Absolutely terrific & useful post. Thanks.
I bet Lileks will be jealous. Cool stuff. Great detective work.
"So I would conclude that with the LAPL material we are getting a rare chance to look at photographs a great photographer chose not to show the world."
And for good reason, too. He would have done better to have burned the negatives and any prints he could get his hands on.
Love the photos. Keep them coming.
Did Adams take the photo of the P-39 Airacobra in flight?
A very cool airplane with a powerful canon in the spinner, rear mounted engine and tricycle landing gear. The Soviets loved it too and acquired many through lend/lease.
My gut feel is that, in part, some of what Adams was doing with the unpublished pictures was getting used to the camera, but mainly that's the double exposure. I've used old cameras, and that's a mistake I've made with an unfamiliar type.
As you say, colour film and processing was expensive. I'm not going to even try and guess what emulsion was used, but I can see Adams wanting to be sure of his camera.
A rare glimpse of the LA in which my father grew up. Also, nice to see images that weren't related to Hollywood.
I believe that Adams wrote some about this assignment in his autobiography. I remember his comments about photographing some of the 'horrible' architecture found in L.A. at that time, specifically, the Brown Derby. He also wrote about problems with the weather and the assignment as a whole not being very satisfying. But apparently he was well paid for his work.
Love the site and the story. I've often told friends that some of my favorite work of Adams is his urban stuff. They look at me with glazed over eyes. Most people have never seen his urban stuff. I may be wrong, but I think he did some stuff here in NY too. And, again, this might be a myth, but I've heard rumors that he knew Steiglitz and Georgia O'Keefe and shot NY when he came to visit them.
I'm off to do some research of my own.
Thanks for the pics.
Ansel Adams' eponymous autobiography doesn't specifically mention that Los Angeles sojourn, but it does address his commercial photography in one of the chapters; it might shed some light on his thoughts around the time he took these pictures. It's a good biography, I think, valuable in that it gives me his perspective on himself and the people, and causes, he valued. Adams, Ansel. Ansel Adams, An Autobiography. New York: Little, Brown, 1985. ISBN 0-8212-1596-5
They had motor scooters back then? Cool.
Double-A also worked in color, (and was mighty conflicted about it): http://www.amazon.com/Ansel-Adams-Color/dp/0821219804
I was able to see some of his color prints at a show at the Center for Creative Photography in the Old Pueblo a few years back. His compositions were strong as usual, but the color only playing a minor role; far, far less than it does in, say, Pete Turner's work.
Wonderful. It's good to get away from today's turmoil and what better way than through the eyes of Ansel Adams.
I love the Newsy photo, especially the fresh comics on the rack below him.
I wonder if the hot dog stand was the one used as a reference by Dave Stevens' for his "Rocketeer" series?
"...A very cool airplane with a powerful canon in the spinner, rear mounted engine and tricycle landing gear. The Soviets loved it too and acquired many through lend/lease."
Very cool, and innovative in a lot of ways, but an aircraft prone to some very strange handling characteristics, owing to the rearward CG (because of where the engine was mounted). The US and Brits got them out of front-line fighter squadrons as soon as better aircraft were available, because P-39s were easily outclassed by Me-109s, FW-190s, and Zeros. The Red Air Force did make the best use of it, as a ground-attack plane. If the Russians could mount a heavy cannon on it, and hang rockets or bombs off the wings, they used it in the ground-attack role, and the P-39 fit the bill nicely.
fyi that very first parking lot photo shows a 1940 California license plate.
Good catch, Maureen. Thanks.
Michael Adams Son of Ansel Adams is a video interview with Ansel Adams' son by Frederick Van of Adobe. Michael talks about life in Yosemite, the role he peyald in assisting with his father's work, and the course of his own career.
I gotta tell you that photo of the news stand brought back a stunning olfactory sensation.
Remember how pulp paper smelled? Imagine how that stand smelled when he opened up a fresh bale of pulps or comics. Them was the days, bub.
Words cannot express how excited I am to have found this treasure trove of photos showing the lay of the land here in LA in the Forties. Thanks quite sincerely.
The cars parked by the "No Parking:sign look li the SP mainline near the Lockheed plant in Burbank, not far from where we lived.
I don't remember a "Franklin" school in Glendale.
Oh. Way out there. Near where the airport was. (I lived next to that airport when the Army had it. There was a 40mm gun next to our driveway.
Nope. Not near the airport but where the Ventura and the Golden State Freeways intersect. Near Griffith Park.