Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kodachrome Ireland

While nosing about on Flickr as I'm apt to do from time to time I came across this wonderful collection of Kodachrome snaps of Ireland in the 1950s. These colour photos were taken by a successful Irish emigré to the US who came back to Ireland a number of times in the '50s and '60s. As well as snaps of various still popular tourist attractions like the Glens of Antrim and the Giant's Causeway, the photographer took many pictures of people going about their everyday business. Most of the images depict rural Ireland at the time with only a few urban shots taken in Belfast and Derry City. The rural scenes verge on the kitsch but there's something undeniably beautiful about a lot of them. It's interesting to see colour images of rural Ireland before the bungalow blight and the McMansion mania of later years that has in some places utterly transformed the character of the Irish countryside. Alongside images of the man's Irish visit there are some of his rather unusual looking home in the US and of Cornwall as well as some taken at sea. Almost every image in the set is of some interest there are a couple which really stand out to me.

Here's one of a Traveller family alongside their old style caravan. The toddler grinning in the middle of the group would now be about 60. I sincerely hope she's still out there somewhere.

This impressionistic one of Derry City also really caught my eye. From this vantage the city looks essentially unchanged since the Victorian era. Indeed the image could be used as a cover image for a Dickens novel.

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