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  1. #1
    Macwax's Avatar
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    Arthur Rothstein's Most Famous Dustbowl Photo

    I downloaded a jpg of Arthur Rothstein's "Farmer and Sons in Cimmaron County" from the Farm Security Administration collection of the Library of Congress.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40377516@N00/381327511/

    It has always been one of my favorite photos and the scanned print is far from perfect. I spent a couple of hours with the clone tool to remove scratches, dirt and other imperfections. It is a truly beautiful photograph. Although I'm a dedicated film and chemical guy, you've got to hand it hand it to technology in a situation like this.

    A huge TIFF file is available which should be capable of yielding an excellent print. The nice thing is that these photos are in the public domain. Rothstein's images cannot be use in advertising etc.

    John

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    Interesting!

    Hi John

    I'm also very interested in this photograph and it looks great. Can you tell me why you decided to do this? Just curious.

    Thanks

    Eve

    Quote Originally Posted by Macwax View Post
    I downloaded a jpg of Arthur Rothstein's "Farmer and Sons in Cimmaron County" from the Farm Security Administration collection of the Library of Congress.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40377516@N00/381327511/

    It has always been one of my favorite photos and the scanned print is far from perfect. I spent a couple of hours with the clone tool to remove scratches, dirt and other imperfections. It is a truly beautiful photograph. Although I'm a dedicated film and chemical guy, you've got to hand it hand it to technology in a situation like this.

    A huge TIFF file is available which should be capable of yielding an excellent print. The nice thing is that these photos are in the public domain. Rothstein's images cannot be use in advertising etc.

    John

  3. #3
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Eve, are you related to Arthur? If so, you've surely made a very serendipitous first post on APUG.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    Eve, are you related to Arthur? If so, you've surely made a very serendipitous first post on APUG.
    Or maybe Eve possess the rights to the photo?

  5. #5
    Macwax's Avatar
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    My take on the information provided on the FSA site is that the photos may be duplicated. Many photos included Dorthea Lange's famous Migrant Mother appears to be completely without restriction.

    Arthur Rothstein's prints may be downloaded, but may not be used in advertising. If you want to make a print or serve as wallpaper on your computer as my version of Farmer and Sons is, you are free to do so. Please read the fine print for yourself and make your own decision.

    I just read that the photo may have been staged, but that is of no concern to me. I don't imagine that Rothstein banged away at 7 frames per second and just happened upon the most perfect of leg positions. It happened. It's beautiful. It's very painterly.

    I'm a bit confused as to whether the original was actually done on Kodachrome. Does anyone have an answer to that question?

    John

  6. #6

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    This photo was recreated in either the 80s or 90s, showing the children in the photo as adults with their children, walking the same ground. It is lush and green. The juxtaposition between the two photos is very striking.

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    John, you are right, Arthur Rothstein was my father. The photo was not staged. It was the last photo on a roll of film he was shooting when the dust storm struck. He was walking away when he turned and saw the scene, he shot it. Dad was very proud of this photo as well as all the photographs he did for the FSA. He was invited back later and met the youngest boy as a grown man walking in the same area. It is an amazing transition.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve Rothstein View Post
    John, you are right, Arthur Rothstein was my father. The photo was not staged. It was the last photo on a roll of film he was shooting when the dust storm struck. He was walking away when he turned and saw the scene, he shot it. Dad was very proud of this photo as well as all the photographs he did for the FSA. He was invited back later and met the youngest boy as a grown man walking in the same area. It is an amazing transition.
    Eve.. welcome to APUG, and thank you for the background on the photograph. It's often that last frame on a roll that's really excellent. Your father did some great work.

  9. #9
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    It’s one of the iconic images of the last century, and one that I have always thought showed the futility of man challenging nature.
    Thanks for embellishing the story Eve.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  10. #10

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    Because it is his most famous photograph, I think that the confusion about it being staged resulted from the admitted staging of another dustbowl image where a cow skull was inserted/moved to intensify the composition.
    Incidentally, is Mr. Rothstein still alive?

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