The Earth Is Born

Rivers Of Molten Stone

Formation of the Earth’s Continents, 1952. Bonestell LLC.

Christmas 1955:  my older brother receives a gift of this incredible book The World We Live In from my Grandparents.  It is filled with all these incredible photographs and even more incredible paintings by various artists, basically depicting the story of our planet.  I spent a lot of time looking at the pictures, especially the paintings in this book with a 5 year old’s sense of wonder (I have my own copy today, which still gives me a dose of nostalgia from time to time).  These two paintings by Chesley Bonestell are from the first chapter of the book:  The Earth Is Born.   Thank you, Mister Bonestell!

The Life Of The Earth

Evolution of the Earth, 1952. Bonestell LLC.

1940s Royal Crown Cola picture with Bela Lugosi

Royal Crown Cola, Bela  Lugosi

This is a treasured gift given to me by an old film school buddy, Ric Stafford.  In the 1940s Lugosi did pose for several advertising pictures including Kool Cigarettes, Remington Razors and, apparently, Royal Crown Cola.  Later, in the 1950s, he helped promote “Spooky Foods” for a California company.  Learn something new every day.

Colorama shout-out

This is a small selection of the Kodak Colorama photographs which were on display (as backlit transparencies) in Grand Central Station, New York City from 1950-1994.  They were huge (60 feet wide) and over 500 were produced by various photographers using bulky large format cameras.  Unfortunately for me, I never got to see one in its full size grandeur, so I can only imagine what it must have been like.  But I am charmed by the quaint subject matter and stylized view of American Life, and since they were Kodak ads, there is usually someone in the scene with a Kodak camera (presumably containing Kodak film).

There is an underwhelming book I purchased a few years back, Colorama: The World’s Largest Photographs, underwhelming in that the pictures are poorly represented in a rather small book, with page folds in most of the pictures, alas.

Here is an interesting video where one of the photographers, Neil Montanus describes how one of the above images was captured (the underwater scene):