Hunted or Gathered #3

Early postcards predated the widespread availability of cameras for tourists. In the absence of tourist snapshots, it was up to a postcard to sum up – in a single image – a location in the most visually impressive, enchanting and awe-inspiring way. Postcard studios employed many tricks and devices to achieve this. If some early photographic processes anticipated Photoshop, then the techniques used by some early 20th century postcard studios to manipulate a photo were indeed a kind of pre-digital Photoshop or proto-Photoshop. Examples of the techniques included editing photos to remove unwanted details, adding drawn or photographic details such as people, cars, biplanes and zeppelins, tinting parts or all of  the photo and replacing skies with with other more desirable skies on file (techniques that were also employed in the making of the artwork for Unforgotten). The result was a highly optimised ‘photographic’ rendering of a popular location – that never really was! 

Vintage postcard of Times Square

Postcard from the author’s collection

Making the artwork for Unforgotten required extensive hunting or gathering of any image with the merest hint of usefulness to the project. This series, Hunted or Gathered, looks at images that either sparked inspiration, were created with the book in mind (photo or otherwise), and other images unearthed or tracked down through chance encounters or specific research.

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