Somewhere in the Pacific

American troops in the Pacific during WWII. Location and photographer unknown.

World War Two. Location and photographer unknown.

This is a snapshot size image I bought in an auction with no clues to its origin. It looks genuine but could be a contemporary copy of a larger print by a press photographer. After all, who else would have the time or inclination to take a snapshot in a situation like this?

The soldier in silhouette profile at right lifts it above the average and the scene reminded me of the work of W. Eugene Smith – although it doesn’t come close to his print quality, of course.


Fake history?


The building is a real piece of history – built in 1876 – but the photograph is modern; made to look like an image from an Edwardian magazine or guidebook. An impression of the past. At least, that was the idea. Of course some people will say it’s fake. Sad.

This is the old Harbour Board Office in the Victorian Precinct of Oamaru, in New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a genuine historic area, not a theme park re-creation. All the buildings are real, made from solid locally quarried limestone in the 19th century, and still in use by boutique shops, artisans, and craftspeople. Recommended as a “top choice area” by Lonely Planet.