Sunday, 20 February 2011

Black and White, Sepia and Just a Dab of Dulux on a Postcard

Here's another of the postcards I bought last week at the antiques place.

This was posted from Southend-on-Sea on 21 August 1939 and shows the bright lights of that seaside town before they were extinguished a short while later for the war time blackout.

This started out as an ordinary black and white photograph, taken in daylight. Then the sky area was masked over whilst it was printed, then the mask moved to allow a dark sky to be exposed onto the paper. Before that happened a small disc (possibly a coin on the original enlargement) was placed on the paper which has remained white under it to act as the moon.

Then the finished print was sepia coloured for the brown effect of the sky and foreground detail before certain bits were treated to an artist's touch to add the yellow red and blue highlights. The sea was given a blue wash which proved too tricky to bother about having anything other than blue lights on the pier and seafront to the right of the photo! A clear bit was added for the moon to "reflect upon". A bit of green paint was literally scribbled over the dark garden area to the right of the pier boardwalk and there we have the final result - Valentine's post card G.5936 (this is a real photograph).

It was sent to the Blades family in Retford, Nottingham with the message almost all as one sentence:

Southend. Having the day here today been lovely but had a thunderstorm this afternoon there's Percy and Mrs J. and J here. Cheerio Molly xxx

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