Soho.   2007.    photo Pete Grafton


Contact sheet, Soho 2007.   127 film/Purma camera.   Pete Grafton.



Copyright.  Soho Night and Day  photos: Jeffrey Bernard/Estate of.

Copyright.  Soho 2007    photos: Pete Grafton.

Jeffrey Bernard (1932 – 1997).  Resident of Soho for almost fifty years; wrote for Sporting Life, and from 1975 The Spectator.  His column Low Life appeared weekly, apart from when drink and drink related illness caused the magazine to post the notice “Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell”.  Keith Waterhouse wrote the stage play Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell in Bernard’s lifetime, and Peter o’ Toole played Bernard in the London stage production.

Frank Norman (1930 – 1980) was mostly in Barnadoes homes as a boy, and after that he was involved in petty crime, ending up doing a three year stretch in Camp Hill Prison, Isle of Wight.  Out of prison he was encouraged to write, and became known for Bang to Rights,  Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be, and Banana Boy, amongst many.  He was also a “face’ in the Soho scene.


The bakelite Purma Special camera used to take the 2007 Soho photos.  The camera used the now discontinued 127 format film       Pete Grafton.

127 film had been a popular film for many pre-war and post-war years (which also included colour 127 film), used mostly in cheap (Kodak Brownie 127 cameras, for example)) to moderately good cameras, and in one or two cases very good cameras, such as the Baby Rollei by Rolleiflex.    By 2007 when these Soho photographs were taken the only world wide source of 127 film was still being made in a factory in Croatia using a 1940s formula.   Production has since ceased.


Coming Next in late March, 2017


The German Experience.  

Photo snaps from the Third Reich to the Munich Olympics.



The Arran Series

Photos by Pete Grafton


Coming in mid April, 2017


America at Home: the Kodachrome slides

1:  The 1950s


Posted in England, France, Germany, People, Scotland, Scottish Rural, Vintage Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



photos Pete Grafton

Haarlem, Main Square, Nov 4, 2003. 11 a.m.

Haarlem, Grote Markt, Nov 4, 2003. 11 a.m.

Hamburg, Museum of Art and Crafts (Kunst&Gew), cafe. March 2007

Hamburg, Museum of Art and Crafts (Kunst & Gewerbe), cafe. March 2007

Netherlands. Amsterdam Schipol. Early morning, Duane Egbert coffee. Flight commuters background

Netherlands. Amsterdam Schipol. Early morning, Duane Egbert coffee. Flight commuters background.  Nov 4, 2003.

Netherlands. Amsterdam Schipol. Nov 4, 2003. Early morning. Deli-France

Netherlands. Amsterdam Schipol.  Early morning. Deli-France.  Nov 4, 2003.


Waterloo Station, London. Costa. March, 2001.


The South Bank, London. March 2001.


Charing Cross Embankment, London. March, 2001.


Bern Railway Station, Switzerland. Lavassa. October, 2008.


National Portrait Gallery, London. March, 2001.


Hamburg Altona railway station. 2008.


Buchanon Street, Glasgow. Strabucks in Border Books. December, 2003.


Lausanne, Switzerland. September, 2010.


Posted in England, Germany, Holland, People, Scotland, Switzerland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment