Photos of 1930s rural America ruined with hole punches, creating the greatest photoshop challenge ever


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Photos badly damaged with hole punches… or hole punches Photoshopped in?


Was gonna say…what kind of anger would drive someone to ruin a series of publicly owned photos like that?


I suspect that it is not a case of anger, but poor storage combined with bureaucratic stupidity at some point in the past.

That said… It’s interesting how the hole adds a surreal quality to some of the pictures, kind of like something out of a 50’s Sci-Fi movie. (Giant floating black spheres moving through the heartland)


The holes are real. Go to the FSA website, search for term like ‘untitled alabama 1936 evans’ and it will come up with a list of hits, and you’ll see the hole clearly in some of the thumbnails. It’s even mentioned in the notes. In some cases, it looks like there are two or three negatives of the same subject, and some are being rejected, like an unused second take by a band in a studio.

Remember that this was a commissioned project for a specific political purpose, and they had a lot of material to get through. What later art or cultural historians would make of the unused negatives was not really important to them. It was just the easiest way to keep a negative from being used (I note that some art photographers do this after making a limited run of prints, and as you can imagine, it is a controversial practice).





For some reason my first thought is of a frame capture from the ending cinematic of Final Fantasy VIII, which spawned innumerable elaborate theories about the main character being dead for the duration of the game.

[quote=“Abiatha_Swelter, post:5, topic:76804”](I note that some art photographers do this after making a limited run of prints, and as you can imagine, it is a controversial practice).[/quote]I went to an Escher exhibit once, where they had one of his original woodcuts on display; apparently common practice was to drill holes in them after the requisite number of prints were made. (Oddly enough, Google fails to locate an appropriate image.)


They’re all photos of rural America. REAL Americans. This desecration is New York values in action.



Perfect! You’re hired.



Ironically you managed to further deface that farmer.


If only I had Photoshop, that farmer would get a Terminator face.




Punched holes ruining the images, or maybe we’re just closing our eyes to the real horrors of the depression.


An influential photographer in Salt Lake City (Borge B. Andersen) apparently had several Ansel Adams prints in his personal collection. While I think some were very valuable prints, he had several that were produced in a workshop demonstration and given as gifts–those were ‘defaced’ with a small pin hole so that they would never have significant value in the collector market.


My hack job using another pic of the same guy.


This looks like a job for GREYCstoration.


“Each photograph is the result of three separate acts of
picture-making: the original photographer’s choices, Stryker’s hole
punch, and my re-contextualisation” - This is what my 77 year old Dad would call “Fuckin’ Pretentious” … He’s getting good at photoshop tho!


Since there were no serious attempts…