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50 Years Ago: The World in 1963 (Photographically Speaking)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by phigmov, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    • Like Like x 7
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    great shots... and all shot probably at f2 or slower, manual focus, iso 400 at the maximum, maybe without a built in light meter... and definitely without a LCD to check the shot with.... oh and you had to change film every 36 shots.... still you could change 'sensor' every 36 shots :) 

    • Like Like x 1
  3. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2010
    I always think that photographs are like some fine wines, they get better with age. I was 16 when these events were taking place, in many ways not all things have changed over those 50 years.

    I wonder if in 50 years people will be impressed by the standard of today's images considering the 'primitive' sensor technology.
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    I guess photographers might have covered their bases with a couple of rangefinders sporting different ISO film and different focal length primes. Can't have been much fun lugging a big 6x7 or 6x9 press camera though.

    This is definitely my favourite - 'Talk to the hand . . .'
  5. drcolby

    drcolby Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2012
    This was back when AP was something. Note that they even credited some of the great photographers. Shortly after I was on my way to 'nam with the US Navy and a camera.

  6. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Amazing shots indeed.

    Im a young fella born in the 80's so ive seen these shots only in books.

    but as a fun fact, it was awesome to see the full image that goes in Rage Against The Machine debut album, one of the most important cd covers and albums from the 90's (image 26)
  7. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Great shots. Has anyone looked at the book Century? It is a mammoth book of famous photographs from 1899 - 1999.
  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Oh Kevin, have you forgotten so much? :) 

    You could change 'sensor' far more frequently than every 36 shots. There was also a standard 20 shot 'sensor' option with 35mm, there were 12 and 24 shot sensor options for medium roll film, and there were even 1 shot sensor options for a lot of view cameras. There were no ISO options, we were still using ASA back then, and we could go higher than ASA 400 if you did your own processing. ASA 1600 wasn't uncommon and there were a few brave souls who ventured into the wilds above that.

    All in all it wasn't a bad time and I'm rather glad that no one tried to install a small TV screen on the back of cameras in order to allow you to preview your shots. The resulting camera would have been a little larger than a view camera but the length of the power cord we would have had to carry around in order to use it, and the problems we'd have had finding accessible power outlets in a lot of locations, would have been a bit of a killer and the raster lines on the screen, even holding it out at full arm's length, would have been a turn off despite the novelty.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    1963 a great year to be born and some great people born that year lol !
    50 years young next week
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The early '60's was a watershed for news photography. New photography equipment went from 120mm to 35mm. I am surprised to see a 4x5 being used in the 1963. Most news photogs ended the '50's with twin-lens reflex and in the '60's the Nikon F and FTn became the undisputed kings of news equipment. A few used Leica, but rangefinders were very limiting. Rangefinders couldn't shoot very long, very wide or close-up and they were slower to use than a SLR.

    Typically, a two camera set-up was used, one camera with a tele and another with wide angle and both loaded with Tri-X, ASA 400 film. Depending who you were shooting for, one camera may have color film and some times even a third camera with color.

    For approximately 40 years, Nikon and Kodak film documented nearly every single historic event on this earth and beyond. Just something remarkable to ponder. That in itself is history.


    PS- You can probably add a couple more decades to Kodak as being the single most important recorder of visual history.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I grew up in the late 60s - early 70s. A very moving post; thanks for posting!
  12. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Dad shot for the Newark News and Star Ledger in the late 50's and early 60's. I have his Nikon Fs in a cabinet in my desk... his Asahi AP is in there as well with some well worn lenses. All have dings in the pentaprisms due to using them in two-camera configurations - just as you described it, he described it.

  13. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Thanks, for the historical, and photographic trip and memories.

    I was in the lunch room, of the Middleburg High School, Middleburg, KY, when we heard President was shot. I was a Junior. My photography was just getting started.
  14. What a great find, thanks for sharing.
  15. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Actually, f/1.4 lenses were very common in 1963, though only common as 50mm lenes for 35mm cameras. Also, while 400 ISO (then ASA) films for the fastest readily available films in 35mm at the time, even in '63 it was extremely common to push Tri-X to 800 and 1600.
  16. mowog6000

    mowog6000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oregon City Oregon
    Pat bailey
    I remember seeing most of these images either in print on on the TV at the time,it does tell us just how far we have come as a society in 50 years and when the last of the haters die off it will be even better. Can most of us even imagine a black person being set upon by dogs for simply go into a store?
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Great shots. Also reminds me that our current time in the US is not the most divided we've ever seen (a common media claim), nor are the issues facing us now the heaviest we've ever faced.

    Thanks for the link. I shared with my wife, who instantly noticed the picture of LBJ being sworn in, and she zeroed in on Jackie still in the same outfit I guess she was wearing in the car? That's pretty heavy.
  18. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Not only was 1963 a watershed for photojournalism, it also arguably was the year television news came of age. It blows my mind that 1963 was 50 years ago - and that I, turning 56 this May, can remember it all clearly.

    The baby-boomers have certainly grown up in interesting and tumuluous times. On the other hand, the same can be said of their parents, having had grown up through the Great Depression and come of age during the Second World War. It seems this is simply a normal state of the human condition, punctuated by brief periods of peace and prosperity.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting and moving collection of images.
  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    "The Greatest Generation" they've been called, and rightfully so.

  20. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    What a time of change the 1960's were. I was just a child of 5 in 1963 and the only news event I remember from that time is when Kennedy was shot. This shows how important the power of a still image can be that after 50 years they can still effect us.
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