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jimgreyscan1

Above is teenage Jim Grey. Jim is from Down the Road, though not literally. That is the name of his blog where he writes about photography, cameras old and new, where he shares links to blog posts he has enjoyed in the previous week, and where he shares stories about his travels locally and around the world.

Some time ago he sent me scans of some photobooth images from a 1984 trip to Germany, and some other booth photos which he found when pulling out the first ones. It has taken me a lot longer than I intended, to share the scans with you.

So above is Jim in Germany. I think he looks like a young Clark Kent about to use the photobooth for his quick change into Superman. Yes, Superman does that! Well that is what he did in the Christopher Reeve movie of 1978. Besides, Jim just has to be Super as he likes photobooths, plus he went to the trouble of scanning his collection to send to me. Thanks Jim!

I will use Jim’s annotations to explain each strip.

Above – “Color shots of me in a photobooth in Krefeld, Germany, 20 July 1984 (I wrote the date on the back!) I had cut this strip apart, unfortunately, so I laid them on my scanner in order.”

I love the faces that Jim pulled, whilst keeping his shoulders and torso in virtually the same position throughout. These would make a great Gif! Below is Clark Kent/Superman in a booth.

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The Superman strip is a mock-up that is sold by Yourprops.com. I presume the copyright belongs to them. Thanks Yourprops!!

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Above – “More shots of me in another photobooth in Krefeld, Germany, also on the 20 July 1984. I held up a card and on the prints wrote “POLIZEI 503314 KREFELD” because I was trying for mug shots for a project I was doing. 503314 was the phone number of the family I was living with that summer. The last shot was of me wondering why the machine hadn’t taken the last shot yet.”

The deadly serious, authentic mugshot expressions in all these photos, are very cool. They are so serious that they have an unintentional comic edge to them.

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Above – “I was with some friends (Jim Ziegler and John Lodder) in Michigan City, Indiana, in the spring of 1985. We came upon a photobooth in a shopping mall. I think it cost a dollar. I had put in a maybe fifty cents when it started making images. Someone before me must have put in the rest of the dollar. That’s why this strip is what it is.”

And this is, so far, my favourite strip for the spontaneous, chaotic nature of each image. Jim has a very clear memory of how the chaos came about. It must have been a memorable day, with or without the photos.

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Above – ” Same place, same date, same people” as the previous photo strip. “This time my buddies and I were ready. I’m generally the one in the middle. John is the other bespectacled fellow. The other Jim is the one with no glasses.”

Unlike most modern, digital booths, you just never knew when the photos would be taken. Strange expressions, poor focus and lighting anomalies would abound, especially when three teenagers were let lose in one. I particularly like the third photo in this strip.

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And finally the polaroid, above. ” Right next to the traditional photobooth was a booth that took single Polaroid photographs for a dollar. So Jim, John, and I went in and hammed it up one more time. I have to say, this is the sharpest Polaroid photograph I’ve ever held in my hands.” I agree with Jim, and as a booth photo, it is very rare. As he says, the photo is sharp but also has a strong colour palette after all these years. It seems that this photo was meant for Jim to keep, as he certainly is the cheesy-grinned, star of the piece, as he is in most of this collection.

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Superman collecting his photos. I wish $0.75 photo booths still existed!

 

While I have been bemoaning the probable loss of a photobooth, my friend Ted has found one for me. In the strip he appears with his granddaughter Ula Grace.

Thanks for the pics Ted, and for all the friendship and the support you give me. X X

TedBook's DAILY PICS...

img_8902 Guest Photographer: Ula Grace

Always on the lookout for a Photo Booth and found one at Pacific Place in Seattle.  Had to get a strip for my friend Katherine Griffiths, Downunder in Oz, who is obsessed with Photobooths and writes a delightful blog about her finds.  Do pay a visit to…  Photobooth Journal

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Merry Christmas, Katie!

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Opening my present.

I got a lovely gift at the office Xmas party* this year – an Oroton handbag**, no less! Jolly japes and mischief were the order of the day. Copious amounts of hooch were consumed and a fun time was had by all.

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A bit worse for wear.***

*I don’t work, so this is a bald-faced lie.

** Actually something my Grandmother once owned.

*** Not drunk. Just clumsy.

**** This is part one of a three part Christmas themed series. Hopefully. . .

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This is the first of a set of eight photobooth strips from the United States. Each of the strips is dated on the front and back. Unfortunately there are no other details recorded.

I imagine this cheeky and handsome young man to be 8 or 9 in this strip, making him around 14 or 15 in the last of them. As you will see as this series progresses, he is not afraid to play the fool in front of the camera, more so in some of the strips than others.

As I have said before, I love a sequence of photobooth photos that show the changes in a person from one year to the next. Booth photos are particularly well suited to watching someone as they grow up or grow older, due to their main focus being on head and shoulders. It is part of the reason I love them so much.

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There is no information on the back of these photos to indicate a place, names or dates, despite the previous owner having gone to the trouble of numbering each photo. Why they should have been numbered 1, 2, 3 is unclear, as judging by the clothes of the boy who appears in all three shots, the images were taken on two different days.

I guess the boy who is mugging for the camera in the first photo is a brother of the guy in uniform. It is a shame he didn’t join in the face pulling. Maybe he liked his perfect look in his military duds too much to play the fool whilst wearing them. Or maybe he was too nervous to think of it, as he may well have been off on his first posting overseas.

I bought these photos as much for the background as for the fabulous, goofy faces. It was the first time I had seen a battleship in a backdrop. I have since found a few more, which I will share with you in coming posts.

I am guessing these images were made during WW2 as the military theme would have suited the many last souvenir photos that would have been made at that time.

photobooth1000Followers

  1. Congratulations and thanks to my 1000th follower, P.M.M. from Dublin. Below is a photobooth image of the subscriber, who got into the swing of the things very quickly. She was a beautiful baby, but baby you should see her now!

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You rock, P.M.M.!

2. Congratulations to me, as I never thought I would get so much interest in my collection and still be blogging 4 1/2 years after my first tentative posts in the blogosphere.

3. Congratulations to all my followers, some of whom I now count as friends. Thanks for all the support, encouragement and help you have given me.

Onwards to 2000!

Now to get back to some overdue work replying to your comments. . .

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