Monday, January 11, 2010

Photogrphy - John Hinde


The postcard probably dates to the 1970s or 1980s, and the image by E. Nagele shows a local character, Tony Garrihy, posing behind his donkey and cart in Ballyvaughan. Entitled “It’s A Long Story” the man’s dog lies stretched across the donkey’s back and his cart bears a Michigan numberplate.

While traveling with thecircus for twelve years, and in the years after, he began to take color photographs of the Irish countryside. During this time, Ireland was becoming a popular destination for tourists. Black and white postcards were favored because it was felt that this method could better capture the romantic landscape of Ireland. Hinde, a color photographer, tried to find a way in which he could achieve the same or better effect with the addition of color, something that would set his pictures apart from all the others. He hoped to capture the vividness of the Irish countryside, as well as the imagination of his audience. With much thought, he came up with a method that blended Irish stereotypes (donkeys, red-headed children, etc) and the lush, seemingly endless, landscape with bright colors.

Hinde would sometimes enhance colors in his studio to get a desired effect. He was well known for setting up, or changing a scene so that it would fit his strict style. If he found something unpleasant or out of place in his pictures, he could simply cover it up or move it to get the best shot. So common was this practice that he kept a saw in the back of his car so that, if there happened to be an unsightly object in the view of his camera, he would chop down a nearby rhododendron bush and use it to conceal the eyesore. Needless to say, many rhododendron bushes appear in Hinde's Ireland postcards.

This series of photographs was a huge success, not only with tourists, but also with the people who enjoyed being reminded of the vibrant environment in which they lived.

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