The Hinson Archive has a unique and irreplaceable perspective on Americana and the American South of the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, including the mid-Atlantic regions of Washington DC and Virginia.
The twentieth century imagery has the benefit of the impact of Kodachrome, a lost process. Every image was composed by a photographer who was more than a documentarian, but also an artist.
About me, the director
When I’m not shepherding images into the digital archive you see here, I am a front end web designer who works especially well with individuals or organizations that specialize in photography, design, or other visual media. Originally, I began my studies in web design to further my interest in creating visual archives and making them available to the public. I designed a subdomain of janelamotte.com to showcase the abundance of original photography available to my friends and clients. I called it Art Field for reasons that I hoped would resonate with anyone who embraced web development as a journey. The site is styled as a blog, representing the work of three generations of photographers in my family.
An online store opened at Art Field in the summer of 2018. The images that I make available there were chosen more for their artistic merit than their historical significance, even though many of them do capture scenes of a past that is all but gone except in photos like these. At Art Field, I keep the edge of the slide mounting visible on most files because it helps to keep the image in its context, the way you would see them projected on a screen or a wall in your childhood living room.
The history of the Hinson Archive
In 1989, I inherited my father’s collection of slides, mostly 35mm Kodachrome, which includes over a thousand photos he took as he traveled all over the US in the 1960’s and 70’s, and as you can imagine, I think they hold historical significance. An accomplished amateur, my father had an excellent eye for content and composition.
I find Dad’s pictures stunning and sweet. I’m digitizing the Kodachrome slides into high resolution (4000 dpi) jpegs, and I’d like to make them available to the public-–that’s what led me to start the Hinson Archive as a micro stock photography site and store. Unless marked otherwise, each Kodachrome jpeg file that you download is 4000 dpi, and it prints satisfactorily up to 16″ by 20″.
The slide medium
My dad was pretty loyal to the Kodak line of cameras and films, and before he discovered Kodachrome, he used Kodak’s Ektachrome slide film. Ektachrome was a brand name used by Kodak for a range of transparency, still, and motion picture films previously available in many formats, including 35 mm and sheet sizes to 11 by 14 inches.
The specific film size my dad used, 127, is a roll film format for still photography introduced by Kodak in 1912. The image format normally used is a square 4 cm by 4 cm. The 127 format made a comeback during the 1950s as the format of choice for small inexpensive cameras such as the Brownie.
The Ektachrome slides I have digitized are far fewer in number than the Kodachrome ones, but they hold their own charms. Each Ektachrome jpeg file available here for download is 600 dpi, suitable for printing quite large if you are as happy as I am with the posterizing effect that the scanning process has given to the image–see the post “Impressionism”. The original image was taken by my dad in the early 60’s with a film camera and a tripod using color reversal (slide) film. The colors are true to the original slide image, and Mother Nature has provided a softening of the hues in keeping with the age of the slides.
In addition to those vintage color slides, I have many old photographs from my mother’s family that were taken in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They are beautiful artifacts in and of themselves and hold a wealth of information about the times in which they were produced. That collection is in the process of being digitized and added to the Archive as well.
The need for a marketplace
The Archive intends to bring beautiful, entertaining, and sometimes quirky images into the hands of artists, authors, crafts-persons, bloggers, educators, and digital-image collectors as high-resolution digital downloads for a very modest price. Most single downloadable image files are priced 99¢ to $3.95.
Due to the nature of the items, there are no returns. But if you do ever have a problem with the download or are not completely happy with what you receive, please let me know so I can help.
The Archive’s mission is to preserve anthropologic ephemera: documenting period artifacts, sensiblities, and styles of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s through my family photographs–and the Archive shop makes them available to you as high quality digital downloads.
I hope you enjoy browsing this incredible collection!
Jane Hinson La Motte, Director
THE WILLIAM & RUBY HINSON PHOTO ARCHIVE