The Oak Cliff Viaduct & The Weird Composite Photo — 1912
by Paula Bosse
First you take a photo of the beautiful new Oak Cliff Viaduct, above.
Then you take a photo of the Dallas skyline, below.
Then you put them together and get this bizarro Franken-photo!
It doesn’t look like any view of Dallas you’ve ever seen, but it still looks pretty damn cool.
All these panoramic photos are in the collection of the Library of Congress, all from the studio of Johnson & Rogers. The top photo has a copyright date of March, 1912, and the bottom two have copyright dates of August, 1912. See these panoramic photos (as well as one of the Buckner Orphan’s Home in 1911) on the Library of Congress site here.
Would this unusual composite have been done for a fanciful postcard or some other kind of promotional material (for the city or for the photographers)? Was it just done for fun? Tellingly, it’s the only one of the three without the studio’s imprint. If anyone has further info on this, please let me know!
These photos are HUGE. Click to see larger images — and use that horizontal scrollbar!
Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.
Suspect it may have been done as a promotional piece considering that the Federal Reserve Bank was awarded to Dallas in 1914 and these photos are dated 1912. The main competition was New Orleans.
That’s certainly a possibility. It DOES make the city look more … majestic, I guess. As close as we had to a Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a better way to tout the city than THIS (from the same period):
Will have to check out this exhibit
Reblogged this on Fotografia Composita con 3462 and commented:
I found this image astounding as well as the photographer creative intent.
This is sometimes called “to Lie” in photography, but the impact of the visual art it’s absolutely modern. And tis is to explain that technology could only help to improve result, the idea still remain an Human creative property.
interesting discussion could be opened with fotografia composita
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[…] The image where the Adolphus first appears has a lot of problems. I had to sepia-ize it from the original colored postcard image, found on Jim Wheat’s fantastic site, here. Wheat was an astute student of Dallas history, and it’s odd that he gave the date of the postcard as 1905, when the Adolphus wasn’t built until 1912, so I’m wondering if several images were creatively combined when readying it for the postcard market. A view from a 1912/1913 panoramic photo of the skyline, showing the Adolphus and the darker-colored Oriental Hotel (with the rounded top-knot), from the south looking north, can be seen here (the full photo can be seen in the post “New Dallas Skyline — 1913,” here). I’m just going to chalk it up to being another weird image — kind of like the mind-bendingly odd manipulated photo of the Oak Cliff Viaduct, seen here. […]